Monday, August 26, 2013

Wizard King

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

As appreciative as I am about the fact that Titan Books is publishing full editions of Brent Parker and John Hart's Wizard of Id, I can't understand why they started their series with 1971. They are doing one book a year, the third now being announced for next September. I guess tehy took a similar approach as they did with their Beetle Bailey reprints, starting in the year the strip really took off. If that is the case, they are mistaking popularity for quality, because The Wizard of Id was one of those strips that really found teir style and characters very quickly. The daily series started in november 1964 and the style and characters were set within a year. The Sunday was added very quickly, too. The earliest Sundays I have are in black and white and from late 1964, only a couple of months after the strip started. The earliest color scan I have is from 1965, with some more in 1966. As you can see from those there is no reason the reprint series shouldn't have started with 1966. Maybe they can still work their way backward to that year or even the first two. I for one would love to see how Hart and Parker developed what is possibly the funniest newspaper strip ever.


Smurfswacker said...

I agree with you. In its heyday "Wizard of Id" was one of the funniest strips out there. I first got to know it around 1967-68 when I left home to attend college. At the time we considered "Wizard" very hip and intellectual, which is strange in retrospect because most of the gags are simply funny, not deep. Unfortunately like many big strips it eventually slipped into endlessly repeating the same situations. There should be a time limit on successful humor strips.

Robertryan Cory said...

Oh man, it's like you can read my mind on what I like to see. First Cole, now Brant Parker. His art on the early WoI strips is some of the most confident, interesting cartooning I can think of. What I really enjoy about is how long he experimented with proportions and shorthand for each character. He really tried to find the perfect look.

I found that rather than hunt down the original strips (which I did early on), I started hunting for these giant treasury editions in Australia of all places. Apparently the comic was popular there. I have a few dozen of these collections and they reprinted them without cutting up the strips like they did here in the U.S.

As always, loving the posts!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I have quite a few of those Australian ooks as well and for the casual collector they are more than enough. The only thing that woul make me buy new books, would be a cheap and simple complete collection. If only Titan would indicate that they were going to do the early years as well at som epoint, I would gladly invest in the books they are doing now.

Brett Koth said...

Great stuff, Ger! Did the spirit in the vat ever have a name?