Hey, look…

§ December 26th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Hey, look…

…Ben Grimm got Thing hands for Christmas!*

from Fantastic Four #107 (Feb 1970) by Stan Lee, John Buscema, & Joe Sinnott

I didn’t get Thing hands (I still have to settle for Mike hands), but I did receive from my parents the Complete Calvin & Hobbes collection, which is just as wonderful as people have been saying. And boy howdy, is the set heavy. A nice touch is the inclusion of some of the tryout strips, with a slightly different visual take on Calvin.

And that puts me in the mind of another complete comic strip set I’d like to see…the complete Bloom County. It ran about the same length of time as Calvin & Hobbes, so the book set would potentially be about the same size. However, whereas Calvin & Hobbes is still fondly remembered, even all these years on (though I have to wonder if the majority of people with Peeing Calvin stickers on their cars even know its comic-strip origins), it seems Bloom County doesn’t have quite the same following. I know there are a number of people who still remember it fondly, but perhaps not enough to support a $150 set of books. Plus, a handful of times I’ve had to explain to some younger folk that Bloom County was the strip in which Opus first appeared…they hadn’t heard of it, otherwise.

On top of all that, Bloom County may be too much a product of its time. Calvin & Hobbes is more or less timeless…Bloom County‘s Jeane Kirkpatrick jokes aren’t timeless — who knew? Perhaps an annotated collection may be in order…though if I recall correctly, the strip’s creator, Berke Breathed, isn’t terribly interested in bringing collections back into print precisely for this reason:

“[Onion AV Club]: Do you think the political issues you addressed at the time have dated the strips, or are they still as relevant today?

BB: That’s why it’d be silly to reprint them. They have the half-life of a flounder laying on the back porch.”

That’s a shame, since I did have quite a bit of fondness for this strip. I remember trying to clip ‘n’ save Bloom County strips from the newspaper, until I gave up after a few weeks when I realized that this was completely insane. When one of the paperback collections came out that reprinted from the same period I was clipping strips, I noticed that several installments from a particular storyline (I believe it was involving Oliver’s entry in the school science fair) weren’t included. So I know there are strips that haven’t seen the light of day since they were originally printed.

Ah, well, one can hope.

Any other strips that you’d like to see given the “Complete” treatment?

* Yeah, I know, technically it should be Hanukkah, given his religious leanings.

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