Created by Gahan Wilson
“It’s a little joke of mine to call the place where I have my office the Rundown Building, but that’s not to say it didn’t have sreams once; you can easily tell it did from the winged stone lady on its front.”
Playboy cartoonist Gahan Wilson’s Eddy Deco’s Last Caper (1987) featuring private eye EDDY DECO (duh!), is billed as an “Illustrated Mystery,” but it’s really an affectionate hard-boiled parody/tribute/fantasy — a pitch-perfect lampoon, deeply marinated in Wilson’s trademark macabre loopiness.
Even if there wasn’t a single illustration, it’s a whole heap of fun here, but tossing in over a hundred of Wilson’s cartoons? Yowsah!
In fact, if you pay close attention to the more than a hundred black-and-white cartoons, you just might be able to crack the case yourself, before hard-drinking, two-fisted, down-at-the-heels Eddy does. But I doubt it– hired by a beautiful and mysterious woman to find her missing hubby, the hapless gumshoe soon finds himself up to his fedora in assorted thugs, femme fatales, Chinese torturers, secret passages, spider women, lobster men and giant squids. And then it gets weird…
Fun, but strange. Very strange. The Houston Post got it right when they called it “Dr. Seuss for grownups.”
A full-colour, feature film version was announced as being in the works by Helix Films in 2012, with a tentative relase date of 2017 (at this point, I’m not sure if it will ever be released), but judging from the stills, if it ever comes out, it’s going to be absolutely mindblowing.
Gahan Wilson was an American cartoonist whose offbeat magazine illustrations earned him such nicknames “the Michelangelo of the Macabre” and “the Wizard of Weird,” and at one point it was suggested that he had probably received more lifetime achievement awards than any living cartoonist. As well as Playboy, his work has been published in National Lampoon, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Esquire.
- “Readers who don’t take their P.I. literature too seriously, and who enjoy a touch of the absurd in their humor, will find Gahan’s latest to their taste.”
— Publishers Weekly
- “This is one of a kind. And that is what it probably should remain. Wilson’s book is an original, a curiosity in the mystery fiction field, and there lies its fatal attraction. It cannot repeat itself. It takes a special taste to relish Wilson’s special brand of humor. Let’s just say that Eddy Deco’s Last Caper is not for everyone.”
— The Washington Post
- Eddy Deco’s Last Caper (1987) | Buy this book
- EDDY DECO
(2017, Helix Films)