It’s been almost 25 years since the tragic passing of comedy legend Chris Farley. Perhaps best known for iconic performances and characters on Saturday Night Life and his larger than life antics, Farley remains a beloved entertainer to this day. His life and career has been chronicled in various documentaries and now in comic form. Z2 has announced Growing Up Farley, a graphic novel about the comedy icon.
Co-written by Chris Farley’s brother, stand-up comedian and actor Kevin Farley, the story “provides an intimate portrait into Chris and Kevin’s youthful adventures—from their performances at Red Arrow Camp to sets at the Arc Theatre in Wisconsin, all the way to famed improv institution The Second City in Chicago.”
As Kevin Farley explains:
“Laughter was always a big part of growing up Farley. I’m excited to partner with the team at Z2 Comics to share all the humor and humanity of growing up with my brother, Chris, in 1970s Madison, Wisconsin and the huge influence our Dad had on our decision to go into comedy.”
Also involved in the project is co-writer Frank Marraffino (Marvel Zombies, Dee Snider: He’s Not Gonna Take It) and artist Ryan Dunlavey (The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic).
As someone who watched Farley’s SNL performances growing up, this project is meaningful for Marraffino. As he explains:
“Every Saturday at 11:30 my friends and I would drop everything to watch Chris Farley and the gang on Saturday Night Live. Chris always inspired us. He offered a perpetual masterclass in the art of comedy: exuberant and boisterous, but also genuine and heartfelt. I couldn’t be more excited to chronicle the journey of the Farleys!”
In a statement announcing the book, Z2 President Josh Bernstein said:
“Chris Farley was one of the greatest comedy heroes of his or any generation. Getting to work directly with Kevin Farley and the Farley Family to bring their incredible origin story to life via a graphic novel is just the beginning of how this IP can take form and expand into comics, TV, film and beyond!”
As with all Z2 Comics offerings, Growing up Farley comes in a variety of formats. In addition to the standard cover, the deluxe hardcover will come with three art prints illustrated by renowned underground artists Craig Rousseau, Fred C. Stresing, and Ryan Dunlavey. In addition the oversized platinum editions will come with an elegant slipcase, the art prints, a “Scotch Oil” trucker hat, a “Scotch Oil” pen, and a “Scotch Oil” ballpoint pen. The “Scotch Oil” company of Madison, Wisconsin was famously owned by Chris and Kevin’s father, Tom Farley, and employed many of the Farley family members over the years. Z2 Comics will also offer 100 super limited platinum editions signed by Kevin Farley.
Look for all three editions of Growing up Farley to arrive in stores in Fall 2023.