Back in the early 80s, when music was cool, Reagan was king, and pop rocks made Mikey’s head explode, a teenage me came across the book Kingdom of the Dwarfs, illustrated by David Wenzel, while perusing the racks in a downtown comics/adult book store (what can I say, it was the ’80s. In my defense the adult section was strictly off-limits, but it did provide for a very mixed clientele . . . but I digress).
I dug some crumpled bills out of my pocket and bought it right there on the spot. Then I walked five miles barefoot, uphill through the snow . . . yea, okay, maybe not that last bit, but I did have to catch a city bus home. Anyway, it would not be an exaggeration to say that book instilled in me a love of all things dwarvish that has stuck with me to this day.
Last weekend I drove to Connecticut for the Hartford Comic Con 2014, brought that selfsame Kingdom of the Dwarfs book from 30 years early, stood in front of David T Wenzel’s table and asked him to sign it. His reaction was excellent, we talked about the book and his desire to have a reprint published and even some new material based roughly on the same concept. The sketches he did for me were awesome sauce and the whole experience was just really, really cool.