A Formal Welcome to 2014

It's a brand new year, and here at TCJ (Internet division) we have a brand new attitude. Dan and I are well-rested and have spent our web-free days meditating on how to provide better criticism and coverage of the art of comics. I think it's fair to say that 2014 will likely be the best year here yet. So prepare yourself.

To start things off, we have Joe "Jog" McCulloch, who has a recap of his own personal experiences with the last two weeks of comics. (This has been a trying fortnight for Joe, who has been e-mailing us regularly to see if he might be allowed to post during the holiday hiatus. I'm feeling a little guilty now, seeing what he Joe resorted to reading during his imposed vacation.)


Comics websites and writers of all kinds have been posting end-of-the-year ruminations and summations of all kinds, including Robot 6's list of favorite 2013 comics, The Beat's annual comics-creator-survey, Tim Callahan's best-of-2013 list, Nick Gazin's top ten list, Abhay Khosla's best/worst-of-entertainment list, Jeff Smith's favorite comics, and Rob Clough's typically exhaustive list.

—News. Marvel has decided to stop selling individual issues of their comics in traditional bookstores. Columbia University's library has received the Kitchen Sink archives.

—Funnies. Kate Beaton went home for the holidays and posted a slew of comics about her visit. Joe Ollmann on the job. Sean T. Collins has started a new Tumblr called Comics Democracy reposting only the most popular webcomics, without commentary. He explains his reasons here.

—Interviews & Profiles.
Paul Gravett on Leo Baxendale. Chris Mautner talks to Anna Bongiovanni. Emine Saner talked to G. Willow Wilson about the new Muslim Ms. Marvel. Chris Sims talks to Michel Fiffe. Tom Spurgeon interviewed many people, too many to link to, but you can figure out how to find them. The latest talk was with Ed Piskor.

—Reviews & Commentary.
J. Hoberman reviews Peter Maresca's Society is Nix. Bob Heer reviews the Chris Duffy-edited Fairy Tale Comics. Becky Cloonan wrote an essay on self-publishing.

Don't Feed the Troll.

28 Responses to A Formal Welcome to 2014

  1. Patrice Chevraulaix says:

    Here’s hoping 2014 brings Nancy Vol. 3 (still unannounced, alas) and the once-announced-since-disappeared TS Sullivant collection from the FBI

  2. Andy Stout says:

    And the similarly once-announced COMPLETE ZAP!

  3. Paul Slade says:

    And a second volume of Feiffer’s Village Voice strips?

  4. And a collection of interviews with Gil Kane.

  5. Patrice Chevraulaix says:

    How about new Joe Matt? He must be on at least page three or four of his latest project, grunt.

  6. patrick ford says:

    I’ve got ZAP and it’s easily available. I want the complete Garret Price WHITE BOY/SKULL VALLEY, the complete HELP! (Warren magazine edited by Kurtzman), Vol. three of Krigstein, and that would be good enough.

  7. Paul Tumey says:

    WHITE BOY is in the works… not sure if will come out in 2014, but fingers crossed we’ll see it someday. Also, I’m happy to report the first BUNGLE FAMILY collection in 37 years will be published this year (I get to write the intro — woo hoo!).

  8. Patrice Chevraulaix says:

    Outstanding news on both those volumes! Can you say anything of the extent of the content in the new Bungle book? Best-of, long runs, complete (?) or what.

    Also, Hi Pat. We should go for a ride some time — your car or mine.

  9. patrick ford says:

    Paul, That is literally thrilling news about WHITE BOY. And please say SKULL VALLEY will be included as well.

  10. Scott Grammel says:

    I’ll believe the White Boy book when I see it. As with the now-long-promised Wolverton sci-fi/horror tales collection. And Cabbie Vol. 2.

    Still, the announcement of large, full-color, absolutely gorgeously-designed hardcovers of the Alley Oop Sunday strips is, so far, my reprint news of the year.

  11. Wait, wait! Who’s putting out this Alley Oop Sundays book?

  12. R. Fiore says:

    Dark Horse. Also doing a Gasoline Alley Sundays book, along with the Tarzan Sundays books.

  13. R. Fiore says:

    The Bungle book is a one year run in the LOAC Essentials series.

  14. Patrice Chevraulaix says:

    The Alley Oop book and the first two Gasoline Alley books are all on amazon, with covers (atrociously ugly, BTW).

    Curious why D&Q is going backwards with their next Walt & Skeezix volume… I hope they continue with volume 6, etc. at some point.

  15. Patrice Chevraulaix says:

    Oh shit, I fucking hate that format. Yeah, makes a lot of sense for a book to be 12 times as wide as it is high, when opened up to read. Brilliant. Might as well collect the original strip cuttings as they’ll probably last longer. Also, one year? Didn’t the strip run for a quarter of a century? Well, I’ll take what I can get I guess.

    (Regarding stupid formats; I feel the same about the FBI Barnaby books – extraordinary comics – but they couldn’t have made it taller and run three strips a page? Designers understand that the objects they design have to function in the real world, right? And are subject to physics and so on?)

  16. R. Fiore says:

    Well, aren’t you Mr. Sunshine? The Bungle Family is no doubt going in the Essentials line due to its limited commercial potential. I myself am quite fond of the Essentials format, and I don’t see how anyone above the age of six would have trouble handling it. I remember looking at syndicate proofs for the Fantagraphics Little Orphan Annie collections and thinking what a good format it was for a daily strip. The format for the Barnaby book is completely conventional; there must be hundreds of strip reprints of similar size. I suppose you will be appalled to hear that the Dark Horse Sunday Strip books are 16 x 12 (Alley Oop I suspect will be a little narrower since it was originally tabloid size, I think). I haven’t seen their Tarzan books but I read disturbing things in the Amazon reviews — slick paper and things like that.

  17. Tony says:

    The maverick guy from Classic Comics Press is trying to do FRIDAY FOSTER but…

  18. RODNEY MENDOZA says:

    Would love to see a collection of Kreigh Collin’s “Kevin the Bold” and A.C. Hollingsworth’s run on “Scorchy Smith”.

  19. Scott Grammel says:

    They’re hard to find, but at least the early Alley Oops ran in some papers in the larger full size. As for Dark Horse’s (by almost all accounts) shaky reprinting on the Tarzan pages, it is a concern looking at these other, similar projects, but considering how long it took even Fantagraphics to fix the too-loud coloring in their new Barks series, I’m going to cross my fingers that similar improvements are possible at DH as they go along.

    I will say that, from the sampling I’ve seen, there are an awful lot of pretty pedestrian Gasoline Alley Sunday pages in those early years, if not most of them. I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised, but not expecting it.

  20. GFK says:

    And a second volume of Feiffer’s Village Voice strips?

    Seconded. And please, send a hundred roses a day to Shary Flenniken or kidnap her pets or something, until she agrees to give a troubled world what it has so long needed.

    Compilations for Gluyas Williams and Paul Coker Jr. would also be more than wonderful.

  21. Patrice Chevraulaix says:

    Well shit, if they’re gonna crowdsource everything they publish, they could at least take requests

  22. Andrew Mansell says:

    I e-mailed Dean Mullaney about White Boy a few years ago and he told me it was already in the planning stages… Fingers crossed. Just to chime in about LOAC volumes. As I age (I can’t stop it!!!) it gets harder and harder to read any samplings of The Gumps and The Bungle Family–as well as a few others. I think that the strip per page format is ideal for the massive word count of Tuthill’s word balloons. I thought I’d never ever make it through any sizeable chunk of the Gumps–I had to bail out of the excerpt in the back of Walt and Skeezix II– too small for these aged eyes, but LOAC II made it quite readable. The best format I’ve ever seen is the ol’ SpecProductions/Bill Blackbeard editions of the The Dingbat Family (Upstairs) dailies at their original size.

  23. Andrew Mansell says:

    I saw the bunch that Russ Cochran reprinted a few years ago and yeah, it was a few years away from the innovative strips found in the Sunday Press Edition. Anyone who has not had a chance to read Hamlin’s work is in for a real treat. And I personally want more King Aroo!!!!

  24. Phil Larrabee says:

    Oh lookee! Complete Zap, 11/5/14, a bargain at $500 (?)

    Also, Nancy Vol. 3 (10/20/14) and – best news – McGuire’s ‘Here” from Pantheon (10/7/2014) 320 pages (!?)

    There, see Spurgeon – found my own links, you’re welcome Big Boy.

  25. Brian Collins says:

    Rodney, I have many Kevin the Bolds, more than a third of the entire run (1950-1968). Strips are in varying condition. I’d love to get this published somehow (there are some years that are complete) but I don’t know how to proceed. I love the strip but I’m biased (it was illustrated by my grandfather) but don’t know how well a book would be received. I was thinking a blog or a website might be the way to go.

    Any ideas? There was a nice article in the NY Times (1/10/14) about printed collections of old strips.


  26. Dave Hartwell says:

    So far I’ve only read the Herriman Baron Bean V.1 in the LOAC format, and thoroughly enjoyed both the format and the strips. Damn, is that some of the cleanest/tight art by Herriman, or am I overreacting. Funny and superb! I only hope it doesn’t take many more years before we see the rest of the run.
    I’ve also heard that Herriman’s “Stumble Inn” might be in the works??

  27. Joe Procopio says:

    Dear Brian Collins,

    Please get in touch with me at your earliest convenience. I am working on a book project involving your grandfathers work, and would very much like to discuss with you.

    Hope to hear from you!


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