The Rascals are back in another 100-plus vintage full-color pages of rollicking comedy and high adventure. Created in 1946 and 1947, these stories
show Walt Kelly refining the style that would serve him so well for his later masterpiece — Pogo.
Much of this fourth volume is taken up with an extended four-part cycle of stories — almost a graphic novel, really! — in which Froggie and the Gang (including Julip the Goat) ship out with Professor Gravy on his showboat for an engagement downriver, which results (of course) in a series of action-packed adventures involving fisticuffs, gunfire, fireworks, and horse thieves. All this, plus more mundane kid pursuits such as a hotly-contested baseball game.
As always, series editor Steve Thompson is on hand to provide fascinating behind-the-scenes details on these marvelous stories, and beloved cartoonist Jeff Smith (Bone) provides an all-new cover. For anyone who loves those simple, innocent post-war times, the Our Gang stories are as refreshing as a 5-cent glass of home-made lemonade on a hot summer day.
“Kelly continues to take his version of the Gang further away from the typical ‘kid-jinks’ of
the movies. He not only involves them in serious adventures but potentially life-threatening situations...
For those of us ‘of a certain age,’ summers were filled with days when we were pushed
out the door after breakfast and told not to come back until lunchtime, after which we were
again sent out to play until supper. Just like the Gang kids, we wandered out of our own neighborhoods,
met and interacted with strangers, fought and played with other kids, and so on. The
Gang’s activities are more extreme than those of most of us reading the stories, but only in degree.”
— from the introduction by Steve Thompson
Download an EXCLUSIVE 14-page PDF excerpt (9.7 MB) — that's a complete story!
"That this series was written and drawn by the great Walt Kelly is icing on the cake for comics fans. Walt Kelly was to the Our Gang comic books what Hal Roach had been to the movie series: creator and godfather." – Leonard Maltin
"A sweet, idiosyncratic collection of comics, suitable for nostalgic adults and adventurous kids alike... An exuberant and transportive collection." – Publishers Weekly
"Ironically, while Our Gang films were [by the 1940s] slick and mannered, in Kelly's comics they regained much of their earlier, unaffected charm." – Booklist
“Straight-ahead comedy: enjoyable and interesting.” – Library Journal
“These strips still have the do-it-yourself, kid-culture appeal of the original film shorts.” – The Onion