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Lulu print-on-demand now ready with 2 Universal books

Last May I blogged about Universal Press teaming up with, an on-demand printing company, to allow comic fans the ability to create their own books and calendars from their favorite comic features. The first two features are now ready for order: Clear Blue Water, by Karen Montague-Reyes, and Come Here Often?’ Bad Pickup Lines and Other Dating Atrocities a The Fusco Brothers collection by J.C. Duffy.

Community Comments

#1 Holmes!
@ 2:41 pm

Good gravy, are they trying to scuttle the whole endeavor before it takes off? Fusco is tolerable, but CBW is horrid. I guess it makes sense to offer titles that wouldn’t have a great shot at selling in a traditional print run, but I would think that they’d seed the pot with something more solid.

#2 Alan Gardner
@ 2:48 pm

I think that’s the point of Lulu – allow fans of features that might not be best sellers a chance to buy a book. I enjoy King Feature’s “A Lawyer, A Doctor & A Cop” and would love to give a book collection to my father (a lawyer), but I doubt that feature sell enough copies through traditional publishing to make it worth it for King. Lulu would be a great solution for a situation like this.

#3 Eric Burke
@ 8:55 pm

There are so many strips that I also would love to have a collection of but probably won’t see a book collection, that Lulu can really fill that need. I hope it’s successful…

…while I can’t stand Fusco Bros.Clear Blue Water. I really like Karen’s writing, and she’s one of the nicest, most honest cartoonists that I’ve met online. Very helpful. My POV on Clear Blue Water is much like that of readers that enjoyed Unfit, so I can understand why someone wouldn’t like Clear Blue Water…here’s hoping Lulu is a success! It’s a great avenue for cartoonists, and one that’s long overdue…

#4 Danny Burleson
@ 1:42 am

For one thing, Alan, your number adding DNA-existence checker thingy expects us to know sums past 10?! Sheesh! tough security.

Anyway, not the best starting line-up but I imagine it’ll get better. I like how they have a dig-download for cheap. What would be cool is if Universal and Lulu teamed up even tighter and had a make “your-own-book” system where you could review low-res toons from multiple sereis and compile them into one volume, kind of like a mix tape with cartoons.

#5 gregory fink
@ 3:56 pm

I think the idea of select a strip and build a book is a solid one. Most of the strips they have no faith in, such as the wonderful heart of the city or the late lammented `james’ would be great this way.

hope they smarten up and do something more than just give a few weak sellers another outlet. I can understand the business end of that decision but wow, Fusco Brothers? not to be mean but it is not my cup of tea at all. Have not seen clear blue water so cannot comment.

Would be nice if the archives opened and old strips could be ordered as well. not everything that ran is going to get a peanuts style reprint but would still be nice to have a few of the more obscure titles on the shelf. Bobo’s progress jumps immediately to mind as do several others.

Best all,

#6 Eric Burke
@ 9:47 am

Man, was James a great strip or what? That Mark Tonra had two great strips that deserved better. I loved his style!

I really thought James would grow into that category of great strips that are a notch under the and of the funny pages, but it weren’t to be, sadly…

#7 Eric Burke
@ 9:48 am

Man, was James a great strip or what? That Mark Tonra had two great strips that deserved better. I loved his style!

I really thought James would grow into that category of great strips that are a notch under the Peanuts, Calvin’s, Bloom County’s, and of the funny pages, but it weren’t to be, sadly…

#8 Sandra Bell-Lundy
@ 12:19 pm

If Alan has not already removed my previous post…let me clarify…my comments did not completely load.

I refered to the comment made by Holmes that “CBW is horrid”…
I went on to say that I began reading Clear Blue Water out of professional curiousity. Although, I was not initially attracted to Karen’s art, I have come to enjoy it as a distinct aspect of CBW’s world. Eve is a great character. I love the vulnerability she shows as a mother of an autistic child, her liberal-leanings, her impatience and especially her temper. As they say, one person’s garbage is another person’s treasure…
I will be buying her book.

#9 Holmes!
@ 3:04 pm

I’ve heard many people say that they enjoy CBW’s characters and writing. I just can’t get past the lack of craft that the strip evinces. I guess I’m more hung up on craft than many, but the amount of strips reaching syndication without fundamental competence in lettering and inking takes me aback.

I’ve always been the sort to read the comics pages from top-to-bottom, from Love Is… to Mark Trail. It’s only been in the last ten years or so that there have appeared comics that are so offensive to look at that I can’t bear to take the ten seconds to read them. The funnies haven’t been subject to such a degree of amateurism since the days of T.E. Powers, who could only owe his livelihood to the inexplicable patronage of Hearst…

My completely unasked for advice to these comickers is to take on a partner. I can’t be the only one to turn off to features because of their slipshod art; by bringing in a solid draftsperson, it can only help to make the strip as wonderful as it can be. Liberty Meadows was the flip side of this problem; attractive art with no humor or direction. Again, a partnership could have made it into a first-rate piece of work.

To switch gears, let us now praise unjustly obscure men.

Mark Tonra was a fantastic draftsman with an unerring sense of design and a wonderful sense of humor. This is a fellow who should be on track to join the pantheon of comic greats.

The same goes, but double, for Dan Wright and Tom Spurgeon of Bobo’s Progress. How anyone could look at that strip and fail to fall in love with Dan’s lush line work and wonderful character designs, I just don’t know. The fact that it was one of the laugh-out-loud funniest strips since Calvin and Hobbes compounds the tragedy of its demise. I’ve gotta think that its overt religious setting didn’t set well with readers, but I’m a devout atheist and I found the strip’s message and milieu delightful.

#10 Eric Burke
@ 8:38 pm

Hope this link works:

You would think that with the recent and current relegious environment in this country that a strip with Bobo’s vibe would have seen a increase in papers…

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