Monday, November 23, 2009

A New Golden Age (VI)

Whoa, a double-header! I set a new record for myself that will be nigh-unbreakable! Two blog posts in one day, er, night (though it's more of a book review, as you'll find out)!

Continuing with the comic BOOK theme from the last post, this post is about a new compilation of children's comics during the golden age of comics (1939-1960) titled Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited and selected by one of the modern cartooning greats, Art Spiegelman and his wife Francoise Mouly. (Note: I don't like Spiegelman and I don't care for most of his work, but just because I DON'T think he is great, does not mean that he is NOT. I hope things are clearer now.)

Anyway, this book was published in September and contains DOZENS of stories ranging from one-page gags to 20 page tales, and all are quite good. Several of the best craftsman of the golden age are represented in this tome--Sheldon Mayer, Walt Kelly, John Stanley, Carl Barks among others well-known and not-so-well-known.

The primary criterion for the selections (per the book's forward) were that each story were kid-friendly/appropriate. Having bought and just finished reading this book, I concur. It even contains short bios of each writer and artist, and is divided into five sections:
'Hey Kids!' (stories starring mischevious children); 'Funny Animals' (my favourite section, featuring Donald Duck, Screwball Squirrel, Pogo Possum and Albert Aligator, and others); 'Fantasyland' and 'Story Time' (involving new twists with familiar fairy tale characters and original, twisted tales involving oddballs like 'The Pied Prince of Pretzelburg'); and 'Wierd and Wacky', which in my opinion has very interesting though perhaps stories that are a little too bizarre for the littler young readers.

All in all, I believe this book was inspired in large part by the spate of golden-age comic strip reprint collections hitting the literary marketplace in recent years. And finally, I have to say that all prejudices aside, this is a most worthy book that could belong in pretty much anyone's library.


  1. Thank you Chris for the post on Tintin. We have enjoyed him immensely at All Saints Academy. Wish we could have more of him.

  2. Also, How about some comments on another historical comic strip - Prince Valiant.

  3. Already done! Check out the very first 'A new golden age' post. You'll find a post about a certain heir-apparent with a goofy haircut...