Walt Kelly created dozens of Our Gang stories by the end of its 59-issue run in 1949, the year he quit comic books to switch careers a final time — as syndicated artist/writer on the immortal newspaper strip, Pogo.
In Our Gang’s third volume, Kelly begins to hit his stride by relying more on original ideas than following trite MGM scripts which had lacked in charm since the departure of producer Hal Roach in 1938. Keeping alive the wit that had been absent from the film series, this volume contains eight adventures of the mainstay offbeat personas as well as other whimsical characters, from mad scientists to eccentric animals. Suitable for adults and children alike, the work has been lovingly restored from the original comic books, giving Kelly’s art a renewed four-color splendor. With an all-new cover by Jeff Smith (Bone).
This issue’s cover interview is with comics artist Tim Sale, the house artist for the television series Heroes. Sale’s artwork has also graced prestigious mainstream projects such as Batman: the Long Halloween, Spider-Man Blue and Superman Confidential. The Eisner winner chats about his stylized takes on characters such as Spider-Man, Batman, Daredevil, Catwoman and Superman, as well as his earlier work on comics such as Grendel, and elaborates on the dynamics of collaborating with writers such as Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke. The Journal queries up-and-coming cartoonist Josh Simmons on his disturbing and often funny body of work — his minicomics, his series Happy; his debut graphic novel, House; and his decades-spanning series Jessica Farm. Gary Groth examines the collaborations between Ralph Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson. Also in this issue: tributes to Steve Gerber and Dan Stevens; a huge gallery of kinetic anarchy from Funny, Films, Giggle, and other Golden Age comic books by Flintstones co-creator Dan Gordon; and a sneak preview of Danica Novgorodoff's Slow Storm.