A miscreant, misanthrope, and misfit, two-nosed Luther Jukes lands in jail for murdering a man who insulted his froglike facial features. As Luther schemes in his cell, "hoosegow scullery maid" Juanita Sparks frets over an unwanted pregnancy. But there may be a bit of magic that can sort out this mess.
In the style of underground comix, Ed McClanahan and J. T. Dockery present Juanita and the Frog Prince, an outrageous tale adapted from McClanahan's novella of the same name, originally published in A Congress of Wonders. Set in 1940s Kentucky, Juanita features a cast of characters trying to get ahead at all costs, including the Right Reverend Philander Cosmo Rexroat, redheaded rich boy Warren Harding Skidmore, and "Bad-Cess" Sallie Jukes, the town apothecary rumored to have "access to sinister forces." Rendered in bold strokes of ink that swirl from panel to panel, Luther's and Juanita's stories become further entangled until, in desperation, they attempt to harness the power of a lucky toadstone to create their own fairytale ending -- or do they?
Juanita and the Frog Prince is a southern Gothic psychedelic trip of a comic that will enrapture readers until the stroke of midnight -- and the final KLANG of the clocktower bell.
"Inimitable... McClanahan's old-timey slang and down-home wit endow his trash, drifters, cons, and rubes with poetry and magic." -- Kirkus Reviews, reviewing A Congress of Wonders
"What a treat it is to pick up a book, begin reading, then break out laughing deep from the gut not once, but repeatedly." -- Book World, reviewing A Congress of Wonders
"Artfully told, [McClanahan's] droll, neo-gothic fairy tales are richly embroidered with threads of alchemy -- and love." -- Publishers Weekly, reviewing A Congress of Wonders
"In Juanita and the Frog Prince, J.T. Dockery's art and storytelling instincts -- his singular line work, his imagery that brings folk woodcutting and mid-twentieth century modernism into sharp focus -- meld with Ed McClanahan's writing, creating a world full of inky psycho-realism where prison and eternal condemnation loom threateningly outside the borders of each panel." -- Josh Bayer, author of Raw Power, Suspect Device, and Theth
"Conjuring the likes of a very warped Coen Brothers tale, Juanita and the Frog Prince pairs up legendary writer Ed McClanahan and artist J.T. Dockery, who serves up its exquisite graphics darkly. Join beleaguered jail cleaner Juanita Sparks, preacher turned carny Reverend Rexroat, Luther Jukes, and W.H. Skidmore as they gallop towards a gallows-cheating conclusion. Or do they? As Juanita might say, the words (and images) will stay with you, even the big ones." -- Susan Compo, author of Earthbound: David Bowie and The Man Who Fell To Earth
"Dockery's hand lettering imbues McClanahan's words with additional vigor, enhancing the book's carnivalesque feel, and his woodcut-style graphic storytelling with its grotesque chiaroscuro is a perfect match for McClanahan's southern fairytale noir. Luther 'Two-Nose' Jukes, Philander Cosmo Rexroat, and desperate-but-resigned Juanita Sparks are brought to fabulous life by McClanahan and Dockery in Juanita and the Frog Prince." -- Carol Tilley, judge for the 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards
" Juanita and the Frog Prince is the best of all paradoxes -- a grimy tale, full of all-too-real lowlifes and ne'er-do-wells, that nonetheless soars like mythic poetry. McClanahan's language twists and turns with dizzying rhythm, alternately rustic and regal, and Dockery brilliantly illuminates these words with his beautiful calligraphy and claustrophobically dense, inky lines. This book is brutal, brilliant, hilarious, and unforgettable, all at once." -- Matt Kish, artist of Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page
"Indeed, the way of the transgressor is hard -- one of many lessons learned from Ed and J. T.'s collaborative masterwork. My only regret is that I didn't publish this myself." -- Phillip March Jones, curator-at-large and founder of Institute 193
" Kaboom! Kapow! Kablam! -- comes this rocket of a story from none other than Ed McClanahan and J. T. Dockery, a dynamic duo of literary destiny if there ever was one. This moonshine-soaked fire of a tale will have you up out of your chair reading it aloud to the dog. You'll meet a man with two noses, a town with four different time zones, and an orphaned, knocked-up, lockup scullery maid who holds the key to everyone's fate. Never has there ever been a book like this one in the Appalachian tradition. A genre is born." -- Rebecca Gayle Howell, United States Artists Fellow and author of American Purgatory