‘Greenie Josephinie’ Repurposes Vintage Comics In Fight For Social Justice

by Brendan M. Allen

Argle Bargle Books has announced Christopher Sperandio’s latest graphic novel Greenie Josephinie, about a super heroine who wages war against global conglomerates.

‘Greenie Josephinie is a super heroine who fights out-of-control global oligarchs like Confederate Beverages, EE-ZEE Serve Holdings and Prison Corp.  In this world ruled by mega-conglomerates, she fights alongside Pinko Joe.’

What really sets this book apart is the unique and painstaking process by which it was created. 

“I got it in my head that I could tell a new story without using new layouts or characters,” says Sperandio.  “Rather, I borrowed and repurposed panels and layouts from disparate genres—crime, science fiction, horror and romance. Once the remix fell into place, I wrote new dialogue and re-inked all 94 pages.” 

“It was a hellishly painstaking process, actually,” concludes the artist, “but it allowed me to honor the history of comics while reflecting on present-day perils.”

Sperandio punctuates Greenie with humorous ironic asides, but the biggest irony lies in the actual making of the graphic novel. The artist uses a 21st century digital toolkit to replicate the look of vintage halftone comic strips slapdash printed onto newsprint: color registration askew, dots differently sized, and ink either gunked on or missing.

He set rules for himself. He tried to use complete stories and he interfered as little as possible with his found material. He adhered to a period-specific color palette of 64 colors and even strove to reproduce period poor printing quality. He lettered pages in a font he made himself from an original Leroy lettering template, the same kind used to letter EC Comics in the ‘50s.  Finally, he sourced paper with similar weight and feel of vintage newsprint.

Aware that he was giving the too-little-known artists of yore no option but to collaborate with him, Sperandio acknowledges his debt to such masters as Lin Streeter, Fred Guardineer, Ralph Mayo, Alex Schomburg, Louis Zansky, Leonard Starr, Jerry Siegel, Murphy Anderson, and Jim McLaughlin.

Greenie Josephinie will be available for purchase on May 20, 2021.

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