I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got 4 new comic plus a trade paperback collection:

  • Usagi Yojimbo – 109
  • Grendel Behold The Devil 3 (of 8)
  • The Authority Prime – 4
  • Jack Staff Special -1
  • The Invaders Classic TPB
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read this week.

  • “Walt and Skeezix Vol. 2 1923-1924 ” Frank O. King
  • This is the second collection of the “Gasoline Alley” comic strip. The newspaper still owns the name “Gasoline Alley” so this book is named after the two main characters. I think these actual strips might be in the public domain but I’m not sure. The book has obviously been made in conjunction with the King family because the introduction is loaded with old family photographs and anecdotes.

    I loved the first volume of this and wrote an appreciation of it and this second volume is just as good. We get more of the day to day life of “Uncle” Walt and his adopted son Skeezix. I find it fascinating to read an everyday account of life in a US town in the 1920’s. The strip has it’s characters age in real time so Sheezix grows up in front of us. The strip is as lively today as it was eighty five years ago.

    Along with everyday life we get cross country trips in automobiles, the drama of Skeezix’s legal adoption, and the mystery of where he came from. It’s a good humored strip that rambles and meanders its way around a gag in a way that today’s “it’s all about the last panel” comics don’t do anymore.

    Another thing that you don’t see on the comics page anymore is full figures. Most strips in “Gasoline Alley” have full figures in every panel. All of the characters are drawn from head to toe. Plus there are lots of backgrounds. That creates a rich full world for everybody to act in and makes it all believable and absorbing. Today’s comics which are printed much smaller have almost all of the art stripped out of them. We have a series of talking heads leading to a joke in the last panel. I’m not a “everything was better in the past” kind of guy but “Gasoline Alley” is a Cadillac to today’s average comic strip Pinto.

    I can’t say enough good things about this book. Having never read “Gasoline Alley” before the first Walt and Skeezix collection I’m glad they printed it for me to buy and discover. We are in the middle of a golden age of comic strip reprints and Walt and Skeezix lead the way.