Introducing a new series that will reprint early daily newspaper strips that are essential to the history of comics. Each volume will contain a full year of dailies. By reproducing the strips one per page in an oblong format, it allows us to have the experience of reading the comics one day at a time. The inaugural volume of LOAC Essentials features Baron Bean by one of the greatest of all comic strip stars: George Herriman. The creator of Krazy Kat drew Baron Bean for three years beginning in 1916. Included in this volume is the first year. Two additional books will complete the series. Future LOAC Essentials titles include The Gumps and Polly and Her Pals.
The Library of American Comics is the world's #1 publisher of classic newspaper comic strips, with 14 Eisner Award nominations and three wins for best book. LOAC has become "the gold standard for archival comic strip reprints...The research and articles provide insight and context, and most importantly the glorious reproduction of the material has preserved these strips for those who knew them and offers a new gateway to adventure for those discovering them for the first time.” — Scoop
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Even if you could find a complete run of George Herriman's Baron Bean dailies for the entire year of 1916, it would cost you a LOT more than the modest price of this handsome book. $20 for a year of dailies from ANY comic strip would be a deal, but for a run of Herriman that few would otherwise get the chance to see -- well, this is a heckuva deal!
The strips have been meticulously restored and are printed well. I wish they were a little bit larger and closer to the original size, but they are plenty large enough to easily read and savor. I compared the book to some originals I own, and they are about 75% of the original size. They are printed very nicely, with strong lines and solid blacks. You can relish Herriman's hatching.
An earlier reviewer seemed skeptical of the binding, but my copy seems very tight and sound.It seems like great quality to me. As I understand it, the format of this new series was inspired by the old strip books that syndicates themselves...
Running concurrently with Krazy Kat, Herriman's "Baron Bean" was a superb companion to that epic strip, and is somewhat more grounded. Recounting the adventures of a ne'er-do-well, ersatz nobleman, he is a conniving freeloader incessantly searching for the next free meal while accompanied by a faithful retainer. Chaplin was a definite influence, with the mustachioed Baron similarly attired in Top Hat and tails, utilizing a cane with no-less panache and smoking an ever-present cigar. American life in the early years of the 20th century is accurately rendered by the free food offered by saloons w/nickel beer, cheap rooms and high-society caricatures. The humor is simple, but with Herriman's wit and is consistent w/that era.
IDW has done a superb effort in printing one strip per page w/clear reproduction in a slim/pamphlet format. It is historic in format, and a historic comic strip that echoed the times.
First off, I love the idea of this series. Kudos to LOAC for their continued authoritative and creative use of materials. The notion of offering a complete year of strips in a strip-a-page format like this is inspired. The printing itself is top-notch, capturing the Herriman line work. The introduction is thoughtful without showing off or being overbearing. The author teases out some key themes that make for a more informed and rewarding read. This is what an intro should do.
My reservation is with the radically oblong format. First, it is hard to manage unless planted on a firm surface. But more worrisome is how the narrow binding over time can support the full weight and length of the mass it carries. In my edition from Amazon the paper on the inside front cover was already cracked at the hinge. The body of pages beg for persistent support. In general the concept seems sounder than the actual practicality of the format. I am not sure how it holds up over time.
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