Experience “Life on the Moon” as the late Robert Grossman adapts the “Great Moon Hoax” for IDW
Tonight, take a few moments and look up at the moon. Our humble, lonely satellite. Imagine that it’s not a cold, barren place, but instead teeming with life. Unicorns, winged humanoids, and… bipedal, tail-less beavers? Right on.
Back in the 19th century, this was the very subject of a widespread hoax known, appropriately, as the “Great Moon Hoax.” Originally perpetrated by the New York newspaper The Sun and falsely attributed to the excellently-named astronomer Sir John Herschel, the hoax has been adapted as a graphic novel by the late Robert Grossman, who sadly passed away last year. Check out the details below.
LIFE ON THE MOON:
The Famous Fake News Story,
Now Available as a Graphic Novel by
Iconic Illustrator Robert Grossman
Robert Grossman was the famed artist of over 500 magazine covers (Time, New York Times, Rolling Stone, New York, National Lampoon, etc.), iconic film posters (for instance, Airplane! and its famous imagery of fuselage being tied in a knot), Acady Award-nominated animation, and ingenious comic strips.
Grossman completed his magnum opus and decade-long passion, the graphic novel Life on The Moon, shortly before his passing last year. The artist, who reveled in illustrating the “un-illustratable,” wrote and drew this historical work based on the “Great Moon Hoax” of the mid-19thcentury, the most successful fake news in media history.
Film director Terry Gilliam calls Life on the Moon, “Amazingly inventive!” and reveals that in his professional history, “I did my best to follow in Robert Grossman’s footsteps!”
In 1835, New York newspaper The Sunpublished a series of six articles attributed to the famous contemporary astronomer Sir John Herschel declaring the discovery of life — and even civilization — on the Moon! According to The Sun, the lunar inhabitants included unicorns, bison, bipedal tail-less beavers, and intelligent humanoids with bat-like wings.
Life on the Moon is a full-length graphic novel capturing this mythical world. Robert Grossman said the book is set in a time when “many of the signal achievements of the 19th Century still lay well in the future, Andrew Jackson was president, the steamboat was the summit of technology, and news traveled slowly.” The unfettered novel includes real historical figures such as P.T. Barnum, Jean Jacques Audubon, Lorenzo Da Ponte, Charles Goodyear, and Edgar Allan Poe. Grossman stated that, “Life on the Moon is meant to be at least partly funny, and has a rip-roaring sci-fi ending.”
He concluded, “I read somewhere that William Randolph Hearst insisted that everything he produced had: tears, laughs, loves, and thrills. Life on the Moon has all that and more.”
Art Director, author, and graphic historian Steven Heller declares, “Bob Grossman, one of America’s most innovative caricaturists, was a spirited storyteller with a bottomless well of historical fact and trivia to draw from. In Life on the Moon, he weaves a tale that cannot be read just once, so on that next trip to the Moon, take it along.”
Journalist Pete Hamill proclaims, “Grossman has the subtle power to change the way we perceive reality, like Chekhov or the best of Hemingway.”
The New York Times called Grossman “an outstanding illustrator with a brash touch.” The Washington Post called his work “incisive”, Rolling Stone said his art was “biting” and the creator of Mad, Harvey Kurtzman, called Grossman's art “Perfect!”
Yoe Books’ Craig Yoe says, “We are both humbled and immensely proud to be publishing this masterpiece in our new original graphic novel series. I fully expect Life on the Moon, Robert Grossman’s tour de force, to take its rightful place among the most revered works in our field.”
Life on the Moon is available now.