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Classic/retro comic strips thread

Old 11-05-19, 11:03 AM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Started the third Pogo book the other day. I'm still blown away by how amazing this strip is. Not that I would expect all comic strip artists to emulate Kelly's style or detail, but todays' comics honestly are a pale excuse for what was. *sigh*

This volume introduces Simple J. Malarkey - a swipe at Joseph McCarthy. I'm aware of this section by reputation and am looking forward to delving into it! I already read the notes in the back (these Pogo volumes have an incredible amount of extras!) and was semi-shocked at how McCarthy's tactics are mimicked by our current president!

I cannot rush these books because there's too much detail in the writing and art to take in.
Old 11-07-19, 06:22 AM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I have the first two Pogo volumes coming today. I'm really looking forward to these.
Old 11-07-19, 11:42 AM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I'm reading Bringing Up Father: From Sea to Shining Sea published by IDW. It's fun, and the art is beautiful. But it's a gag-a-day strip and I can only read a couple of pages at a time. Artist George McManus started the strip on a tour of the US and it got out of hand. He has his characters visit everywhere. It's good stuff.

I recognized one of the locations. They drive their car up La Bajada Hill between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The old dirt road was incredibly steep. I've walked up it. McManus must have been using post cards as source material.

On the other hand, I bought the first volume on Little Orphan Annie and got irritated at it. This poor child is so abused by the system, and every chance for good fortune is dangled in front of her and then jerked away, and she cries, and then she stiffens her upper lip and pluckily carries on. It is not to my taste. I thought she would be having adventures, like the strips I read in the 1970s. But it's more of a weepy/exposť.

Anyone want to buy a partly-read copy of Little Orphan Annie, Volume 1?
Old 11-26-19, 02:02 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I enjoyed the old Bringing Up Father books I got, but agree that it gets tedious when taken in too large a quantity. Curious about the Sea to Shining Sea series, and may look into that later (when I've caught up on all the other books waiting to be read!).

Just finished the third Pogo book. Incredible stuff. I think the fifth volume is the last, so I may feel the need to start hunting down the paperbacks to continue my Pogo Journey. Something that I became more aware of is Walt Kelly's use of fonts for his dialog. I had always noticed before how Deacon spoke in an Olde English font, but hadn't really realized just how much the rest of the dialog was "choreographed" to almost perform as a character itself. To my mind, Kelly was a master at his craft!

Well, I'm off to start a fan club somewhere ...
Old 11-26-19, 02:48 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I’ve loved the Pogo I’ve sampled over the years, and have been ordered those hardcover collections. Debating starting it tonight, or Don Rosa’s life and times of Scrooge McDuck.
Old 11-26-19, 03:04 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post

On the other hand, I bought the first volume on Little Orphan Annie and got irritated at it. This poor child is so abused by the system, and every chance for good fortune is dangled in front of her and then jerked away, and she cries, and then she stiffens her upper lip and pluckily carries on. It is not to my taste. I thought she would be having adventures, like the strips I read in the 1970s. But it's more of a weepy/exposť.

Anyone want to buy a partly-read copy of Little Orphan Annie, Volume 1?
My attitude changed on LOA when I was stuck in a B&N with a friend and had to kill a few hours. They had a copy of Vol. 3 sitting on the shelf, so I figured that would be a good chance to peruse it at length and see why so many people seemed to have a high opinion of it, since it always looked totally unappealing to me.
In that volume, one of the episodes has her caught in a storm at sea and eventually making her way to a deserted island with one of the ship's old hands where they have do a Robinson Crusoe. I read about twenty pages and I was hooked. I vowed to snap it up if I ever ran across a good deal on it. Not long after, Amazon had a warehouse deal so I was able to get it for under $20.
To this day, it's one of the only (the only?) IDW volumes of collected strips I've ever finished. I'm getting close on some others, but LOA is one that fully fascinated me.

I won't be going back to the previous two volumes, and I have about five more that jump around the time line ( Vol's 6,7,8,12, 14) because the storylines sounded interesting, or they introduce a pivotal supporting character, or I simply want to see how then world events shape it. It's gonna take me forever to finish those, so I don't feel drawn to pick up any more, though I am curious to see how ultra conservative Gray will react to certain events/trends of the fifties/sixties.

While there was definitely an aspect of what rubbed you the wrong way inherent in vol.3, it was also interspersed with a charmingly picaresque sense of adventure. Gray wears his politics, which are unapologetically anti-FDR/New Deal and pro-the inherent wisdom/generosity/natural superiority of the monied elite, blatantly on his sleeve. But I can't deny there is a lot of charm and appeal (and plot potential ) in Annie's unshakable "can do" drive. I don't know how well this will all wear over five more volumes, but then again a steady diet of anything is not appealing to me anymore.

re: Bringing Up Father - I had a slim collection of the strip put out in the eighties, that I loved. I was very happy to get FStSS, and am still happy I have it- but it's one that hasn't really grabbed me yet. I feel guilty and pull it out every once in a while, but after a page or two put it back on the shelf to collect dust. Sometime over the next month I want to force myself to devote some time to it because if I can get over the hump, and get it to click for me again, I want to be sure to grab the follow up volume before it goes OoP.

Before anything else I'm probably going to finish the first volume of Star Wars. I got about half-way through before I had to hit the road this past summer and haven't gotten back into the rhythm of reading anything again yet. I was enjoying it a whole lot more than I expected to, so picking it up again isn't going to seem like a forced endeavor.

Something the I did pick up recently and am greatly enjoying, in small doses, is Fantagraphics Fletcher Hanks compendium "Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All". I had one of the tpb volumes that I'd picked up used and cheap but never really got into it. This is a smaller, but thicker, HC that contains all his work, along with a fantastic introduction/bio. Reproduction is also sharper and more saturated on slicker paper.
For anyone unfamiliar with Hanks, these aren't newspaper strips, but they are retro, and full-on insane. Beautiful job by Fanta on the book production too.


And yeah. I have several volumes of Pogo I need to get to. I read a bit of the strip about thirty years ago and had the same reaction as Bronkster, so I know what's waiting for me. Just a matter of hitting on the right place in the rotation for it. Right now I'm already cycling through about twelve different things.
.


Last edited by Paul_SD; 11-26-19 at 03:16 PM.
Old 11-26-19, 04:11 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Originally Posted by Paul_SD View Post
re: Bringing Up Father - I had a slim collection of the strip put out in the eighties, that I loved. I was very happy to get FStSS, and am still happy I have it- but it's one that hasn't really grabbed me yet. I feel guilty and pull it out every once in a while, but after a page or two put it back on the shelf to collect dust. Sometime over the next month I want to force myself to devote some time to it because if I can get over the hump, and get it to click for me again, I want to be sure to grab the follow up volume before it goes OoP.
I have FStSS in the bathroom. We read a page or three at a time. It works great like that.

Something the I did pick up recently and am greatly enjoying, in small doses, is Fantagraphics Fletcher Hanks compendium "Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All". I had one of the tpb volumes that I'd picked up used and cheap but never really got into it. This is a smaller, but thicker, HC that contains all his work, along with a fantastic introduction/bio. Reproduction is also sharper and more saturated on slicker paper.
For anyone unfamiliar with Hanks, these aren't newspaper strips, but they are retro, and full-on insane. Beautiful job by Fanta on the book production too.
I reviewed the two paperback volumes of Fletcher Hanks farther up the thread. I love them because they're so off the wall.

And yeah. I have several volumes of Pogo I need to get to. I read a bit of the strip about thirty years ago and had the same reaction as Bronkster, so I know what's waiting for me. Just a matter of hitting on the right place in the rotation for it. Right now I'm already cycling through about twelve different things..
Just make sure you get to Pogo someday. I think it's right up your alley.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 11-26-19 at 04:16 PM.
Old 12-01-19, 10:21 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coming out January 14!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 12-04-19, 10:29 AM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I was going to order it because of your post, but I ordered it back in April.
Old 12-04-19, 12:25 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I was going to order it because of your post, but I ordered it back in April.
I had no idea it was available for preorder for so long! Heck, I didn't even know a 6th volume was coming out! I was under the misguided impression that 5 was the last. Hope they keep going!

Started into the first Buz Sawyer book last night. I don't recall, but it's possible that the newspaper we got when I was a kid carried it - the Roscoe Sweeney character struck some weird, faint memories for some reason! I'm gonna go do a bit of diggin' to see why.
Old 12-04-19, 04:41 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I was going to order it because of your post, but I ordered it back in April.
I almost ordered it again too, not seeing it in my Amazon history with 1-4, but luckily remembered that I ordered a 5/6 slipcase thru DCBS.
Old 12-04-19, 04:59 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Iíve been picking up digital volumes but I guess Iím only up to #3. Iíll get some more in the next Fantagraphics sale.
Old 12-05-19, 02:25 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I have FStSS in the bathroom. We read a page or three at a time. It works great like that.

I reviewed the two paperback volumes of Fletcher Hanks farther up the thread. I love them because they're so off the wall.

Just make sure you get to Pogo someday. I think it's right up your alley.

I went back in the thread to find your Hanks review. What a trip that was! All that enthusiasm for books that hadn't been released yet, some not even announced, and yet they've been sitting on my self untouched for years now.
I have to get back into the rhythm of sitting down regularly to read. My goal is to make a good sized dent in this stuff over the next couple months.

I enjoyed your take on Hanks. That's pretty much 100% how I see it. I will say I prefer the complete HC collection far more than I did the paperback volume I had. Nicer all around, and I think that uptick in the presentation has enhanced my enjoyment of the material overall. Though I don't know how compelling this stuff will be to upgrade for most people. Not very, I'm guessing.

My problem with Pogo was that I jumped around buying them. I think I'm missing vol.2 . I might be missing 4 also. I screwed myself out of being able to pick up the more economical two volume sets. I won't make that mistake again if they go past six.
Old 12-24-19, 01:03 AM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Loved Peanuts, Garfield, and Asterix. Used to collect the latter 2.
Old 03-14-20, 06:04 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

The 7th volume of Pogo (Pockets Full of Pie) is available for pre-order! Available in October!
Old 03-14-20, 06:36 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I'm still reading Pogo volume 6. It makes me laugh out loud, but the tone is different. Maybe it's that Kelly is relying on the characters for humor instead of the situation.

For example, four of the more aggressive characters get into a fight inside of Pogo's house while Pogo isn't home. Pogo's reaction is to jam a log against his front door so it can't open, sit down, and listen to the ruckus. Porky Pine walks by, asks what's going on, and then sits beside Pogo. That's a very funny sequence. I'm smiling as I type this. But it only works if the reader is completely familiar with all the characters. If the reader doesn't know the characters, there isn't much humor in the situation.

A comic from years earlier, where a bird moves into Albert's mouth and then insults Albert's housekeeping, doesn't expect the reader to know who all these people are to get the joke. The situation is funny.
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Old 03-15-20, 01:06 AM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I wasn't too familiar with Porky Pine when I started the books, but he quickly became one of my favorite characters. I'll be starting the 5th volume soon.
Old 10-07-20, 05:38 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Continuing with my interest in the early incarnations of comic strips, I came across (and bought!) a book on the first couple years (1930-33) of Blondie (and Dagwood). Very different from what we're used to in the current strip - which is still running ninety years later! Blondie's a flapper and Dagwood is a very spoiled rich kid living with his very rich parents. Parents don't like Blondie, and a lot of the strips center on the friction between them. It's a fun experience, if not a bit repetitious at times, but seeing the characters as they meet and fall in love is a kick! I just received the second (and last?) volume, which covers the next few years where they're married and meet most of the regulars that have continued all this time. The books are nice! About the same size as the Pogo volumes, and excellent reproduction quality. Fun stuff!


Old 10-07-20, 09:23 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I'm reading Popeye Volume 4: Plunder Island. I somehow missed it when I bought it years ago. I'm having a great time. With sixteen panels to work with every Sunday, Segar is able to plot a complete story in one page, or have a huge arc with a satisfying episode on each page. It's funny, it's dramatic, it's exciting, and it's sometimes scary.

The bottom strip is a gag-a-day about a couple who take in a mad scientist as a boarder. It's goofy fun.



Old 10-08-20, 12:45 AM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I'm reading Popeye Volume 4: Plunder Island. I somehow missed it when I bought it years ago. I'm having a great time. With sixteen panels to work with every Sunday, Segar is able to plot a complete story in one page, or have a huge arc with a satisfying episode on each page. It's funny, it's dramatic, it's exciting, and it's sometimes scary.

The bottom strip is a gag-a-day about a couple who take in a mad scientist as a boarder. It's goofy fun.



I've got the first three volumes (I haven't read the 3rd yet) and really enjoyed them. Sadly, the remaining books are a bit too pricey for me at this time.
Old 10-15-20, 01:20 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I didn't know they were so expensive. Abebooks lists just one used copy of Volume 5, and it's $300. I'm glad I bought them when they were new.
Old 12-28-20, 12:07 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Received Pogo Volume 7 and Barnaby Volume 4. I haven't looked at them yet.





Old 12-28-20, 02:22 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I was going to ask what Barnaby is, but Iíve probably asked in this thread already. It looks like Harold without the purple crayon.
Old 01-08-21, 01:56 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
I was going to ask what Barnaby is, but Iíve probably asked in this thread already. It looks like Harold without the purple crayon.
Barnaby has a fairy godfather, Mr O'Malley. He's real, but adults never see him. Mr O'Malley is an incompetent blowhard, card cheat, and fraud, but young Barnaby thinks he's great. Mr O'Malley leaves chaos in his wake through carelessness, but adults never never figure out why some piece of equipment broke at just the wrong time. Other characters include a 3 foot tall giant, a shy ghost, a sarcastic invisible elf, gangsters, policemen, an escaped lion, and of course Barnaby's baffled parents. (Calvin's parents were obviously influenced by Barnaby's parents.) It's quite funny in a low-key manner.
Old 01-31-21, 04:20 PM
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Re: Classic/retro comic strips thread

I started into the 2nd volume of Blondie (and Dagwood). They're now married, had a honeymoon and have set up a household. No kids or dog yet, but I'm still at the start. The more familiar dynamic is beginning to show a bit, but still with 1933 sensibilities. Really fun to experience this.

I've also been slogging through a book that covers the origins of Mutt and Jeff. Very different from the familiar 4-panel gags that came later. It started with only Mutt; Jeff comes in later as the strip develops. And - oh my goodness - some of the accepted racism from back then (1909-1913) is quite jarring! All through the lens of history, I guess.

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