Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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JOHN BYRNE & JAE LEE NAMOR OMNIBUS: Namor was perhaps my favorite title at the time it was being published, at least for the first two years. John Byrne did story and art for #1-25, and Jae Lee took over the art for #26-40. I stopped reading (but continued to buy) after reading #26. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Lee’s style (although he is much better now than he was then), I was just “taking a break.” I am looking forward to re-reading the Byrne solo issues as well as reading the Byrne/Lee issues for the first time. The omnibus also includes some annuals which, frankly, the omnibus would be better if they had been omitted.

NANCY: The first collection of the Nancy comic strip by Olivia James (or perhaps I should say “Olivia James” since that is a pseudonym) shipped yesterday. I have never read any of her strips before, but I’ve heard so much about them that I couldn’t pass this collection up. If you’re anything like me (i.e., hopelessly un-hip), the whole “Sluggo is lit” meme-thing probably flew entirely beneath your radar. I learned about it yesterday in James’ editor’s introduction, but I still had to resort to the internet this morning to learn its significance. Stylistically, James’ Nancy looks a lot like Herge’s Tin Tin, still recognizable “Nancy” but updated to the 21st century.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

NANCY: The first collection of the Nancy comic strip by Olivia James (or perhaps I should say “Olivia James” since that is a pseudonym) shipped yesterday. I have never read any of her strips before, but I’ve heard so much about them that I couldn’t pass this collection up. If you’re anything like me (i.e., hopelessly un-hip), the whole “Sluggo is lit” meme-thing probably flew entirely beneath your radar. I learned about it yesterday in James’ editor’s introduction, but I still had to resort to the internet this morning to learn its significance. Stylistically, James’ Nancy looks a lot like Herge’s Tin Tin, still recognizable “Nancy” but updated to the 21st century.

My local newspaper just started carrying the new Nancy in the print edition on Sundays, and has the dailies on its website.

The way Olivia Jaimes (or "Olivia Jaimes") has reimagined Nancy reminds me of the way Bobby London revitalized Popeye in the late '80s/early/'90s. Here's a long interview with London from CBR, which includes examples of his strips: "Bobby London Explains How His 'Popeye' Became Victim of a 'Witch H...

Here's hoping Olivia Jaimes has better support from her syndicate than London did.

Thanks for posting the Popeye CBR article, CK. I was totally unaware of this.

"Here's hoping Olivia Jaimes has better support from her syndicate than London did."

I gather she has syndicate support (a good editor), but she certainly has a lot of detractors, too. One of the strips, a four-panel look at "things to come" in the strip, illustrates things specifically designed to p*ss off her detractors. For example, Aunt Fritzi had been drawn by the previous cartoonist as being extrememly sexy, but Jaimes put her in a parka. Also, Jaimes includes lots of electronic media as subject matter, which p*sses many people off. It is also the strip where the meme "Sluggo is lit!" comes from. I've read about half of the collection so far, and I must admit I don't get all the jokes. I really appreciate what she's doing, though. The comparison to Bobby London's Popeye is an apt one.

LSH: MILLENNIUM #2: I liked it more than I did the first issue, but it doesn’t strike me as “essential” to the new upcoming ongoing series.

LOIS LANE #4: Surprisingly, another LSH lead-in. [Possible SPOILER] We learn (well, I learned) who the “Superboy” of the new Legion series is to be. [END SPOILER]

GREEN LANTERN #12: The last issue of the series, at least for the time being. I didn’t understand it. I’m not sure if I’ll read the following Darkstars series. I’ll probably give the first issue a try.

IMMORTAL HULK #24: Hulk takes over Shadow Base, setting up a chain of events which illustrate just how “immortal” he really is. Talk about “The End”!

MARVEL COMICS #1001: Quite obviously, this issue is made up of pages rejected from #1000, most of them justifiably so. Like #1000, because each page tells an entire “story” (no “decompressed” storytelling here), it takes a while to read. It costs five bucks. BOTTOM LINE: Don’t waste your time or your money.

THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT #2: I enjoyed the second part of this 40-year-old movie adaptation, but for eight bucks (two issues @ $3.99) I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a single issue, preferably its original magazine size.

As mentioned in another board thread here, I'm no longer reading the Nancy comic strip. Not because of whoever Olivia Jaimes is (and I had no idea at the time the name even was a pseudonym), but only because I personally dislike the new direction. The title character seems (to me) to have an attitude she didn't have before, which just personally rubs me the wrong way.

I'm also not reading the new, daily version of Alley Oop for the same reason: not liking the new direction. In this case, Jonathan Lemon and Joey Alison Sayers have turned it into a gag a day comic. Granted, the previous version by The Benders was a comedic adventure, but not to the point of trying to force a laugh in every installment.

However, I do like the Lemon-Sayers' efforts on the Sunday only Little Oop episodes. The previous version of Sunday strips was in the traditional "recap the past week while setting the stage for the coming week" format.

Then again, all of the above is just my own views on the subject(s) at hand.

“I'm no longer reading the Nancy comic strip… because I personally dislike the new direction.”

Fair enough.

“The title character seems (to me) to have an attitude she didn't have before…”

You’re definitely right about that. (I meant to say something about it earlier but forgot.) In an interview reprinted in the collection, Jaimes herself makes mention of it. But it depends on how far back you want to go when you say “before.” Nancy certainly hasn’t had that attitude for years… perhaps decades. But Jaimes has restored her attitude of the very earliest days of the strip under Bushmiller. (I have read all all three of the recent collections of Bushmiller’s peak years and I can attest that Nancy did have an attitude in the ‘40s.) This generally rubs fans of Gilchrest (the cartoonist just prior to Jaimes, whose name I couldn’t recall earlier) the wrong way.

To Jeff, et al.

I agree with you that Nancy under Ernie Bushmiller did have an attitude too, but it wasn't as bad then as it is now, from my perspective/opinion.

Since Go Comics carries both the Bushmiller classics as well as the Jaimes current version, I can see both side by side, as well as a lot of other strips that my local newspaper doesn't carry.

Richard Willis said:

Thanks for posting the Popeye CBR article, CK. I was totally unaware of this.

Years ago, while making my rounds of used book stores and such places, I acquired Mondo Popeye, the first (and for many years, only) collection of the Bobby London Popeye. It's one of those books you read and re-read until it falls apart. I'm happy to see there's a new, fuller collection, Popeye: The Classic Newspaper Comics Vol. 1: 1986-1989, from IDW and the Library of American Comics. 

What London did with Popeye was clever and fascinating. I often wished somebody would dare to let him loose on Blondie, although I know that would NEVER happen.

What got him bounced was a series of strips in which Olive Oyl become addicted to buying stuff she doesn't need from the Home Shopping Network that somehow swerved into a priest thinking Popeye got her pregnant. The syndicate killed the strips, but they are all posted here. (You have to open the thumbnails on their own page and enlarge them.)

As for Nancy, what Olivia Jaimes is doing doesn't knock my socks off, but on the other hand, I'm not against it.

If Jaimes has brought back the attitude Nancy the character used to have, that's to the good. Before the Guy Gilchrist run on the strip, it was written and drawn by Jerry Scott, co-writer and artist of Baby Blues and writer of Zits. Scott's version of Nancy didn't resemble the Ernie Bushmiller style and, frankly, was terrible. (But then, I don't think any of the artists who followed Bushmiller draw as well as he does.)

"I'm happy to see there's a new, fuller collection, Popeye: The Classic Newspaper Comics Vol. 1: 1986-1989, from IDW and the Library of American Comics."

Two volumes of London's work have been published by IDW. (I own them both.) The second has the controversial strips that got him fired. (Actually, they're about as "controversial" as an episode of Three's Company.)

MAN-WOLF: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION: There is an old MAD cartoon from Dave Berg’s “Lighter Side” (it may have been from “The Lighter Side of Hobbies”) in which a father watches his son assembly a plastic model kit and tells him that in his day, they had to buy a set of plans, then a supply of balsa wood and cut the pieces themselves before assembling them. The kid says, “And I guess now you're going to tell me those were ‘the good old days,’” to which the father replies, “Hell, no! These are the good old days!”

Man-Wolf is one of those characters I collected in backissues when I was in college. Giant-Size Super-Heroes (his third appearance) was one of my earliest comics. Years later, I read the first two appearances of Man-Wolf, reprinted in Marvel Tales, also as backissues. Shortly after that, I began acquiring his series in Creatures on the Loose. That story has an interesting pedigree. It started out as a standard ‘70s-era Marvel monster mag, but at one point made a hard shift, quite unexpectedly, into science fantasy.

From there, the character’s story was brought to a close in such diverse titles as Marvel Premiere, Marvel Team-Up, She-Hulk and Spectacular Spider-Man Annual. I tracked these down issue by issue and have them sorted into the same slot in my “Marvel monsters” longbox, but now Marvel has assembled the entire arc in one handy tpb. Hell, yeah! These are the good old days!

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