Comics

The Comics Restoration Renaissance

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Ben Schwartz in the New York Times discusses the glorious golden age of comic strip reprint projects we are currently living through–a phenomenon I've celebrated both at the American Spectator and here on Hit and Run.

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  1. The Peanuts books are fantastic. I have purchased each one the day it came out. My only complaint is why on earth they are only producing one per year.

  2. Make that two per year.

  3. I don’t care how nicely printed or well-curated the collected Peanuts reprints are.

    They still aren’t funny.

  4. I treasure my Far Side collections. But honestly, most comics mystify me. I used to read Doonesbury back in the day. I grew out of all the “quaint” stuff like Hi and Louis, For Better or Worse, etc. And I never understood why anyone would read stuff like Apt 3g or Gasoline Ally. No plot, no humor, no point at all as far as I could tell.

  5. “I don’t care how nicely printed or well-curated the collected Peanuts reprints are.

    They still aren’t funny.”

    No accounting for taste. I would, however, reccomend that you read the ones from the 1960s and 70s when Shulz was really on his game before you make that statement. I will be the first to admit that he wasn’t that funny anymore in his last few years.

  6. I taught myself to read by pouring through Peanuts collections. I will probably pick those up as well just to be a good consumer.

    Looking back, I never really thought that they were supposed to be funny.

  7. John,
    I don’t know. I’ve got a Peanuts collection from when Violet and Pig Pen featured prominently. It’s easy to spot the punch lines, but I’d look down my nose at anyone getting a good belly laugh out of it. There’s some cultural commentary, and a little post modern folk wisdom, but it’s all so wishy-washy. Nothing I’d consider insightful or well crafted.

  8. “Nothing I’d consider insightful or well crafted.”

    I would have to go back through the books to give good examples and I won’t bore everyone with them. Pick up the 1960 through 1962 collection in a book store sometime and just read. I think you might change your opinion. They are really a dark and well crafted view of the human condition.

  9. The words comics and restoration should not be used in the same sentence if used in a complimentary sense. Any comic fanboy should know this.

  10. If the NYT wants to help save newspaper comics, why don’t they start printing some?

    Kevin

  11. I highly recommend Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969 by Dan Nadel. A fine survey of dozens of unjustly forgotten artists.

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