You are currently browsing the nancy category

Cameo appearance by my fingers.

§ April 12th, 2024 § Filed under cerebus, nancy, sir-links-a-lot § 6 Comments

So I’ve had a mostly-working eye out for one of these for a while. One had been on the eBays with torn and missing pages, so I kept waiting for a copy that didn’t suck to show up on there for a halfway-reasonable price. And lo, my patience did pay off, as a complete copy of the Nancy Better Little Book from 1946 finally made an appearance:


This volume measures around 4 by 4 inches (maybe a little taller than it is wide). Whitman, the publisher, put out several books in this format, mostly under the name “Big Little Books” which may be more familiar to most of you.

Here’s a look at the spine:


And here’s the back cover:


The first page:


This is the beginning of the actual content, with a small text piece setting up the situation:


But aside the very occasional text piece like that, the book is all comics, one panel per page:


…which differs from most Big Little Books I’ve seen, which would have a piece of art on one page, facing a page full of prose. This has me curious whether the other Better Little Books listed on that back cover are similar in format. Especially the Popeye volume…I’m a sucker for that ol’ sailor man.

Anyway, that’s the latest addition to the Once Vast Mikester Comic Archives. Well, aside from everything else I’ve picked up recently.

• • •

LINKS OF NOTE:

  • There was a new Dreadstar graphic novel just released, Dreadstar Vs. The Inevitable, available via Kickstarter. I gots mine (with a little squiggled signature from Steve Apollo himself, Jim Starlin, on the cover) and I kept meaning to write a litle something about it. But Chad Nevett wrote a lot of something about it, and there ain’t nothin’ there I can disagree with. Go read it, it’s quite the review.

    My personal, and much less in-depth, review: art’s great, the story is wafer-thin despite the obvious allegories, and it comes to a conclusion that I didn’t expect but oddly works anyway. Also, no Skeevo, so points off for that.

  • So Tom Ewing’s been writing a multi-part overview of Cerebus, which are all on one page here, or you can find them at the top of the sidebar in order on the individual posts. It goes deep into its qualities and its impact, good and bad, and this entire series of essays is worth consuming whether you were a Cerebus reader at any time, or just interested in the artform in general.

    I keep saying “I’m going to reread Cerebus one of these days.” Yes, I read it all, in mostly periodical form, mostly one issue at a time, one month at a time. (I started picking it up around issue 70-something, bought back issues back to 26, and have the first 25 in the multiple Swords of Cerebus paperbacks. Though I’m making progress in buying actual copies of the first 25 now!) Tom’s writings make me wonder if I want to make that a half-reread, stopping around 150 or so. …However, I feel like if I make that commitment, I’m going to have to see it through to the end.

Yes, I know this isn’t every Nancy book.

§ October 6th, 2023 § Filed under nancy § 5 Comments

So Ray asked

“Do you have a link or anything to the full strip that includes the nightmare fuel panel?”

Well, I immediately went to my shelf and pulled down my copy of the strip reprint book Nancy’s Dreams and Schemes, published by Kitchen Sink Press back in 1990. I mean, the strip would obviously fall under that particular theme, right? But I didn’t see it at first glace, and I realized “oh wait, I sourced the scan on that Sluggo Saturday entry,” where I reminded myself it was from 1988’s The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy. (That book was gifted to me by pal Andres, which is why he’s thanked in that post…but I haven’t seen Andres in years. Where are you, Andres?)

Anywhere, here’s the strip with the panel in context (note I couldn’t get a clean scan of the last panel, as that was too close to the gutter there, and look, I like you Ryan, but I’m not breaking this book’s spine for you):


Oh, Bushmiller, you scamp!

But looking through Nancy’s Dreams and Schemes and Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy put me in mind of two things.

First, the Bushmiller (and Company) original strip I own is in Dreams and Schemes, which I’d forgotten!

Second, all those nice Fantagraphics strip collections are out of print, and appear to be staying that way.


And, unsurprisingly, they’re going for a premium on eBay. Which is a shame, I was hoping for more volumes past the third one, but ah well.

Still available, however, is How to Read Nancy by Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden, which features Bushmiller’s artwork:

And while not by Bushmiller, the first three volumes of John Stanley’s Nancy are still available:


The collections of the recent Olivia James Nancy strips don’t appear to still be available from Diamond, but I suspect you can still get them from real book distributors.

And this Nancy Big Little Book from the 1940s?


Definitely out of print. Don’t even bother.

In which I complain about reading too few comics.

§ October 4th, 2023 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, nancy, this week's comics § 5 Comments

So it’s been a while since I’ve done just straight up reviews of the new comics on this site, which is primarily because I don’t tend to read the new comics during the week they’re new. Either I’m reading things well ahead of time (as the Marvel and DC books usually show up at the shop a week before their on-sale date), which is rare, or I read them well after release, which is more likely.

My eyeball troubles during their initial phase, when my vision was cloudy or just blacked out entirely, kept me from reading more or less anything for about a year and a half. I was able to read text on my computer screen by enlarging fonts, doing high contrast white-on-black colors, etc. But comics were a no-go for a while. And while I still continued to accumulate books to read during this period, they went unread for quite some time.

I’ve got quite the backlog, even with deciding to give up on some titles to thin out the stack. Adding to the problem is that now I’m able to read again, I’m not reading as quickly as I used to. And this is just comics. I’m not even bringing the prose books I’ve gathered up recently into this.

I’m trying to make time to read comics and get through these stacks. I have entire series that I’m eventually going to have to sit and buzz through their runs. I just did this with Ahoy Comics’ Second Coming and The Wrong Earth, and Howard Chaykin’s Hey, Kids! Comics! is up next.

Graphic novels are kind of a roadblock in this process, in that I could read 1 graphic novel or I can read (x) number of comics in that same period of time. Again, I read more slowly than I used to, so it’s a real decision to make.

But it’s no decision at all when Bill Griffith gets a book out:


I mean, of course I’m going to read a biography of Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller. It’s a dense retelling of not just Bushmiller’s career, but of the history of comic strips in general, going into details of the business from Bushmiller’s era. It’s not as emotionally devastating as his previous biography, Nobody’s Fool, the story of real-life pinhead Schlitzie, but watching Bushmiller’s rise and developing his methods of operation are both compelling and exciting.

There are several asides, from Nancy and Sluggo themselves (using redialogued Bushmiller art), and from Griffith himself, making appearances as the curator of an imaginary Nancy museum. Certainly strange, certainly fitting given the comics being discussed.

Good book, well worth spending the time absorbing this work. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested not just in Nancy and Bushmiller, but in the business of strips.

I do love the cover, taken of course from one of Bushmiller’s more nightmare-inducing strips:


…which I of course used as a wallpaper on my original flip phone, and also appeared in my Sluggo Saturday feature. (I see someone else out there is using the “Sluggo Saturday” name — ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES.)

The book does bring up his use of assistants of course, which I was aware of even when I bought this original Nancy strip a few years back. Like I said in that post, even so it was nice to have something produced under Bushmiller’s watch. And seeing that period of Bushmiller’s career in Griffith’s book, it was nice to think “I have something from this point in his life.” It’s a solid, real connection to this story, and in its way, maybe Three Rocks is as affecting as Nobody’s Fool, at least to me and my personal minor link to Bushmiller.

Note: probably not actually a tax write-off.

§ September 2nd, 2022 § Filed under nancy, sluggo § 1 Comment

Gonna give you a break from Multiverse Talk today (though judging by the number of comments I’m getting, the discussion is continuing just fine without me), and show you a new acquisition to the Formerly Vast Mikester Comic Archives.

It’s this here “Whitman Tell-A-Tale” book from 1974, Nancy and Sluggo: The Big Surprise:


It’s a small, thin hardcover, about a couple dozen or so pages long, with text and plenty of illustrations, like so:


No Ernie Bushmiller involvement, aside from cashing the checks. The story is technically cute, with Nancy earning money to buy Sluggo a gift, with Sluggo thinking she’s going to buy something for herself instead. I say “technically” because the gift in question is…mmmm, perhaps culturally insensitive. Will this be the subject of a Sluggo Saturday this week? Mmmmmaybe! (And if you know what the gift is, don’t reveal it in the comments please.)

Anyway, when I went on the eBays to buy this book, it wasn’t the book I was looking for. The book I was trying to find was another early (very early) Nancy and Sluggo book which, alas, was not to be had. Now since I looked one has turned up on eBay, with the condition descriptions of “torn” (eh, can live with it) and “missing pages” (whoops, that’s a deal-breaker) so I’m passing on it for now. But I’ll keep one of my occasionally-working eyeballs out for it and hopefully I can showcase that book here. Whatever that book is. I’ll tell you later, once I have one.

So short story long, apparently, I didn’t see that other book, but saw this one and thought “hey I can buy this and talk about it on my site and then it’s a tax write-off!” Now of course I’m looking for other Nancy and Sluggo oddities and I don’t have the money for that nonsense right now and yet I’m looking anyway because I’m dumb.

And before anyone says anything, yes it’s not a “comic book” as such, but it’ll be added to the Formerly Vast Mikester Comic Archives anyway because that’s where all my Nancys live.

Okay, back to Multiverse Madness this coming Monday (and perhaps something for Saturday)! Thanks for reading, pals.

“In his house at R’lyeh, dead Sluggo waits dreaming.”

§ June 22nd, 2022 § Filed under nancy § 2 Comments

art by Ernie Bushmiller, new dialogue by Paul Di Filippo

The seal has been broken…

§ April 28th, 2021 § Filed under comic strips, nancy, sluggo § 8 Comments

…your pal Mike has bought original comic art.

Oh, I do own a few original pieces from hither and/or yon, either drawings made specifically for, and gifted to, me, and I own at least one original page from an Archie comic published in the 1990s (which comic…who can say?) that was also given to me. I have purchased original drawings, like this Fred Hembeck rendition of Sluggo, but I’ve never laid out money for a piece of artwork that was used to mass reproduction.

UNTIL LAST WEEK.

So remember when pal Brook came by the shop with his copy of the obscure “Nobody Loves the Hulk” record, which of course immediately spurred me on to get one of my own?

Well, that darn Brook did it to me again, by showing me his recently-obtained Ernie Bushmiller original Nancy daily strip from 1974, which he graciously allowed to be featured on this site.

Brook said “you should check out this seller, he’s got a few Bushmiller originals, and I thought “maybe I’ll look, but I’m not gonna buy anything.” And then I looked, and then I bought something, and what I bought was this original daily from June 26th, 1975 (click the pic for a larger view):


Now I’m aware Bushmiller frequently used assistants (which you can read about here), so I am not 100% sure how much of this is pure Bushmiller and how much is, say, Al Plastino (which would still be a good get) but that doesn’t make this any less of an original Nancy strip produced under the purview of their creator.

Plus, look at all that great Sluggo content. A SLUGGO IN EVERY PANEL. Bonus: “HAW HAW HAW” dialogue!

For those of you who are interested, the original measures about 20 inches wide and 7 inches high.

Not leaving well enough alone, I thought I’d take a peek to see what other original Nancy (esp. with Sluggo) art may be out there for sale. There was a particular strip that caught my eye, mostly for just how weird it was, for the peculiar cultural crossover artifact it represented. I saved a scan of it to my computer, thinking that would be enough…but it preyed on my mind. Nagging me, tormenting me, reminding me of that time I could’ve bought this Bob Marley/Yoda painting off eBay and forever regretting that I didn’t.

Plus, it was pretty cheap. Which is how I now own the Guy Gilchrist original for the September 18th, 2014 daily strip (again, click to enlarge):


Your eyes do not deceive you, that is indeed Sluggo dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Or, dare I say:


Okay, he’s not a teenager yet, but you get the idea. But what a bizarre thing this is. Just look at it. LOOK AT IT. Plus, there’s a bonus extra signature from Mr. Gilchrist at the top right there, dated 2016, where presumably he re-autographed it at a convention or something.

And again, if you’d like to know, the paper the strip is drawn upon is about 7 by 17 inches, though the strip itself is only about 13 inches wide.

There you have it…my first foray into buying original comics art. Not something I’m likely to do too often, though my mostly-working eyes are always on the lookout for that one Swamp Thing page that 1) I like and 2) can afford. But, you know, I bet Tumbleweeds originals are cheap. I could have all the Tumbleweeds! LET ME AT THOSE TUMBLEWEEDS

Still waiting for my Nancy and Sluggo Funko Pops.

§ October 2nd, 2019 § Filed under nancy, this week's comics § 3 Comments

Your reminder that, while you’re out buying the new Nancy strip collection by Olivia Jaimes, out this week at better comic shops, and even mine:


…you should also be on the lookout for this other Nancy item by Jaimes, released to ye olde funnybooke stores this week as well:


Nancy’s Genius Plan is a children’s “board” book, with thick pages designed to take extra rough handling by young kids or, say, by whoever it was that went through my back issue bins a couple of days ago.

Anyway, it’s a short one, as you might imagine, but features several great full color illos by Jaimes. Also, the book is “interactive,” in that the reader is encouraged to physically interact with the book, like knocking on a window in one page to distract a character in-story, or turning the book upside-down to help Nancy get by an obstacle. Not a lot of Sluggo involvement…mostly he’s just one of the supporting cast in this particuliar adventure.

One thing I’d like to note is how, at first glance, the portraits of Nancy on both covers look identical. It’s basically the same features present on both faces, but with just the slightest adjustments, the open, genial face of Nancy on the strip collection:


…becomes that conniving Nancy on Genius Plan.

So it’s a good week to be a Nancy fan, like I know I am. Maybe I can finally make an effort to read some comics this week so that Doomsday Clock isn’t the only thing on which I’m caught up. Okay, granted, I did read Genius Plan already. Pretty much can read the book just by barely glancing at it, but then I suspect I’m slightly older than its target audience.

Still turned the book upside-down to help Nancy, though.

Remember when I was the only person on the internet who liked Nancy and Sluggo?

§ January 11th, 2019 § Filed under Christmas, nancy, pal dorian, sluggo § 6 Comments

So pal Dorian gave me my Christmas gift last weekend…or should I say “gifts,” because he bestowed upon me the Nancy and Sluggo double-whammy.

First was the immortal “Sluggo Is Lit” image, the official print in a handsome frame that I shot at an awkward angle to minimize glare and to (mostly) keep myself from appearing in the reflection:

And second, a pin featuring America’s hardest-working wastrel, Sluggo Smith:


These are great items (inspired by the wonderful new version of the Nancy strip by Olivia James), and if you want to be as cool as I am, you can get your own N&S merch right here.

Anyway, in exchange I gave to Dorian a copy of this Tumbleweeds paperback wrapped in a Burger King bag.


That’s almost as good, right?

This panel is its own “Sluggo Saturday” entry.

§ September 6th, 2018 § Filed under nancy § 6 Comments

Some people don’t like the new Nancy strips.

Those people are incorrect.

 
 

A tip o’Sluggo’s cap to J. Caleb for singling out this amazing panel.

Your regular reminder that I have to sell these things for a living.

§ April 20th, 2018 § Filed under nancy, pal plugging, retailing, superman Comments Off on Your regular reminder that I have to sell these things for a living.

To follow up on my last post, I appear to have ordered just about the right number of Action #1000s, at least to cover the initial rush of sales. The main cover, the one by Jim Lee, was the first…well, second, after the “blank” variant…to sell out, and I had several more requests for it after it was gone. Luckily, that cover (and the blank one) were still available for reorder, so I have more coming in. The other variants, I did have a request or two for them after they were gone, but by and large people just bought one (or, um, two or three) of whatever variants were left. And, right now, I have one copy left of the 2000s variant as I head into Friday. Ah well, I’ll have more early next week, and I expect this will be a consistent seller for at least a little while. But if I hear “do you have any Action #1000s left?” all weekend, I may have to reassess my “ordered about right” assumption.

Now the question I have is “will any of this translate to sales for when Brian Michael Bendis takes over the Super-books,” assuming people like the little taste o’Bendis they got in #1000. I have to place orders for his weekly Man of Steel mini-series right quick, and I’m not entirely sure what they’re going to be just yet. Not like this slew of new Marvel #1s in the same order form, where I’m about 90% certain that we’ll see a small bump in sales on those first issues, then we’ll be right back where we were before. Except maybe Thor, which has a $5.99 price point on that first issue, so Dedicated Fans Only Please, Sorry New Readers Who Might Have Picked It Up. Sheesh.

Anyway, can you tell I spent a chunk of my Thursday working on the monthly orders? Yessiree, I certainly was.

Oh, right, back to Action #1000. Pal Matt pointed out a strange anomaly in the Bendis story from that issue, where the villain of the piece refers to Supergirl as Superman’s “cousinsister.” I noticed that when I was reading, and my initial two thoughts were “maybe that’s supposed to represent some quirk in whatever translation device the alien is using to speak to Superman” (except I don’t see any other examples of that in the dialogue) and “maybe there’s something going on in the Supergirl comic I’m not reading that justifies this strange combined relationship term.” Or, as Matt suggests, just an editing error, but it seems weird that something this blatant would be missed. I mean, it wouldn’t even get past the spellchecker, you’d think. Or it could very well be foreshadowing for some kind of revelation down the road. Whatever, it’s strange and it stood out and maybe there’s an explanation coming, I don’t know. Maybe somewhere Bendis is laughing at us…”how cute, they think that was a mistake!” he chortles.

While we wait for our answer to that, in the meantime why not read the beginning of a new series of articles by one of the best writers I know, pal Andrew, as he starts his look, in his own inimitable fashion, at the Charlton Super-Heroes. This is gonna be good, pals, so get in on the ground floor, Mike said cliché-ishly.

And in other news, a couple of folks dropped a link in my comments section to this article on people arguing over the new Nancy strips I mentioned. Basically, it’s about people who realize current Nancy is very good, versus people who are wrong. That has been the way of the world for decades, I’m afraid.

« Older Entries