The Boulevard of Broken Dreams
This is a fantasy “graphic novel” with confusing historical content by important underground cartoonist Kim Deitch. Parts of it have previously been printed in Raw Magazine, which despite its name, is an underground comic book.
Spanning a period from 1910 to the present, its framework is the life of Ted Miskin, who begins his career as a child working in vaudeville for Windsor Newton, animation pioneer, and goes on to work as an artist for Fontaine Studios, a small animation house. Ted has visions of a demonic anthropomorphic blue cat he calls Waldo, which may or may not have objective reality. As Ted goes in and out of mental institutions, the reader gets a tour of the fall and rise of animation over the next several decades, as Ted works in comic books, as the television cartoon market opens up in the late fifties, and then as the modern day rediscovers the ground-breaking animation pioneers of the 20s and 30s.
Dense, cryptic, and circular, the storyline is difficult to decode unless you already have a familiarity with both the history of early animation and the illustrating conventions of underground comics, but this is obviously a heartfelt labor of love.