Ranked #4 on Same Hat's "17 Favorite Comics of the Year"
One of Josh Bayer's Best of 2012 at the Atomic Books Blog
It's three more full years of Ernie Bushmiller's beloved comic strip, featuring nearly one thousand meticulously restored daily strips from its post-World-War II graphic high point superbly crafted but not yet quite stylized into the almost machine-life sleekness of later decades. And what can you say about the jokes in Nancy other than that, contrary to its reputation for a zen-like, ultra-square oddness, many of them are actually just extremely funny?
Nancy Likes Christmas is topped off with a new introduction by Zippy the Pinhead creator Bill Griffith, a lifelong fan of Nancy and admirer of Bushmiller's genius, and once again designed with pop-art snap and crackle by Fantagraphics senior designer Jacob Covey.
20-page excerpt (download 2 MB PDF):
Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):
Praise for Nancy Is Happy:
"Reading Nancy in continuity, rather than in isolation, may be an unfamiliar experience, but it is one which reveals the strips patient and inquisitive reaction to the bric-a-brac and ins-and-outs of everyday lifean attentive curiosity whose effect is diminished by removing the comics from their daily or weekly contexts." Sean Rogers, The Comics Journal
"Bushmillers genius [was] to make everything in his strip so basic that anyone, anywhere, at any time, could get the joke." Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
"...Nancy possesses in spades the quality common to all great art a singularity of vision.... The clarity and unity of purpose made it quite impossible to miss a single punch line. Nancy is simplistic, yes but it is simplistic by design, a strip without clutter, diagrammatic in its relentless formalism. Set against todays comic-strip landscape, ...the dumbness of Nancy starts to look like some kind of genius. The roly-poly, Brillo-mopped mischief-maker and her lowlife pal Sluggo stand eternal, as iconic as the puppets in a Punch and Judy show or the Columbines and Harlequins of commedia dellarte." Jack Feerick, Kirkus Reviews
"In this, the reading public has a rare opportunity. No, make that a rare challenge to read Bushmiller without the benefit of recontextualization of any sort. The fact that you laugh at a Nancy gag and you will is all on you. There will be no downtown doyenne to comfort you in the know ledge that the gag about, oh, bathroom plungers, or cotton candy, or squirt guns, is an ironically loaded statement on anything at all. No, you'll be stuck in a room alone with Ernie Bushmiller, who will force you to confront your inner stoopid like no other American artist. Indeed, it is genuine, nonironic praise to say of Bushmiller that if you don't get a Nancy joke, you are a moron.... Now, Nancy Is Happy arrives after three decades of pro-Nancy revival and mainstream humor often as archly silly and unreal as Bushmiller's Letterman, Conan, Pee-wee Herman, The Mighty Boosh, or the grown-up fan base of Yo Gabba Gabba! It bodes well for Bushmiller's legacy that there's finally an audience educated enough to appreciate his brand of dumb." Ben Schwartz, Bookforum