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Daily OCD Extra: this month's Booklist reviews, with a star for Nuts
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellySteve DuinShannon WheelerreviewsOil and WaterGahan WilsonDaily OCD 15 Dec 2011 12:26 PM

In this month's issue of Booklist you can find praise for three of our recent releases:

Nuts

Nuts by Gahan Wilson: "One of the greatest gag cartoonists, whose monthly contributions to Playboy may prove that magazine’s most durable legacy, Wilson gave National Lampoon something to be remembered for, too — his only comic strip, collected here. Titled to echo Charles Schulz’s great newspaper feature full of kids who think and talk like adults, the six-paneled Nuts develops a realistic situation from out of memory (the strips typically begin with the word “remember”). All the fully visible characters are children, mostly boys, but, contra Peanuts, what they say expresses kids’ enthusiasms, fears, and frustrations in the words grown-up memory gives them (the slightly precocious language is Wilson’s primary departure from naturalism, except for his loopy drawing, of course). The frustrations are particularly important, so much so that, despite the acorn next to it in every first panel, the strip’s title is best understood as a child’s curse, “Nuts!” The scenarios include summer camp, going to horror movies, being sick and obsessing about it, making models, eating too much, not knowing the answer (or even the subject) in school, selecting comics in the local cigar store, and other normal-enough stuff that holds the potential for humiliation, failure, and maybe worse. In Nuts, that potential is always realized and, as memory colors it, so uproariously that you just about choke with laughter. For sheer hilarity, this is Wilson’s masterpiece." – Ray Olson (Starred Review)

Oil and Water

Oil and Water by Steve Duin & Shannon Wheeler: "Four months after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a small group of Oregonians traveled to the Gulf Coast to assess the damage. In this graphic-novel recounting of their expedition, we follow the well-intentioned but naive activists as they meet scientists, crabbers, bird rehabilitators, the local head of Homeland Security (found shark fishing on a beach), and other locals whose lives were roiled by the disaster. ...[T]he work effectively sets forth the essential dilemma: the region’s economy remains dependent on the very industry that ravaged the coast; and the “hush money” paid by BP in the wake of the disaster ensures that most residents continue to see oil as the solution to their woes rather than the problem." – Gordon Flagg

Pogo Vol. 1

Pogo - The Compete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly: "After numerous delays, this essential purchase for any collection that values comic-strip reprints is finally available.... In these... strips from the first two years of Pogo’s two-and-a-half-decades run, the direct political satire is mostly broadly focused (thinly masked approximations of headliners from McCarthy and Nixon to Castro and Khrushchev would all spend time in Okefenokee Swamp), but the inventive wordplay, idiosyncratic swamp patter, and goofy slapstick are all in full effect right from the start, as is the broad cast of loony critters that would eventually number upwards of 500 distinct characters. Due to run 12 volumes, this collection completes the holy trifecta, along with Charles Schulz’ Peanuts and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, of comic strips whose influence cannot be overstated." – Ian Chipman