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Tim Johnston is a nice guy. His late father was…well, not as nice. They hadn’t spoken in a while, but the old man’s recently passed away, and his estate includes a small museum of curiosities. The highlight of this collection just happens to be a taxidermied figure of an African warrior called “The Savage.” Tim’s dad used to scare his kids with it.
Tim, a white guy, is understandably freaked out by this unfortunate inheritance. So he tries to turn the statue over to a museum to get the poor guy a proper burial. Unfortunately, museum official Howard Bright (who happens to be black), finds that doing this isn’t as easy as it seems. And when Tim’s brother Ollie, aka “Free” (who happens to have a literal hole in his head) shows up with his own plans for the statue, things get very, very complicated.
That’s the premise of Stuffed!, a new full-color original graphic novel from First Second Books that premieres this August. It’s the comics writing debut of Glenn Eichler, an Emmy and Peabody-winning writer for Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, who’s perhaps best-known for creating the character of Daria Morgendorffer on Beavis and Butt-Head and masterminding her long-running spinoff, Daria. He’s teamed with veteran cartoonist Nick Bertozzi (Rubber Necker) in bringing this tale of fractured families and very awkward race relations to life.
Eichler and Bertozzi shared with us the story behind this bizarre tale, and the real-life events that helped inspire it.