Frank Marraffino and Ryan Dunlavey are creating a new graphic novel with the late Chris Farley's brother Kevin Farley, telling the story of Chris Farley's childhood, Growing Up Farley from their performances together at Red Arrow Camp to sets at the Arc Theatre in Wisconsin, all the way to improv club The Second City in Chicago.
"Laughter was always a big part of growing up Farley," Kevin Farley explains. "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."
Kevin Farley joins co-writer Frank Marraffino of Marvel Zombies and Dee Snider: He's Not Gonna Take It and artist Ryan Dunlavey of previous Z2 Comics book The Illustrated Al: The Songs of "Weird Al" Yankovic to capture the Farleys' late '70s/early '80s childhood in Maple Bluff, WI, exploring the family dynamic that fueled their creativity and adoration of physical comedy.
"Every Saturday at 11:30 my friends and I would drop everything to watch Chris Farley and the gang on Saturday Night Live," co-writer Frank Marraffino continues. "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!"
After honing such characters as "motivational speaker" Matt Foley at The Second City Theater Group in Chicago, Chris Farley joined the Saturday Night Live cast in 1990 alongside Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, and David Spade. appearing in movies Wayne's World, Tommy Boy, Beverly Hills Ninja, and Black Sheep.
"Chris Farley was one of the greatest comedy heroes of his or any generation," Z2 President Josh Bernstein says. "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!"
Z2 Comics presents Growing Up Farley in standard hardcover and deluxe hardcover editions, set to release Fall 2023. The deluxe hardcover will come with three art prints illustrated by underground artists Craig Rousseau, Fred C. Stresing, and Ryan Dunlavey. Oversized platinum editions will come with a 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 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.