Play for pay

I just got a copy of the latest Walt and Skeezix, vol 5. It comes with a DVD of home videos filmed by the strip’s creator, Frank King.

It comes with a DVD of home videos filmed by the strip’s creator, Frank King.

This madness must stop. Publishers D&Q obviously feel a need to cram these reprints with supplementary biographical material; alas, they blew their load too early with all the photos etc. in the first few volumes, and there’s nowhere left to go but more and more elaborate. At this rate, Vol.6 will contain a 3,000 page fold-out family tree of King’s ancestors, all the way back to mitochondrial Eve. For Vol. 7, Chris Ware will come to the house of each and every person who buys a copy, and deliver a ten hour presentation on King’s life and technique.

(The first twenty minutes is the formal presentation; the remainder is a protracted bout of self-effacement and apologising from Ware.)

Vol. 8, and all volumes thereafter, will be double the length, as it starts the collection of a parallel strip (drawn by Ware and written by Joe Matt, when he can drag himself away from his pee jar) chronicling King’s life, from the moment of his birth, in daily comic strip form. But whereas Gasoline Alley was published in “real time”, each daily strip covering one day in the life of the characters, each episode of the  biographical strip will cover one hour in King’s life. It will be titled The Life and Opinions of Frank King, Gentleman.

Vol 9? Four words, my friend: Mark Gruenwald, Squadron Supreme

The thing is, I myself am, basically, not interested in other people’s lives. It adds nothing to my appreciation of an artist to know that for fifty years he favoured Cheerios at the breakfast table, the honey-nut ones yo. Critical essays on various facets of their work or career, I like those things that you also find in today’s Golden Age of Reprints Reprints, but all the crap about where they lived and what route they took on their morning walks and how they tied their shoes, feh.

You might say, ‘Come on, Jones, could you be any more the ungrateful Comic Book Guy? What’s more typical of the entitled fan than complaining about too much of something, which they don’t have to read and can just ignore anyway, so why don’t they just let other people enjoy it if they want? It doesn’t cost you anything.’

To which I say, actually, it does cost me. For the money that Drawn and Quarterly spent producing the DVD, they could have paid someone to give each reader a handjob (or the gender-appropriate equivalent). I hear Joe Matt is free.

So: where’s my handjob, Drawn and Quarterly? Where’s my handjob?

3 Responses to “Play for pay”

  1. Comics A.M. | Calvin and Hobbes watercolor sells for $107,000 | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

    [...] Commentary | Jones sees the DVD of Frank King’s home videos, included in Vol. 5 of Drawn and Quarterly’s Walt and Skeezix collection, as a desperate move by a publisher that wants to include supplemental material but has used up all the good stuff. What’s next? “At this rate, Vol.6 will contain a 3,000 page fold-out family tree of King’s ancestors, all the way back to mitochondrial Eve. For Vol. 7, Chris Ware will come to the house of each and every person who buys a copy, and deliver a ten hour presentation on King’s life and technique. (The first twenty minutes is the formal presentation; the remainder is a protracted bout of self-effacement and apologising from Ware.)” It spirals downward from there… let’s just say Joe Matt gets mentioned as well. [Let's You and Him Fight] [...]

  2. Dave Says:

    Wow, are you truly that out of ideas for this masterful thing you call a column? The GA volumes are reasonably priced even without all the great bonus material. Other, more insightful readers might treasure the glimpses of the actual man behind this classic and maybe discern something from the strip through these observations. But you, on the other hand, are apparently too busiy searching for tongs long enough to reach whatever crawled up and died in your anus..

  3. Jones, one of the Jones boys Says:

    Apart from that, Dave, how did you like the joke? (Although, maybe I really was seriously demanding sexual favours from an art comics publsher?)

    Anyway, your tongs line is pretty funny

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