At Skylight: Pat Thomas and Josh Mills present ERNIE IN KOVACSLAND

Join us for a celebration of this cockeyed genius and his prolific creative output, as Fantagraphics presents a career retrospective of Ernie Kovacs featuring never-before-seen material from Kovacs's archive.

Best known for his wildly imaginative, gleefully absurdist television show in the 1950s, Ernie Kovacs (1919 – 1962) was also a notorious illustrator, novelist, essayist, newspaper columnist, and poet. In celebration of this cockeyed genius and his prolific creative output, Fantagraphics presents a career retrospective featuring never-before-seen photos from Kovacs's archive; excerpts of his magazine articles, columns and books, hand-notated TV scripts: a smattering of his "illustrated profuselies," the wacky improvisational sketches he drew on air; and more.

Curated by Josh Mills (son of Edie Adams, Kovacs's wife and a performer on his show), Edie/Ernie archivist Ben Model, and counterculture historian Pat Thomas, the book offers a unique glimpse into the mind of a pioneering comedian. The first Kovacs book to be published in 30 years, this impressive collection features previously unpublished Ernie photos, drawings and writings, vintage 1960s magazine articles reprinted for the first time, and new essays by Ann Magnuson and Ron Mael of Sparks.

Kovacs inspired countless comedians, musicians, humorists, and writers in the latter half of the 20th century and beyond. He is cited as a direct influence by the creators and stars of such innovative comedy series as Saturday Night LiveMonty Python, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. An award in his name has been granted to uproarious humorists like Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy) and Harry Shearer (This is Spinal Tap). A true visionary, Kovacs's iconoclastic approach has forever made its mark on the world of comedy.

Josh Mills is the host of the Rarified Heir Podcast, he also runs the estates of legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs, his mother; actress Edie Adams, and his celebrity photographer father Martin Mills. Josh’s first book, co-written with Pat Thomas (and Ben Model) is Ernie in Kovacsland: Writings, Drawings and Photographs from Television’s Original Genius.

Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey! The sounds of Black Power 1965-1975  and Did It! Jerry Rubin: An American Revolutionary and co-editor of Invitation to Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography of Les McCann 1960-1980 (all three published by Fantagraphics Books). He is co-editor of My Week Beats Your Year: Encounters with Lou Reed (published by Hat & Beard Press) and a contributor to Kerouac on Record: A Literary Soundtrack published by Bloomsbury.  Forthcoming books include a book about comedian/TV personality Ernie Kovacs (via Fantagraphics) and in co-operation with the Estate of Allen Ginsberg - a visual tome of Allen’s personal papers: Material Wealth: The Personal Archives of Allen Ginsberg – published by PowerHouse books.

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 16, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Ernie in Kovacsland: Writings, Drawings, and Photographs from Television's Original Genius By Ernie Kovacs, Josh Mills, Ben Model, Pat Thomas Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683966678
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fantagraphics - July 25th, 2023

Listen, Whitey!: The Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 By Pat Thomas Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781606995075
Published: Fantagraphics - March 5th, 2012

Did It! From Yippie To Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary By Pat Thomas, Jerry Rubin (Preliminary work by) Cover Image
By Pat Thomas, Jerry Rubin (Preliminary work by)
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781606998922
Published: Fantagraphics - September 5th, 2017