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Buy This Book: Mickey Mouse Color Sundays Volume 2: Robin Hood Rides Again

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Listen: I love Robin Hood. Outside of Dracula, who I think we can all agree is pretty great, he's probably my favorite public domain character in the history of fiction, and between the sidekicks, the secret headquarters, the recognizeable costume and the uneasy relationship with local law enforcement, he's pretty much a direct ancestor to the kind of superheroes that we have today. So really, if there was anything that was going to get me back to being excited about the hardcovers reprinting Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse strips after the last volume left such a bad taste in my mouth, Mickey going on an adventure with Robin Hood was going to be the thing that did it.

Which, as it turns out, is exactly what they did. The latest Mickey volume from Fantagraphics is a collection of Gottfredson's full-color Sunday strips from 1936 to 1938 -- plus a whole bunch of bonus features from his later career -- that includes "The Robin Hood Adventure." And folks, this one isn't just a great story from a great creator, it's the kind of story where I want to just start grabbing people on the street and telling them they have to read it, because it's one of the weirdest things I have ever read.

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Bill Watterson’s ‘Pearls Before Swine’ Artwork Raises $62,000 To Benefit Parkinson’s Disease Research

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Even those of you who don't keep up with daily newspaper comic strips probably heard about Bill Watterson's secret return to comics earlier this year. In a storyline in Stephan Pastis's Pearls Before Swine, Pastis was briefly replaced by a second-grader named Libby, who claimed she could draw the strip far better than Pastis had been. While the strip was running, Pastis hinted at a "mind-blowing surprise" for readers, and he definitely delivered when he revealed that "Libby" was actually the legendary creator of Calvin & Hobbes, brought back to comics for the first time since 1995.

As you might expect, this was a pretty big deal, but became even bigger this week when Watterson's three strips were sold at auction, raising $62,000 to benefit Parkinson's Disease research.

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FunkyWatch: July’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

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Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the ongoing commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

After last month's strips involved an intervention from the Almighty Himself voicing his disapproval for even the slightest bit of happiness, you might think that Tommy B would take a few weeks to ease off the pressure a little bit, but you would be a fool. A fool. Things never actually get any better in the Batiukverse, and never is that more evident than this month, when the strip heads to that most nightmarish of all places: San Diego Comic-Con. Seriously.

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FunkyWatch: June’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

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Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the ongoing commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

This month, Batiuk took to the page to chronicle a few things that, if you weren't familiar with how this strip actually worked, would seem to be a few of life's happier moments: There's a marriage for Wally and Rachel, a trip out west for Les to work on the movie based on his most successful book, and in Crankshaft, it's summertime and the bus drivers are off on vacation! If, however you are familiar with how this strip works, then you'll know that this is all pretty much just setup for misery, hatred, and the actual wrath of God Himself. In other words, it's business as usual in Westview.

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IDW To Publish First Ever Collection Of Golden Age Wonder Woman Newspaper Comic Strips

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In the Golden Age of Comic Books, newspaper strips were still considered to be the dominant and far more respectable form of sequential art. They had, after all, been around for a while before Action Comics #1 rolled around and introduced the superhero, producing enduring and beloved characters like Flash Gordon, Prince Valiant, and even helping to popularize Mickey Mouse. As a result, the creators of these upstart superhero comics were pretty keen to get in on the deal, resulting in newspaper strips based on Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, often produced by the creators of the original comic books.

The Batman and Superman strips have been reprinted over the years, but the Wonder Woman newspaper strip, which ran from 1943 to1944, never has, until now. IDW Publishing has announced that it's collecting the strip's entire two-year run into a single hardcover, set to be released later this year.

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Gorgeous ‘Little Nemo’ Anthology From Paul Pope, Cliff Chiang, Jill Thompson & Others Turns To Kickstarter

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Publisher Locus Moon press has been working on the new anthology book, Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, for about two years now, and it's asking for fans to help make the long journey come to fruition.

The book,which tasks creators including Paul Pope, John Cassaday, Jill Thompson, Cliff Chiang, J.H. Williams III, Craig Thompson, Carla Speed McNeil, Mike Allred and Roger Langridge, with drawing new, full-page Little Nemo strips in the style of series creator Winsor McCay, will come out in the fall if Locus Moon can raise $50,000 via Kickstarter. The project launched Monday morning, and by mid-afternoon, it was at around $13,000. Not a bad start.

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Crossover Of The Year: Dick Tracy To Solve The Mystery Of Little Orphan Annie’s Cancelation Cliffhanger

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In the world of superhero comics, it's pretty safe to say that readers have become pretty well-accustomed to crossovers. In the big shared universes at Marvel and DC Comics, characters show up regularly in each other's books all the time, and even if they're keeping to themselves, there's always the big, universe-spanning event comics that are rolling out like clockwork to bundle them all together for your reading enjoyment -- or for your reading, at least.

In the world of newspaper strips, however, that sort of thing is much more rare. Sure, you occasionally get stuff like Tom Batiuk arranging for a shockingly boring cross-time comic book sale in Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean, but even that's pretty small and confined to one character.

As a result, it's always notable when the newspaper characters start jumping into each other's strips. Especially when it's two-fisted cop Dick Tracy gearing up to rescue Little Orphan Annie from the clutches of a murdering terrorist known only as "The Butcher of the Balkans," a thing that is actually happening iny our newspaper right now.

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Bill Watterson Returns to the Comics Page in ‘Pearls Before Swine’ by Stephan Pastis

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Bill Watterson, the legendary creator of the beloved 'Calvin and Hobbes' comic strip, has returned to the comics pages in Stephan Pastis' 'Pearls Before Swine.'

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FunkyWatch: May’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

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Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the ongoing commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

One of the interesting things about the FunkyVerse -- well, interesting to me as someone who obsesses over this endless march towards oblivion to a truly unhealthy degree -- is that there seems to be a sort of tradeoff between the two strips. Crankshaft has traditionally been the more lighthearted and pun-based experience (relatively speaking), but whenever Funky dips its toes out of the miasma of despair and decides to do a little slapstick comedy, Crankshaft takes up the slack so that the total amount of depression remains unchanged. And that's how you get three-panel gags about drone strikes. Seriously.

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New York Times Refuses To Print #YesAllWomen Comic By Michael Kupperman And David Rees

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The newspaper comics page often has a surprising amount of political (and simply depressing) content in its colorful panels, but a comic about the feminist #YesAllWomen hashtag and “men’s rights activists” by Get Your War On‘s David Rees and Tales Designed to Thrizzle’s Michael Kupperman proved to be too much for the New York Times editorial page.

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