The Umpteen Millionaire Club: Discussion Questions for Wally Gropius

Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley

Summer 2010 interns Ian Burns, Melissa Gray, Jamie Hibdon, Kailyn Kent, Michael Litven and Christina Texeira put together a series of discussion questions about Tim Hensley's Wally Gropius for use in book clubs. As these questions are intended for those who have read the book, please be warned that contain spoilers.

How the Story is Told

Wally Gropius is broken up into a collection of small episodes that end with punch lines. How did this affect your reading experience, i.e. your engagement with the story and feelings for the characters?

What affect does solid color instead of detailed backgrounds have on the story? Did they affect the sense of "reality" in the comic?

Do all the visual and textual puns create their own narrative, or do they just exist for humor's sake? Do they add complexity to narrative?

Compare and contrast the punning in the sound effects of Wally Gropius with how other creators use onomatopoeia. How did you respond to that?


Wally often mentions Huey Lewis with great appreciation, and Huey even makes an appearance at the end of the book. Do you feel there is a larger significance to the reference of him and his work? If so, what is the significance?


Walter Gropius is an architect and founder of the Bauhaus school and movement. What, if any, intentional connection is there between the title character and this historical figure? Why is Wally, in the story, always being mistaken for Walter?

What is the relationship between Jillian and Rich Green?

The rape involving "Jillian" and her father is by far the most controversial scene in the book. How is it paralleled in Jillian's abuse of Wally?

Does Jillian have motives and a will of her own or is she only an actor and an extension of Rich Green's scheme to obtain money from Gropius?