§ October 17th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Stripping.

Now I’m already in the Peanuts reprint thing for the long haul. We’ve got six of the twenty-five volumes down, and I fully intend to buy them ’til the end. Things may get a tad dire as we slog through the volumes that cover the ’80s, which was the period, I seem to recall, some folks feel the strip began to decline, though perhaps we’ll all get to reconsider that assumption once we get all those particular strips in bulk. Of course, this reconsideration may just confirm everyone’s opinion, but, you know, even just merely average Peanuts is better than, say, Tumbleweeds, and surely still worth reading.

The other strip reprint series I will buy is Fantagraphics’ forthcoming Popeye set. I noted before that I had regretted missing Fantagraphics’ original volumes reprinting the classic E.C. Segar era of this strip, but Bully tells me that this new edition was worth missing that previous set, and Bully hasn’t lied to me yet…that I know of.

Another reprint series I’m very, very tempted by, but haven’t quite decided upon yet, is IDW’s Dick Tracy. I love the look of the book (the characteristic yellow color and the sewn-in bookmark) but there have been no shortage of Dick Tracy reprints over the last few years, from Gladstone’s short run, to the “new” ACG’s avalanche of comic books of varying quality, to the hardcover books focusing on the famous villains, and so on. It’d be nice to have all the strips, unedited, in chronological order, but I may be a little burnt out on Dick Tracy right now. There are a couple ACG issues that I think I still haven’t gotten around to reading, in fact, and those reprints stopped coming out, what, two, three years ago? (To get an idea of ACG’s commitment to the quality of their reprints, here’s R.C. Harvey’s review (about halfway down the page) of a book focusing on a DT supporting character, where they manage to misspell the character’s name in the book’s title).

There have been a couple of other high-end reprint series that I skipped…while I do like Dennis the Menace, quite frankly, I just had to draw the line somewhere. These are handsome volumes, however…squat, square books reprinting each panel on a page of its own, at a nice, large size. And there’s no denying the sheer beauty of Drawn & Quarterly’s Gasoline Alley volume, which I’ll occasionally pick up and flip through it at the shop, trying to talk myself into bringing it home…but I have to admit my fascination with the strip is mostly restricted to the more peculiar recent strips.

I don’t know what other strip reprint projects like these would compel me to buy them. I suppose it may come as no surprise that I’d love to see a complete Nancy, but I’m not quite sure the world is ready for such beauty. And would you start with just the Nancy strips, or with the Fritzi Ritz strip that preceded it? And would you pick up the Fritzi strips from when Ernie Bushmiller took over, or would you start with the comics by the strip’s originator, Larry Whittington? (In fact, have the original Whittington strips ever been reprinted? My Google-fu turned nothing up.)

Bloom County is another strip I’d love to see in a complete run, as I’ve said before, since there are a large number of those strips that have never been reprinted. And I’d like to see a run of the early B.C.s and Wizard of IDs as well…hey, I liked them.

Just so long as I see a complete Bloom County before I see a complete Tumbleweeds. Or Marmaduke.

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