|Daily links: 3/4/09|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony Millionaire, Peanuts, Mort Walker, Jerry Dumas||4 Mar 2009 3:18 PM|
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Category >> Mort Walker
Fantagraphics titles scheduled to arrive at comics shops this week:
Check out our descriptions and previews at the links above, give your local shop a jingle to make sure they ordered the books, count up your nickels and then trundle on down there tomorrow.
I'm putting together the 15th issue of MOME (Summer 2009) right now and it features the final three chapters of Tim Hensley's spectacular "Wally Gropius, Teen Millionaire" which has appeared in MOME since our fifth issue (Fall 2006). I can't even tell you how proud I am to have published this comic. Hensley is such a singular talent. He's so good I'm almost at a loss to explain why. There's something transcendent about it. It looks like old 1950s teenage humor comics, specifically Mort Walker's proto-Beetle Bailey strip, Spider, as Adam Grano recently pointed out to me while laying out the upcoming Walker interview in The Comics Journal.
Here's a page from Wally:
I find his work beautiful to look at. It's as attractive as comics get for me. But his work is so much more than that. It's a satire of teen comics and celebrityhood and modern culture, but it's also great Art. His dialogue is witty, lyrical, sampled, dada, and elliptical. It's all in the service of a very bizarre story, a mystery of sorts. There's sex, violence, rock and roll, intrigue, betrayal -- but it's all told in Hensley's truly inimitable style. I've read each chapter many times and will be sorry to not have more coming in anymore. But not to worry, Tim's already hard at work on the Wally Gropious collection, which won't be out for over a year but will be well worth the wait!
And here's a sneak peak at the cover for MOME 15, featuring the end of Wally Gropius. This is an early treatment by Adam Grano, with art by Andrice Arp:
Oh, and read Tim's blog.
• Things to see: On his blog, Dash Shaw presents a Bottomless Belly Button ex libris plate he created for French comics shop Super Heros (you may also have seen Jason Miles's photo of Dash at Super Heros here on Flog recently)
Sam's Strip: The Comic About Comics
Sam’s Strip was ahead of its time when it debuted in 1961. Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas’ offbeat creation took the inside joke of breaking the “fourth wall” to a new level, playing with the basic elements of the cartoon form, experimenting with different art styles and featuring famous characters from other strips. Sam and his cartoonist assistant owned and operated the comic strip they inhabited. The Yellow Kid, Jiggs, Krazy Kat, Dagwood, and Charlie Brown were among the many familiar faces who made walk-on appearances. Sam and his assistant discussed the inner workings and hidden secrets of life within the panel borders. This type of self-referential humor, called “metacomics” by scholar Thomas Inge, had been explored previously by Al Capp, Ernie Bushmiller, and Walt Kelly and has been used on a more regular basis by such contemporary cartoonists as Garry Trudeau, Berke Breathed, and Bill Griffith. Sam’s Strip, which never appeared in more than 60 newpapers, was too esoteric for most readers, and was terminated by its creators in 1963. It is considered a cult classic among comic-strip aficionados today.
This collection features the complete 20-month run, almost 510 daily strips, of Sam’s Strip. Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas provide first-hand accounts of the creation of the strip and other rare, behind-the-scenes material, including unpublished sketches, original artwork, photographs and sales brochures. Take a trip beyond the fourth wall and rediscover this unique behind-the-scenes look at the world of comic strip humor.
Our collection of Sam's Strip contains two introductory essays by the strip's creators, which we've placed online for you to read and enjoy while you're waiting for the book to be released (any day now): "How Sam's Strip Began" by Jerry Dumas and "My Time with Sam's Strip" by Mort Walker. Together they comprise a Rashomon-like tale of the strip's run.
We're pleased to present another brilliant but short-lived comic strip from the mid-20th Century, rescued from obscurity and presented in a handsome softcover volume. Sam's Strip: The Comic About Comics collects the entirety of Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas's sharp-witted feature, ahead of its time for its use of fourth-wall-breaking meta-humor. Click here if the embedded slideshow isn't visible above, and/or to view it larger in a new window.
We've been busy bees making downloadable PDF excerpts available for several new and upcoming books. Unlike previously, when PDF previews were only available to registered users, these downloads are available to everyone (and of course they're free)! Download links are available on the product listing pages for the books listed and linked below. Try before you buy with these nice juicy chunks:
• Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1959-1960 - read all the strips from January 1959!