Comics Stuff-ing

© Ward Sutton

Ward Sutton and The Village Voice start us off with a Thanksgiving Day comic.


Roadside America takes us to Lancaster, Ohio where they celebrate local boy made good with the headline Richard Outcault: Inventor of the Comic Strip.

Richard Outcault (1863-1928) was an American illustrator and creator of The Yellow Kid, the first published comic strip.

No matter how they phrase it, it is quite a stretch of the reality.


Let’s stop traveling and get us a bite to eat.

Historically, the title of one of worst theme park food courts in all of Orlando area belonged to Comic Strip Café. Comic Strip Café can be found within Toon Lagoon area of Islands of Adventure. Previously, Comic Strip Café served basic burgers, sandwiches, boring theme park pizza, fries, and milkshakes.

Now, most of those items have been replaced in a massive menu change late last week. You can still get a bacon cheeseburger, a chicken Caesar salad, and a chicken sandwich. Yet, nothing else of former menu remains. The majority of new menu consists of arepas and Asian food now.


© Dave Sim and Carson Grubaugh

Mike beat me to linking to The Comics Journal review of The Strange Death of Alex Raymond,
so here’s Greg Burgas’ review at Atomic Junk Shop.

There’s no doubt that this is a masterpiece, a work of staggering genius by a creator who knows a thing or two about creating great comics. It’s also perhaps the most insane thing you will ever read, and I’m not sure it hasn’t driven me mad. It certainly seemed to drive both Sim and Grubaugh mad, as they appear in the book, and even if you don’t get into the weeds that they do, it’s still a profoundly weird reading experience. I love it as an exercise, I’m a bit horrified by it as an exegesis, and I’m saddened by it as an unfinished project that goes off on so many weird tangents that it feels like it could be double the length and still not be finished. It is truly and unabashedly unique, and we will probably never see anything like it again.


Another book.

Arriving at a time of tremendous growth and change in the North American comics market, American Comics: A History by Jeremy Dauber, released by Norton November 16, is a lively historical survey of the American comics medium across 150 years of literary and commercial development.

Publishers Weekly interviews the author of a new comics history.

Publishers Weekly: What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Jeremy Dauber: Trying to figure out what to keep in and what had to come out; this is a massive story, and I tried to put as much of that in as I possibly could in a way that was sort of coherent, interesting, significant, narratively fun, while at the same time giving this kind of panoramic view of great books that I think people would enjoy. But there was still all sorts of stuff that I loved, that was interesting, that you couldn’t keep in because otherwise, the book would have been three times as long as it already is.


Comics historian Michael Tisserand reviews the book for The New York Times.

Dauber, who teaches a course on graphic novels at Columbia University, has written a scholarly survey that is both opinionated and frequently funny. He starts things off with the 19th-century cartoonist Thomas Nast … From there Dauber traces the turn-of-the-century explosion of newspaper comics, the advent of comic books, underground comics, fan culture, and finally graphic novels and web comics.

The biggest miss, however, is in newspaper comic strips.

Dauber trips up on early newspaper history at times, mangling the story of how William Randolph Hearst came to call his New York newspaper The American … He skips over decades of vital mid-20th-century newspaper work, often bringing up the strip cartoonists only when making a point about their decline or commercialization … with rare exceptions such as Jules Feiffer’s legendary run in The Village Voice, alternative weekly newspapers are not given their due as springboards for cartoonists …

Still, the story Dauber tells is a mighty one.


© Brian McFadden

Brian McFadden, for The Nib, presents the career highlights of an alternative cartoonist.


© King Features Syndicate

In 1970 The Tucson Citizen (1870-2009) celebrated its centennial and “comic strip artists penned original artwork in 1970 for the 100th anniversary.” re-presents the 15 illustrations. What stood out to me was Frank Edgington’s Rex Morgan – I don’t remember ever seeing an Edgington drawing of Rex Morgan without Marvin Bradley.

© King Features Syndicate


© Whitney Lee Savage

A year before 1970 Mickey Mouse joined the army and was sent to Vietnam.

“Short Subject” (AKA “Mickey Mouse in Vietnam”) is a black and white cartoon from 1969 starring Mickey Mouse. Running a little over a minute long the cartoon tells the story of Mickey enlisting to serve in the Vietnam War.

Details at Boing Boing.