And now, three books I’ve barely had a chance to look at.

§ March 23rd, 2012 § Filed under nancy, peanuts, smurfs § 3 Comments


  • So perhaps you gathered that I was a tad excited about Nancy Is Happy, Fantagraphics’ collection of Ernie Bushmiller Nancy dailies from 1943-5. I’m only a couple of dozen pages in so far, which may surprise you, but Nancy is a pleasure to be appreciated at a leisurely pace, and not gulped down like a cheap soda.

    Having read and reread and rereread the previous Nancy strip collections and nearly committing all their contents to memory, having some new (relatively speaking) material to enjoy really is a treat. Plus, getting to see some of the more explicitly propagandistic wartime material (Sluggo throwing a firecracker at a globe, which blows off the country of Japan, for example), as well as some of the more politically-incorrect gags (a couple of punchlines which play off the stereotypically-slanted eyes of Nancy’s Chinese friend), is certainly interesting from a historical perspective.

    I also like the red lettering for the years and page numbers on each page…really gives the book a unique look. And there’s plenty of Sluggo in this volume. Mike, like Nancy, Is Happy.

  • The Complete Peanuts 1983-1984 – holy cow, we’re purt’near the home stretch on the Peanuts reprint books…we’re what, eight, nine books away from the end? It hardly seems possible.

    The appeal of the series is of course the “complete” aspect, where we get to see strips that eluded the previous paperback reprintings and are finally seeing the light of day for the first time since originally popping up in the funny pages. I’ve noted before that my prime Peanuts reading was when I was but a young Mikester in the late ’70s/early ’80s, where I read just about every Peanuts book I could get my hands on, thus making the reprint-debut of strips in the Complete Peanuts volumes presenting years prior to about that time of particular interest to me. I missed most of the ’80s Peanuts strips, except possibly for having read them once in the newspaper way back when, which makes these more recent Complete volumes almost all new to me.

    A number of years ago, just prior to Peanuts ending, I got back into collecting the paperback reprints of the later strips, which, at that point, seemed to be collecting full dailies for each year, or at least close to it. Thus, once we move into the ’90s volumes for the Complete Peanuts, I’ll likely have read most of those strips…but I’ll keep getting these new collections anyway, because I’m a sad old fanboy who has to have the full set, that’s why.

  • Unlike the two books above, which I’ve at least started reading, I haven’t had a chance yet to crack open the latest Smurf book from Papercutz, The Smurf Olympics. At the very least, however, I wanted to mention that I’m glad this particular reprint effort survived the movie promotional push that presumably helped bring it about, even if the “Soon to be a movie / See the movie in theaters now!” blurbs on the front have now morphed into “See the DVD!” A small price to pay to finally get these volumes of classic cartooning back on the shelves.

3 Responses to “And now, three books I’ve barely had a chance to look at.”

  • Jack Fear says:

    What amazes about the Nancy book is the knowledge that the strip’s greatest heights — the Fifties and Sixties strips — are yet to come. The classic “three rocks” art style isn’t quite there yet, and the deadpan absurdity had not yet completely coalesced. Bushmiller was already in his late thirties / early forties when he was drawing the strips in Nancy Is Happy, and had been doing the daily strip for almost twenty years — but he was just getting started.

  • philip says:

    Another “sad old fan boy” checking in. Though I am a few volumes behind on the Peanuts collections, I have a bookshelf that is beginning to, literally, groan under the weight of the volumes I have and I am eager to have more. (Yes, literally. Every day it says, “Oooooh, why do you have so many of these? They’re sooooo heavy!”) Fantagraphics is doing the Lord’s work in making available every Peanuts strip ever.

  • Anonymous says:

    The Peanuts Bible. Because Mike Sterling demanded it!