According to a recent report, spam comprises 74 percent of all emails sent globally. Because of the overwhelming quantity of spam sent, spammers have had to become increasingly more creative in their attempts to lure the reader. Whether it's solicitations for bizarre coupling procedures or prize notifications from the Newfoundland lottery, spam's clever and not so clever attempts at manipulation play with the curiosity, desire and fantasy of the reader. As a peculiar cultural artifact, spam has provided ample fodder for creative interpretation by many artists. Recently, comic artist Henning Wagenbreth created the book Cry for Help: 36 Scam Emails from Africa, in which he compiles and illustrates the most bizarre, outlandish, and salacious of the genre of spam known as the 'Nigerian scam email.' In a typical email, the sender personally addresses the reader in an effort to enlist their help in an impossibly lucrative business deal. Wagenbreth illustrates these humorously unbelievable dramas in colorful woodblock and linocut designs. The artist culls his style from the underground comic culture of the 1980s as well as Eastern European illustration and decided to begin the project in order to immortalize and document this particular variety of spam, before its unwilling audience deletes it forever. - Ceci Moss
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by Michael Connor on Oct 22nd, 2015
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