The follow-up you never expected.

§ February 7th, 2020 § Filed under comic strips § 5 Comments

So I acquired a collection of comics the other day that included a number of paperback comic strip reprints, including one copy of this book from 1985:


Now as I stated in this post, I mentioned wanting to buy a copy of a Tumbleweeds paperback to see if the strip was as…not to my taste as I recalled. I never did get around to deliberately purchasing one off Amazon, like I’d planned, but hey, one fell into my lap, basically, so that’ll do. It’s a little later in the run than I was looking for (I was thinking about finding one from about the time I originally had a Tumbleweeds book, which was the late ’70s) but the contents don’t appear significantly different from what I remember.

And what do I think of it? Well, okay, I haven’t had much of a chance to read it all — oh for the days when I could just plow through books like these in short order — but what I’ve read has been, you know, fine. It’s cute, with weirdly detailed characters and some soft chuckles. Not the best thing I’ve ever read, but not nearly as off-putting as I remembered.

I do really like this gag on the back cover:


So perhaps my harsh assessment of Tumbleweeds was a little unfair. Though, come to think of it, perhaps it wasn’t as harsh as all thoat, and more a filtering strategy created by the subjective memories in my brain to keep me from, well, wanted to read every comic-related thing. A mild disregard for a comic strip, evolving over years, decades, into “I DO NOT LIKE THAT STRIP, AVOID IT ENTIRELY” so that I’d be able to focus more on the stuff that appealed more.

Again, not bad, just not up my alley…though I like it a bit, so maybe it’s got a foot or two into my alley anyway.

However, here’s the real test…given the last line in that post I referred to earlier…guess which other comic strip paperback ended up in my possession?


Sigh. Yes, I’ll give it a shot, too. I’m a sucker.

5 Responses to “The follow-up you never expected.”

  • Thom H. says:

    I can’t get over how he draws that “horse.” What is wrong with its head? Does it have a beak? Is it wearing boots? I do not like it.

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    I was always picking up Peanuts paperbacks at garage sales as a kid, and if the books were priced at like a dime or something, oftentimes I’d pick up stuff like this. I don’t believe I ever saw a Tumbleweeds collection, but I definitely remember Andy Capp was kind of mind-blowing for a nine-year old. Lots of Heathcliff and B.C., too. Occasionally, some off-beat strip that had appeared for like a year in 1972 or something and then disappeared.

    Crock has never appealed to me. The same scribble-drawing as Momma, which I didn’t like, but at least Momma had some, like you say, soft chuckles. But Crock’s humor has always struck me as cruel and not at all funny. (And I’m not at all against dark humor, but there does have to be a “humor” element.)

    Garfield’s the same–better art than Crock, but is it really funny seeing him abuse everybody around him all the time? And no, I don’t believe this reflects the actual personality of cats–I’ve had a dozen or more cats over my life, and except for the sleeping all the time, not one of them struck me as much like Garfield.

  • Brad says:

    Jim (Garfield) Davis made his bones at Tom Ryan’s studio. You can see a similarity in verbal sarcastic humor, not much variation in poses (particularly as each strip aged).

    Thom, that’s actually Tumbleweeds’ second horse in the strip. The first was the plug-ugly Blossom. This one is Epic, who used to reside at Fort Ridiculous. That’s not a beak but a jutting lower lip; Epic is accomplished at chewing and spitting tobacco (despite having no teeth).

    Tumbleweeds ran in my local paper. My mother especially liked bit player Clodwell Gunkley — picture a combination Pee Wee Herman and Alex Karras — on second thought, don’t. Just keep an eye out.

  • Bruce Baugh says:

    Thank you for your service, Mike. :)

  • Nat Gertler says:

    I hate to admit how many of those Crock paperbacks I read through just waiting for it to be funny. I mean, it looked like Wizard of Id and amusing thing like that… but never. Never.

  • Leave a Reply