emb021 wrote:On a different note, I see that Kent State is putting out a series of hardback volumes of Funky Winkerbean. First volume covers the first 3 years. Have always been surprised that this strip, especially in the recent years with its storylines, has never been collected in any comprehensive form. I've only read bits and pieces of it, as it never ran in any paper I regularly read. For a while I was reading it on-line, tho.
Funky Winkerbean falls into that "post-Classic, pre-Garfield" era that I've mentioned in previous posts.
At the time Funky Winkerbean was started, the prevailing type of comic strip reprint was the "Fawcett", which basically consisted of selected strips (think of it as a series of best-ofs) in a thin, regular sized paperback.
Most of the strips of the "Fawcett" era have never received anything near a comprehensive reprint line. Back in the 1980s, publishers were reluctant to jump-back and reprint earlier strips, preferring to focus their efforts on newer properties like Bloom County, the Far Side, For Better and For Worse and eventually Calvin and Hobbes.
Currently, the 60's-70's era, particularly the humor strips, is pretty much being ignored by book publishers. LOAC, Fantagraphics et al are heavily focusing their efforts on "Classic" strips from the 1950s back. Ballantine, Andrews and McMeel, et al are focusing on the strips from today.
Strips like Funky Winkerbean just fall into a crack. They're not old enough to be considered "Classics" per se, and thus not yet of interest to the Classic strip publishers. And obviously they are not of interest to the New and Current strip publishers.
This isn't to say that they're haven't been reprints of some of the 60's-70's humor strips. Titan's done a few (Hagar, Wizard, Beetle Bailey) and even LOAC did two Family Circus volumes (still no word on a third volume). But outside of the Peanuts reprints, there hasn't been a real effort to do comprehensive reprints of most of these strips.
It's why I've made a major effort to pick up many of the Fawcett reprints. They are difficult to find, but aren't overly expensive (except for a few late 1980s volumes, when the Fawcett reprint line was shutting down). For now, it's really the only way to sample much of this material. Indeed, with the LOAC Family Circus reprints either indefinitely stalled or cancelled, the only way to experience the vast run of the strip is by picking up the old Fawcett reprints.
That's why I'm glad to hear that at least one strip from this era is actually going to get a comprehensive reprint line. While Funky Winkerbean wouldn't have been my first choice for a reprint - I do hope that the books do well enough to convince other publishers that there might actually be some money in reprinting these humor strips from the 1960s and 1970s.
I know I've got money sitting in my pocket should any publisher decide to start a comprehensive reprint of Beetle Bailey, B.C. and/or Crock. And Titan would really start getting more of my money if they'd do more Wizard and Hagar volumes.
Another reprint I'd love to see is the 1990's revival of Terry and the Pirates. I met Michael Uslan at Florida Supercon over the weekend, and took about five Sundays from my complete clipped collection of the strip for him to sign. I did tell him that I would pay money for a nice archival collection of the strip. He said he'd actually like to see one as well. Whether it would sell, who knows, but it does feature artwork from the Brothers Hildebrant during it's first year, so that could be a selling point to any publisher that would be interested.
Anyway, that's pretty much all for now. I have to get back to my reading, as I've had so many books show up in the last month. One week, I had six books from various publishers show up in my comic shop's pull box (in this case, the latest Secret Agent Corrigan, Little Orphan Annie, Buck Rogers Sundays, The Phantom, Prince Valiant and the first volume of Titan's Flash Gordon).