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:


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):


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!


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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