Celebrated during his lifetime as much for his personality as for his paintings, Andy Warhol (1928–87) is the most famous and influential of the Pop artists, who developed the notion of 15 minutes of fame, and the idea that an artist could be as illustrious as the work he creates. This graphic novel biography offers insight into the turning point of Warhol’s career and the creation of the Thirteen Most Wanted Men mural for the 1964 World’s Fair, when Warhol clashed with urban planner Robert Moses, architect Philip Johnson, and Governor Nelson Rockefeller. In Becoming Andy Warhol, New York Times bestselling writer Nick Bertozzi and artist Pierce Hargan showcase the moment when, by stubborn force of personality and sheer burgeoning talent, Warhol went up against the creative establishment and emerged to become one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.
Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe prints appear prominently in this history of the iconic artist, but it's Warhol himself who is portrayed as the work in progress. In a series of sharp, staccato chapters, the book packs substantial vigor into a swift narrative, following Warhol's two-year journey from commercial illustrator to art-world icon. Bertozzi's (Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey) introduction admits that liberties have been taken with history, events, and timing, but his script and dialogue ring true to the Warhol we like to imagine: an artist comfortable with facts evolving into legend. Without slavishly aping Warhol's style, newcomer Hargan creates bold visuals for movement, anxiety, and verve. Even pages filled with talking heads are energetic, the line art highlighted with shades of purple. A sleek, arresting front cover sporting Ben-Day dots and a shiny chrome finish (mirroring the color scheme of Warhol's Factory) enhance this illuminating portrait of the grit and glamour of Warhol's pill-fueled origin years.