Kings in Disguise

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Kings in Disguise
Cover of Kings in Disguise #1 (Mar. 1988). Art by Steve Rude.
Publication information
PublisherKitchen Sink Press
Publication dateMarch–August 1988
No. of issues6
Main character(s)Freddie Bloch
Sam (the "King of Spain")
Creative team
Created byJim Vance
Written byJim Vance
Artist(s)Dan Burr
Collected editions
Kings in DisguiseISBN 0-393-32848-1

Kings in Disguise is a six-issue comic book limited series, published in 1988 by Kitchen Sink Press. It was created by writer Jim Vance and artist Dan Burr. Kings in Disguise is a multiple Harvey and Eisner awards winner, and is considered one of the hundred best comic book stories of all time.[1] It has been hailed by Alan Moore, Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and Art Spiegelman.[2][3]

Set during the Great Depression, the story follows 13-year-old Freddie Bloch, a Jewish boy from the fictional town of Marian, California. When his father and brother are taken from him, Freddie takes to the rails as a hobo. He soon meets Sammy ("the King of Spain"), a sickly older hobo who takes Freddie under his wing. Together, they travel through scarred-riddled America, searching for Freddie's father. Among other places, their travels take them through Detroit during a period of labor revolt.

Publication history[edit]

Kings in Disguise started out as James Vance's idea for a play called On the Ropes.[4] After reworking it as a comic book script, he teamed up with artist Dan Burr to create the six-issue limited series published by Kitchen Sink.

Kings in Disguise was issued in trade paperback by Kitchen Sink in 1990; and re-issued by W. W. Norton with an introduction by Alan Moore in 2006. It was translated into Italian in 1991 by Granata Press, and again in 2006 by Saldapress. The French publisher Vertige Graphic released a French edition in 2003. Swedish and Spanish translations are in the works.[5]

The long-awaited sequel, On the Ropes, was published in 2013.[6] On the Ropes has been positively reviewed by, among others, the Los Angeles Times,[7] Publishers Weekly,[8] and Alan Moore.[9]


  • 1989 Eisner Award Best Single Issue/Story — Kings in Disguise #1
  • 1989 Eisner Award Best New Series
  • 1989 Harvey Award Best New Series

Sources consulted[edit]


  1. ^ Weiner, Stephen. The 101 Best Graphic Novels (NBM, 2005).
  2. ^ Kings in Disguise page Archived 2009-07-12 at the Wayback Machine, W.W. Norton website. Accessed Jan. 14, 2014.
  3. ^ Kings in Disguise S/N HC page, Steve Krupp's Curio Shoppe. Accessed Jan. 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Dueben, Alex . "James Vance is 'On the Ropes'," Comic Book Resource (Mar. 13, 2013).
  5. ^ Vance, James. "Kings in Disguise Sidebars," James Vance website. Accessed Sept. 16, 2012.
  6. ^ On the Ropes page, W.W. Norton website. Accessed Jan. 14, 2014.
  7. ^ Ulin, David L. The Reading Life: James Vance and Dan E. Burr's new graphic novel goes to the circus," Los Angeles Times (Mar. 5, 2013).
  8. ^ "On the Ropes," Publishers Weekly (Aug. 27, 2012).
  9. ^ "About," Dan Burr's official website. Accessed Jan. 17, 2014.


External links[edit]

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