Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Plug: At The Huffington Post, Dave Scheidt's "2011 Holiday Gift Guide Comic Books" include Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman: "The funniest comic you've never read. Laugh out loud funny. Spastic, bizarre and gut busting. Fans of Saturday Night Live, Mad Magazine and just anyone who likes to laugh will love this book. A fair warning, if you read this book in public, you will laugh like a mad man and most likely frighten people like I did."
• Plugs: The staff of The Outhouse puts together their "Holiday Wishlist 2011," with "Royal Nonesuch" recommending Pogo – The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Volume 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly…
"Kelly's Pogo is a masterclass in wordsmithing, satire, and relatable art. Although this collection apparently doesn't get to the more overtly political satire that made Pogo so famous, it does promise to be a great look at the start of an important and quintessential comic strip. The statements Kelly makes in these early stories are about character relationships, design, and humor as well as use of the English language in surprising and touching ways. This is the surely the ground floor of what looks to be the next great collection series in comics literature."
…and "Nightfly" suggesting The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954 box set:
"Charles M. Schulz's relatable characters are literally part of the fabric of my being. Peanuts helped forge my earliest appreciation for sequential art and, funny as it seems, philosophy. I can't wait until the day I have a shelf filled with every strip ever starring Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Pig-Pen and the rest of the Peanuts gang."
• Plugs: iFanboy's "2011 Holiday Gift Guide: Lost Treasures," written by Paul Montgomery, includes:
…Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 + 2 Box Set by Floyd Gottfredson…
"Mickey’s grown soft in his old age, but back in the day he was my kind of bastard. Dude’s a straight up rascal, and launches headlong into danger, starting with the seminal 'Race to Death Valley.' Floyd Gottfredson’s wily take on the character is revered by the best cartoonists, and Fantagraphics has packaged these earliest serial strips from the 30s in some truly handsome volumes. Take advantage of the two volume slipcover edition for a great value and the publisher’s now signature excellence in presentation."
…The Complete Peanuts 1979-1982 box set by Charles M. Schulz…
"Every year, the top item on my own Christmas list is the annual box-set collecting Fantagraphics’ latest volumes of Charles Schulz’s Complete Peanuts…. Watching Chuck and Snoopy evolve from their original designs of the early 50s to the more familiar iterations I grew up with in the Funnies is an incredible experience."
…The Arctic Marauder by Jacques Tardi…
"Turns out it wasn’t that easy navigating the Arctic Ocean from Russian to France at the turn of the 20th century. If you dig on Poe and Verne and antique diving helmets, this woodcut melodrama is just for you."
"Years in the making, this new collection of Walt Kelly’s Pogo dailies and weekend strips does due justice to a comic that ought to be as much a household name as Peanuts or Doonesbury…. Mix in Kelly’s whimsical, lyrical 'Swamp speak' and you’ve got some real poetry on your hands."
…and Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks:
"This is as beautiful a book as I’ve purchased this year, and the stories within have much to offer both children and adult fans of visual storytelling and even comedy. Barks knew how to contract a joke, and this is a masterclass."
• Plug: Robot 6's Michael May makes an unexpected choice when spotlighting upcoming titles listed in the current issue of Previews: "The Big Town – Charles Schulz’ son wrote this novel (the last in his jazz-age trilogy) about the end of the Roaring Twenties and 'the role of business, crime, morality, and love in our lives.' It’s not comics, but it sounds ambitious and transporting."