Thursday 24 June 2010

New Doug Wright Annuals at D+Q

Well, since Chris Oliveros has officially made public Drawn and Quarterly's plans for their Doug Wright property I figure I can now talk about over here as well. The first book to debut (this September) will be Nipper: 1963-1964 and will pick up directly where The Collected Doug Wright: Canada's Master Cartoonist left off. Each book will collect two-years worth of strips and will feature Seth's able design work (see below for a non-final draft of the cover).

A preview of the book is over here.

I also contributed a brief introduction which serves to set the scene a bit for this fertile period in the Canadian cartoonist's career. The beauty of this new format is that it echoes the previous publishing history of Wright's work, mainly two cheap (but very popular) collections of his Nipper material that appeared in the 1960s and 70s. The landscape layout of the book is even the same. The difference this time around is that the D+Q books will be high-quality - just the way Wright intended them to appear - and they will contain dozens of strips republished for the first time ever.

The other bonus is the cover illustration of Nipper motoring away in his "Hot Rod." As a kid I was obsessed with this go-kart and was inspred to build several of my own for local parades etc. None ever looked as cool as Nipper's though.

And fans of the Bed Red Book, fret not. Seth, Chris and I are fully committed to publishing Volume Two a few years down the road. Be patient!

Friday 11 June 2010

The most frightening paper doll ever?

Ask anyone who appreciates fine books and they'll tell you: Dover Books are a great niche publisher. Specializing in reprints (this is how I first discovered a run of Little Orphan Annie strips decades back) and clever uses of public domain material, the company has carved out an impressive if unlikely market for themselves.

One of the most interesting aspects of their catalogue is their selection of paper doll books. In fact, according to their website they are "The #1 publisher of paper dolls." Why? "Because our low-priced books are irresistible for paper doll enthusiasts of all ages." Agreed. I've bought several of these for my daughter and she loves them -- especially this one.

But I have to draw the line (and scratch my head) over their latest release, Classic TV Moms Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney, the modern king of paper doll illustration. 

I mean, it looks cool enough (with the exception of Peg Bundy I suppose) and when you start flipping through it it satisfies expectations. There's Laura Petrir from The Dick Van Dyke Show, Harriet Nelson from The Ozzie and Harriet Show and then there's page 15:

That's correct. That's Roseanne Barr as Roseanne, the flinty-but-funny working class Mom from 1990s TV hit Roseanne. And yes, she's in lingerie. (This is a dress-up toy after all.) But what was Tom thinking on this one? Dressing up (and down) Mary Tyler Moore circa 1962 I can get the appeal of; but Roseanne Barr? What little girl would even knwo who she was? And if they did, why on earth would they ever want to dress her up? I guess ( = pray) this could be a massive prank, but if it isn't I think Dover needs to fire an editor or two unless they want "The Tom Arnold Coloring Book" on their Spring release schedule.