This lushly illustrated graphic novel re-creates a lost Marx Brothers script written by modern art icon Salvador Dali.
Grab some popcorn and take a seat...The curtain is about to rise on a film like no other! But first, the real-life backstory: Giraffes on Horseback Salad was a Marx Brothers film written by modern art icon Salvador Dali, who’d befriended Harpo. Rejected by MGM, the script was thought lost forever. Author and lost-film buff Josh Frank unearthed the original script, and Dali’s notes and sketches for the project, tucked away in museum archives. With comedian Tim Heidecker and Spanish comics creator Manuela Pertega, he’s re-created the film as a graphic novel in all its gorgeous full-color, cinematic, surreal glory. In the story, a businessman named Jimmy (played by Harpo) is drawn to the mysterious Surrealist Woman, whose very presence changes humdrum reality into Dali-esque fantasy. With the help of Groucho and Chico, Jimmy seeks to join her fantastical world—but forces of normalcy threaten to end their romance. Includes new Marx Brothers songs and antics, plus the real-world story behind the historic collaboration.
This graphic novel is utterly one of a kind: an adaptation of a film that Salvador Dal developed with the Marx Brothers in the 1930s but never managed to get produced. The book's creative team stitches Dal 's freewheeling treatment and sketches into a semicoherent plot, an absurdist romantic comedy about a straitlaced business innovator who falls for a mysterious, reality-warping siren called the Surrealist Woman. Their romance proceeds with the help of her friends and enablers, the Marx Brothers. The graphic novel format allows for visual possibilities that would have been all but impossible on film, from melting cities and flaming giraffes to the constantly transmogrifying body of the Surrealist Woman herself. The art is often weak when it comes to individual elements though the Surrealist Woman looks striking, too many of the ordinary human figures are stiff and awkward but the overall page compositions are exceptional, bursting with motion, mind-bending patterns, and wildly shifting color schemes. The Marx Brothers are almost lost in the chaos, but they're drawn with cartoonish charm and written with genuine wit. This messy, imperfect, fearless visual buffet is almost certainly better than any film version would have been.