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?