Casey Sorrow

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Artist self-portrait, 2011 inked illustration, by Casey Sorrow.

Casey Sorrow is an internationally known American cartoonist, illustrator, and printmaker.


Sorrow's early comic collaboration with Eric Millikin, Fetus-X, was run for a short time in Michigan State University's The State News in 2000. After the Catholic League protested the comic and then MSU president M. Peter McPherson declared he wanted it banned, the comic strip was removed for being too controversial.[1][2] During the controversy over the comic, many people protested on both sides of the issue.

Those who were against the comic protested on religious grounds. One said, "As a born-again Christian, I just wanted to notify the writers of “Fetus-X” that the comic strip [is] very offensive. ... I pray that one day you will come to know the power of the cross."[3] Another warned, "Do you remember what happened when they said, 'not even God can sink the Titanic?' There are certain things you just don’t joke about. ... keep your blasphemy to yourself."[4]

Those in favor of the comic said that "I would not hesitate to liken 'Fetus-X' to the Black Sabbath of comic strips ... It is the courage, imagination and talent of both the band and the strip that will set them apart from the other flavors of the week and earn them both places in artistic history."[5] And: "It's frustrating to see the ultimate goal of political correctness gain precedence over the basic principle that Casey Sorrow and Eric Millikin have the artistic right to their own opinions."[6]

The comic was also published in other student newspapers like the University Reporter.[7]

The Cats of Copenhagen[edit]

In 2012, Sorrow illustrated the first printed edition[8] of James Joyce's The Cats of Copenhagen, where Sorrow's pen and ink hand-drawings were made into clichés typographiques and printed on a rare American-built Vandercook SP 33 proofing press for the first edition.[9][10][11][12] In October 2012, Simon & Schuster published the first U.S. edition through Scribner. As of 2014, Sorrow's illustrations have been featured in 8 different international language editions, including an Italian version published by Psichogios Publications,[13] a Greek version be Giunti Editore,[14] a Danish version by Gyldendal,[15] and a Chinese version by Chein Hsing Publishing.[16] American fashion magazine Vogue described The Cats of Copenhagen as "charmingly illustrated" and a perfect gift for anarchists.[17]

Finn's Hotel[edit]

In 2013, Sorrow's illustrations were again featured in first printing of a James Joyce book, Finn's Hotel published by Ithys Press.[18][19] Sorrow's illustrations are also featured in the international editions in Spanish by Editorial Losada,[20][21][22] Italian by Gallucci,[23][24] Greek by Psichogios Publications,[25] Portuguese by Compahnia das Letras,[26][27][28] and German by Suhrkamp Verlag.[29] The illustrations for Finn's Hotel have been described as fun[30] and relevant with a child's naivety.[31]

Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures[edit]

In January 2014, Sorrow successfully funded a Kickstarter[32] for an OSR style RPG bestiary of monsters, "Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures Volume 1: Bizarre Monsters", written and illustrated by Sorrow.[33] The book is described by Sorrow's publishing house, Bull Cock Press, as "a small collection of uniquely illustrated creatures produced to be compatible with the format of traditional table-top role-playing games playable with paper and pencil".[34] It was released to the general public in June 2014, in both a physical and PDF format.[35] Reviews describe the bestiary as "awesomely illustrated" with creatures that "feel fun, and look epic",[36] "an old school monster manual from the times when monsters still were imaginative and the art was personal and cool",[37] and a little volume of strange monsters that not only is "Fiend Folio-good, it's Fiend Factory good".[38]

Other works[edit]

Sorrow's illustrations have appeared in publications like The New York Times.[39]

Sorrow is also known as the creator of December 14's unofficial holiday, Monkey Day.[40][41][42]

Sorrow attended art school at Michigan State University, where his artwork often focused on screen prints of flaming skulls.[43]


  1. ^ Bennett, Brandon (1 August 2002). "Guest appearance helps 'Fetus-X' move forward". State News.
  2. ^ Castanier, Bill (12 December 2012). "Portrait of the artist as a playful grandfather". City Pulse.
  3. ^ Lattimore, Latoya (18 May 2000). "Cartoonists need to show respect". The State News. Archived from the original on January 7, 2002.
  4. ^ Strank, Jody (24 May 2000). "Concern regarding "Fetus X" cartoon". The State News. Archived from the original on January 7, 2002.
  5. ^ Birchmeier, Zak (24 August 2000). ""Fetus-X" provides SN with originality". The State News. Archived from the original on December 3, 2005.
  6. ^ Hoxworth, Kim (30 August 2000). "Strip controversy bothers SN reader". The State News. Archived from the original on February 26, 2002.
  7. ^ Millikin, Eric; Sorrow, Casey (Sep 2001). "The Neglected Opportunity". University Reporter. p. 12.
  8. ^ "Art Odyssey". ImagineFX (82): 22. May 2012.
  9. ^ "James Joyce children's story The Cats of Copenhagen gets first publication", Ithys Press
  10. ^ "Casey Sorrow and his Cats", Ithys Press
  11. ^ Waters, Florence (10 February 2012). "James Joyce's children's story sparks publishing row". The Telegraph.
  12. ^ "James Joyce children's book sparks feud". BBC News. 10 February 2012.
  13. ^ Cairoli, laria (2012-11-16). "James Joyce e 'I gatti di Copenhagen', una fiaba surreale e anarchica scritta per il nipote Stephen". Panorama.
  14. ^ Ziraldo, Katie (6 November 2012). "Alumnus' artwork used on Joyce book". The State News.
  15. ^ "Koebenhavnerkatte". Archived from the original on 2014-02-01.
  16. ^ "《哥本哈根的貓》讀者專屬抽獎活動". Nuis News.
  17. ^ O’Grady, Megan (December 21, 2012). "12 Books That Make Great Last-Minute Gifts". Vogue.
  18. ^ "FINN'S HOTEL by James Joyce : First Edition just published". Ithys Press.
  19. ^ Flood, Alison (14 June 2013). "James Joyce's 'last undiscovered' collection to be published". The Guardian.
  20. ^ Polack, María Elena (August 30, 2013). "La literatura, el teatro y el arte celebran los 75 años de Losada". La Nacion.
  21. ^ Reinoso, Susana (12/9/13). "La editorial Losada festeja 75 años de resistencia y grandes autores". Revista de Cultura. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. ^ Susana, Cella. "Joyce Hotel".
  23. ^ Mascali, Oriana (December 8, 2013). "Finn's Hotel: i racconti inediti di James Joyce". Finzioni Magazine.
  24. ^ Esposito 13 dicembre 2013 10:38 commenti, Andrea (December 13, 2013). "Joyce torna in libreria con una raccolta di dieci inediti". FanPage.
  25. ^ "Ο James Joyce επανέρχεται με το "Κονάκι του Φιν"". Protothema. March 20, 2014.
  26. ^ de Leones, André (June 16, 2014). "Em 'Finn's Hotel', a gênese da obra-prima de James Joyce". Estadão.
  27. ^ "Terra desconhecida no continente joyceano". Verdes Mares. July 22, 2014.
  28. ^ McNaughton, McNaughton (June 28, 2014). "O livro perdido". Divertase.
  29. ^ "Finn's Hotel". Suhrkamp Verlag.
  30. ^ Petrignani, Sandra. "L'orecchio di Joyce".
  31. ^ Δανιήλ, Ανθούλας. "ΤΖΕΪΜΣ ΤΖΟΪΣ: ΤΟ ΚΟΝΑΚΙ ΤΟΥ ΦΙΝ κριτική της Ανθούλας Δανιήλ".
  32. ^ Sorrow, Casey. "An Illustrated Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures". Kickstarter.
  33. ^ Harakas, Alexandra (April 30, 2014). "Crowdsource surfing". Lansing City Pulse.
  34. ^ "The Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures Volume 1: Bizarre Monsters". Bull Cock Press.
  35. ^ "Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures Volume 1 Now In Stock!". Pulp and Bone. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  36. ^ Logos, Dyson. "Bizarre Monsters Volume 1 by Casey Sorrow". Dyson's Dodecahedron. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  37. ^ Nerub, Thaumiel. "[Review] Bestiary of fantastic creatures volume 1: Bizarre monsters". Crypt of Rabies. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  38. ^ Muszkiewicz, Adam. "Monster (Book) Monday: Bizarre Monsters Volume 1 by Casey Sorrow". Dispatches from Kickassistan. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  39. ^ McDonald, Jennifer B. (28 December 2012). "Strays: 'Another Insane Devotion'". The New York Times.
  40. ^ McKenzie, Charlie (8 December 2005). "Going ape for the season: Holiday monkey business". Hour.
  41. ^ Klein, Sarah (10 December 2003). "Monkeying around with the holidays". Metro Times.
  42. ^ "For the Record: Mom, Dad, I'd like you to meet Ted Cruz". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  43. ^ "James Joyce Foundation Objects To New Children's Book - ArtLyst". 2014-02-08. Archived from the original on February 8, 2014. Retrieved 2016-07-01.

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