It's that time again for yours truly to ramble on about upcoming collected editions of comics of a more classic
variety! Hopefully there's something here that catches your interest!
First up, if you fancy more Nancy
, the second volume of artist John Stanley's work will see release in summer of 2010. Canadian indie cartoonist Seth who has been doing a wonderful job designing the covers for the John Stanley series of reprints and Drawn & Quarterly (publisher) is offering a sneak peak of the new cover on their website. For your convenience I'm featuring it here. There's also a second volume of Melvin the Monster
on the way and that listing will be the new Previews that arrives this Wednesday, Nov. 25th.
IDW will be adding to its output of classic comic strip reprints with some exciting new offerings for next year! Coming in August 2010, IDW Publishing through its imprint, the Library of American Comics, "will launch a new oversized hardcover series with what historians and critics consider one of the essential masterpieces of comics strip art, Cliff Sterrett’s Polly and Her Pals." Polly and Her Pals: Complete Sunday Comics, 1925-1927
, will be a 176 page hard cover “Champagne edition” reproducing every one of Sterrett’s dynamic full-color Sunday pages from those years, in an extra large 12″ x 16″ format so that each can be fully appreciated.
Debuting 1912, Polly and Her Pals
was one of the first “pretty girl” strips, but it was in 1925 that Sterrett’s magnificent Sunday pages entered their peak period, as he developed a style with distinctive surreal perspectives, abstract backgrounds and bold, vibrant use of color. Art Spiegelman has written, “Polly and Her Pals
is a glorious composition… a happy pop synthesis of Art Deco, Futurism, Surrealism, Dada, and Pure Cartoon.”
“Some strips, such as Polly, need to be seen large,” says Dean Mullaney, Creative Director of the Library of American Comics. “We’ve created the oversized Champagne Edition format specifically for these Sunday pages.”
Another exciting strip that's getting the proper collected treatment from IDW next year is Secret Agent: X-9
. This strip was begun by writer Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man) and artist Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon, Rip Kirby). Syndicated by King Features, Secret Agent x-9
ran from January 22, 1934 until February 10, 1996, but Hammett and Raymond moved on early from the strip and from 1937 on the strip was continued by an assortment of other talents. It is largely for that reason IDW has decided to focus their reprints on the strips from 1967 to 1980, for in these years, the strip thrived with the most noteworthy team of creators it had since its inception. These were the years written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by Al Williamson, who together also collaborated on the Star Wars
comic strip, The Bounty Hunter of Ord Mantell, and their partnership continued until that strip's end final in 1984.
IDW sees Al Williamson's work on Secret Agent Corrigan as "one of the artistic highlights in the history of the American comic strip". Further stating "Williamson's delicate line-work, coupled with a style both realistic and atmospheric, enhanced the no-nonsense story of Corrigan". I think if you keep an eye out for this collection when it arrives, you'll firmly agree!
And speaking of delicate line work and realistic style, Williamson's idol, Alex Raymond, had an incredible example of his prowess as an artist arrive in our store last week, with the release of IDW's Rip Kirby Volume One collection. I've spent more than a few nights now poring over this book, and Raymond's work is stunning. The expression, "they don't make them like this anymore", comes to mind viewing his work and one look at this book will immediately explain why I feel this way. This level of draftsmanship is missing in comic strips today and there's only a handful of comic artists that bring this quality of line, style, and realism to their work. Raymond's art is a joy to behold, and this is one very classy strip. If you're a fan of his work the forward on Raymond alone might be worth the price of admission. I highly recommend it! The second volume is due in March 2010.
The last fun thing I'd like to point out this week references a post I did some time ago about comic artist contributions to that superb purveyor of films, the Criterion Collection, who are dedicated to gathering the greatest works of classic and contemporary, foreign and arthouse cinema on DVD. This time they too have tapped the design sensibilities of Seth for the cover for their upcoming release of Leo McCarey’s masterpiece, "Make Way for Tomorrow"(1937), "an enormously moving Depression-era depiction of the frustrations of family, aging, and the generation gap". This film is number 505 in the collection and will be available in February 2010.
Well, that's that for this week!
Until next time...
Labels: comic strips, cool comic creators, FYI, LF2LB