Some miscellaneous items from the recent past.
On this day 25 years ago, Bill Watterson’s iconic comic strip Calvin and Hobbes bid us farewell. To take us on a path down memory lane, here are some of the best Calvin and Hobbes strips created.
Comics were so central to the newspaper id they often wrapped the outer pages of the Sunday edition in full color—like a Christmas gift. Perhaps it was a sly way for publishers to tell readers to take a day off from their troubles; perhaps it was an easy item to peel away and toss to the kids for a couple of hours of reading bliss.
But as the power of print media has faded in modern life, so too has the influence of that unique form of storytelling—the comic strip.
When Bellingham cartoonist Doug Ogg first offered his quirky comic panels, I leapt at the chance to include them in the pages of the Weekly in its various incarnations over the years—here was a chance to support a local artist in a form I love. “Ogg’s World” is less the sharp bite of “Doonesbury” and “Bloom County” and more the loving licks of “The Far Side” and “Bizzaro”—and for that there is a timeless quality to the collection of his panels in book form.
Since the subject of alternative newspapers has come up…
The Village Voice has come under new ownership, and will relaunch starting next month, The New York Times reports. According to The Times, the publication has been purchased by Brian Calle, current owner of LA Weekly and chief executive of Street Media. Calle plans to relaunch The Village Voice digitally in January 2021, with quarterly print issues to follow early in the year.
While in mainstream newspapers…
As we wrap up 2020 — good riddance, right? — I wanted to share some news about a change coming to our Sunday comics pages.
We’re adding a new comic, called “Phoebe and her Unicorn,” beginning Sunday, Jan. 3. It will replace the long-running strip, “Andy Capp.”
I must admit there’s been some excitement around my house when I announced this decision to my 9-year-old daughter. She’s been reading the Phoebe graphic novels for nearly a year now and can’t seem to get enough.
Phoebe and Marigold will be some kids’ memories, now we veer to your childhood:
Maybe I’m showing my age with that, but I’m sure many can remember when you only had three TV channels in the cartoons were classic. We’re talking Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry, and my favorite Martin[sic] the Martian.
Okay, maybe her memory is a little faulty, but Lisa Marie is looking forward to the new year.
Apparently animation magazines are making a comeback.
Sadly, print magazines dedicated to animation are a delicate business. Many have sprouted over the years, only to fade away after a few issues. It isn’t often that we can celebrate the existence of three young, high-quality mags at the same time.
Best print with a spine.
But to start: disclaimer time! When we write “The Best Books of 2020,” what we really mean is “our favorite design books that we came across in 2020.”
Though many publications might be hesitant to admit it, lists like this are wildly subjective, and there are no doubt brilliant books that we didn’t come across. But these are the ones we did, and these are the ones we fell in love with this year as we’ve hunkered down in quarantine.
Herewith: Our annual Best Art and Design Books of 2020 list, representing a broad swath of visual culture, from the high to the low to the ephemeral to the essential to the vital, and all manner of ground in between.