November 4th, 2009


They're Publishing More Comics I Want

Apparently the first volume in the IDW King Aroo reprint project has been solicited in this months Previews eyesore --  this is a series I'm really looking forward to as I find Jack Kent's strip delightful (there's a word I rarely type) and an example of great pure cartooning chops. And my daughter might enjoy it, as well. Maybe. I'm basing this on the character designs, all the cute creatures running around in the strip, and the gentle nature and humor of the strip. And the puns, she's getting into corny old gags in the way most of us did when we were little. I never know what comics she's going to respond to, to be honest. For a long while she wouldn't read anything with people in it, Dennis the Menace was out for that reason. Now she has taken the Toon Treasury away from me and has gone through it multiple times, without missing funny animals, kids, gag pages, even the Briefer Frankenstein pages, which I thought might turn her off. Then again, she read print-outs of the first issue of Beasts of Burden #1 in black and white, while we weren't around, and startled us at the dinner table one night by quoting the "eat 'em up frog" (as she put it) demon (she also calls it the "eat everything frog"). She quoted the frog in a funny kid monster voice, and it was very funny, but Sarah gave me the "I thought we agreed not to leave those pages lying around" look. And we did agree not to let her see the pages because some of them are kind of nasty, and as it turned out, Emily was bothered by some of the events in the first issue, and told me I wrote it "wrong", because the deaths of two animals in it upset her. We have since never admitted the existence of Beasts #2, for reasons some of you might understand after reading that issue. She knows #3 exists because she's seen pages on the computer, it's the "Orphan goes looking for his girlfriend" story (as she puts it), and while there are some gory bits, it's an adventure and not a downbeat, depressing bit of work.  There's no way she's seeing #4, because there's some horror stuff in there that I don't think she'd like.

She's also been "stealing" my copy of the first Cul De Sac collection lately, and she seems to like it, although she doesn't get a lot of the strips. But she keeps reading it. Kills me to watch her reading comics. You see, there's this kid in my house, right, and she's little and cute and she's ours and she's reading some of them there funnybooks. Who'd have thunk it? Not me.

Anyway, off tangent, what else is new. Didn't expect to be posting, but I'm taking a break in-between working on some strip layouts and so there you go and here I go and who knows where it goes. But speaking of the Dick Briefer Frankenstein comics, I read that Fantagraphics has announced a new slate of books, including a reprinting of this material. To which I say sweet, because along with oddballness like Herbie Popnecker and a few other projects, this is a cult series that many folks have wanted to see back in print. Hopefully enough folks out there are interested in order to make it viable for the long haul. Who knows.

And it gets better, or worse, if you consider your wallet and shelf space, because FBI's also doing collections of lesser-known 50's horror comics, an Alex Toth collection of his Standard Comics work, a pre-Plastic Man Jack Cole collection, a book on EC cartoonists' work at other companies, and a Basil Wolverton book. So, you folks who are into these sorts of things better start taking a few bills outta your mom's bag or your dad's wallet each and every week because this is gonna be an assault on the cents-less. So many good books, and I'm not half-wise to everything IDW is announcing (I did read about a Polly and Her Pals oversize Sundays collection, apparently a $75 "Champagne Edition" -- hell, I like bells and whistles and all, but give me a decent Budweiser Edition, fer chrissakes!), or Dark Horse, or whoever else is helping grow the pile. Hell, Captain Easy still hasn't debuted, supposedly Walt and Skeezix is getting back on track, the John Stanley library is up and running, more Harvey stuff, more DHC Little Lulu,  I mean, holy goodnight! You can't sell a comic book outside of Marvel and DC that isn't Buffy or whatever-related (I oughta know, after seeing the numbers on beasts #1), and they're not even selling a ton of the aforementioned, but somehow scores of classic comic collections are making their way into the world. Not that I'm complaining. It's just so unprecedented and unforeseen; going back a few years, that it's hard to imagine it isn't a geekanerd fever dream.

Anyway, I just hope 2010 isn't the dam bursting on the reprint trend and we're not hitting the motherlode overload anytime soon, because at some point this has to start choking shelves and bringing consumers to their financial knees, but while the gettin's good, this is a goddamned Golden Age of great comic gatherings, guys and gals. This is history in the re-packaging, and bears attention.

Or maybe it's a sinister alliance with Ikea to sell even more Billy bookcases.

So, anybody looking forward to any of this stuff? Anything you've heard about that is of interest? How about them Yankees?  

No, no Yankees, I don't really care, in fact I really don't care, anti-care, could care less. No Yankees, no NYC mayoral race, no creepy rich people sports of any kind. Just funnybooks, today. Glorious, ridiculous funnybooks. Them I understand.