Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Iconic Nancy

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

Up till now Fantagraphics has published three books of Nancy dailies. Nothing wrong with those, I bought all three of them, even though they seem to cover an accidental stretch of time in the late forties. Why not the beginning of the strip, as you would do in a complete series? And why not the later, more odd years that are often featured in overview collections? In fact, if you are not going to do a complete series, why not do a new and better overview of the series and it's origins. I think it fits in with Fantagraphics policy of only doing books about established name authors. Since overview collections have already been done and the strip is not commercial enough for a full complete reprint series, these six years from the late forties seem like as good a period as any. And who knows, maybe they justified it by saying these were his prime years, although I don't think you could say that with an artist as consistently odd and bland (at the same time) as Bushmiller. My secret guess is that is what they had from someone's collection and looking further than that would have been more trouble than they wanted to go into. At least, that is how they did their Jack Cole and Hank Ketcham collections. But if anyone wants involved wants to rectify me on that, I'll be glad to hear it.

And maybe then I can ask them why the dailies were chosen and the Sundays ignored. As remarkable as Nancy is, I find the Sunday (especially in their full three tier format) to be where Bushmiller truly shines. His sense of pacing is remarkable and with more than the four panels at his disposition that he has in the dailies, he can show what he can do without restrain. Given the chance i would have chosen the Sundays from the early forties. While scanning a couple of those, I saw i still had a bunch from the early fifties I hadn't shared with you yet. So here is a little something to tide you over. By this tie, the strips were already a bit more bland, but Bushmiller's sense of pacing is still remarkable.

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