Monday, October 20, 2003

Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Comics Revue

Comics Revue is possibly the only sustained effort to reprint American comic strips on a regular basis, where the material has mostly been chosen according to aesthetic considerations rather than what was available or what was cheap. From the beginning, its editorial decisions have been driven mostly by knowledge and appreciation of the comics form on the part of the people putting it out
I haven't read comics on a regular basis since I cancelled my X-Men subscription in 1991 because I wanted to spend more time and money on computers. But this looks like something I could really get into.

When I was about ten years old, I got some junk mail from the Smithsonian Institutition offering me "membership" in their organization. My parents agreed to pay for it, which turned out to be the same thing as a subscription to Smithsonian magazine, and endless offers to buy various books published by them. The only book we bought was The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics ( see here and here, which I ended up reading cover to cover many times.

Reprints of pre-1950 strips are hard to find in the bookstores and even public libraries among the endless Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes collections. I had no idea that all this time there's been a monthly publication devoted to this sort of thing.