September 6, 2012 at 11:30 am By:

In previous Feast Your Eyes posts we’ve looked at IDW’s jaw-dropping Artists Editions.  This time we’ll turn to another side of the medium.  Let’s look at  the great comic strips of old.  Fantagraphics under the editorship of comic historian Richard Marshall offers up a beautiful over-sized showcase of Johnny Gruelle’s near forgotten fantasy masterpiece Mr. Twee-Deedle.  Gruelle became world-famous at the turn of the century for inventing the iconic characters Raggady Ann and Andy.  In 1911, when it came time for the New York Herald to find a suitable front page replacement for Little Nemo, they smartly turned to Mr. Gruelle who developed a on-going strip about a a pixie named Mr. Twee-Deedle. It ran for almost seven years. The strips collected here (with a fascinating intro by Mr. Marshall) are a delightful selection of strips- a beautiful blend of story and art.  And this over-sized  book is an ideal showcase for this masterpiece.  Just look at this breath-taking example:
IDW offers an over-sized and over-stuffed collection of Cliff Sterrett’s masterpiece Polly and her Pals.  A Masterpiece with the title Polly and her Pals?Oh, Come on! No, seriously– for about a decade, the great cartoonist Sterrett explored cubism, impressionism, art deco styling and used it to great effect in this  full page Sunday comic.  The results are mind-blowing, delightful and at no extra charge–laugh-out-loud-funny!   The book collects a few handful of earlier strips and then explodes with a complete two year run from 1925 to 1927 as Sterrett goes from great comic craftsman to immortal comic artist worthy to be named in the same breath asHerriman, McCay, Feininger and yes, Gruelle.

And last but certainly not least, there is the second volume of Alex Raymond’s 1930s Sunday full page dual masterpiece Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim.

All of these books provide breathtaking art and they belong– both on your comic shelf and in your lap as you read and re-read these masterpieces over and over in the years to come.  Treat yourself, you deserve it.  But first you need to wander over to the other side of the store,  say Hi to Shelley or Phil or whomever is working at the computer station and then turn about and feast your eyes!!  There’s treasure on them there shelves!!!!

Filed Under: DISCUSS, Feast Your Eyes

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