Wednesday, April 15, 2009

King Aroo is coming!

I haven't heard anything in the way of release dates yet, but Dean Mullaney at IDW is putting together a complete collection of Jack Kent's great comic King Aroo. I really don't have a lot to say except that Kent's work is really charming and it WORKS so well. Completely unpretentious but very smart.

Here's a Sunday from the mid 50s:

KASUNDAY

And here's a daily I was lucky to get off of ebay (scanned in color so you can see Kent's blue line work):

KA04_27_63

King Aroo lasted from 1950 through the mid 60's--a pretty long run by today's standards, but when talked about historically it's always considered a strip that got cut off in its youth. Only one reprint book ever came out during its run--covering much, but not all, of the first year. Rick Marschall's NEMO reprinted a fantastic surreal run of dailies in the 80s, and Tom Devlin edited a collection of Sunday's for an oversize Comics Journal special a few years ago (using Sundays from my collection, I'm collector-proud to add.) But all that adds up to a small fraction of the run of the strip.

I haven't used this spottily updated blog to plug anything until now, but if you like good cartooning, you should really check out this reprint series when it comes out!

7 comments:

Manticore said...

Great news! I love Jack Kent's work, but reprints of KING AROO have been too rare.

I suppose there's time yet before they reach that point, but I own a few originals of the strip from the '60s; so, should IDW need scans of them, I'm quite ready to provide them.

Chris Duffy said...

Hi, Manticore--yes, it's great that we'll soon have in one edition more King Aroo than has ever been reprinted in one place before.

I believe IDW is in touch with Jack Kent's estate, which has the syndicate proofs and many originals. But I bet if they need anything, they'll be posting for help around the internet.

Bill Alger said...

Yay! I want all the King Aroo comics reprinted!
(Though I'll be happy with one volume.)

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princeminski said...

I've had Vol. Two on order for a long time. amazon just cancelled it. Crap.

Manticore said...

Yes, same here. According to Craig Yoe, volume 2 is late because the editors are having problems gathering all the needed strips in good condition.

Oh well, I suppose I can wait a few months more. But I thought they had access to Jack Kent's archives and most strips were there.

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