Andrews McMeel is the publishing division of what was once known as the Universal Press Syndicate. If one ignores the various archival publishers of comicstrips, then AMU is the predominant publisher of comicstrip collections in the United States.
This Fall, AMU launches a line aimed at kids, known as AMP!. Diary of a Wimpy Kid encouraged Lincoln Peirce to publish a hybrid book of Big Nate (which pioneered the cartoon diary in that comicstrip back in the 1990s). Based on the success of those prose novels, AMU is using Big Nate as a foundation to launch a series of large reprint paperbacks featuring Big Nate, Fox Trot, and Lio. (Old school comics fans will recall the old Holt, Rinehart and Winston Peanuts collections. These are similar, except each page features one strip, instead of the two-per-page of Peanuts.) 224 pages for $9.99 is quite affordable, and all three strips are quite enjoyable. (Although Lio can be a bit dark at times.)
Covers have not yet been set yet for the Spring titles. All information is tentative. If you’re not familiar with these strips, they can be read for free over at their Uclick website, along with a lot of other great strips!
AAAA!: A FoxTrot Kids Edition
On Sale Date: October 2, 2012
Ages 8 to 12
Paperback / softback / Trade paperback (US)
Juvenile Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels
AAAA! That’s the sound heard often from the the Fox siblings as only sister Paige discovers Quincy the iguana has eaten her homework, older brother Peter applies permanent marker on his face drawing a fake goatee, and younger brother and expert video gamer Jason loses to Paige. Throw in the AAAAs as mother Andy exclaims while dodging thrown balls in the house and backyard-grilling disaster dad Roger blows up another grill, and you have the perfect equation for a family that every kid can relate to.
Including cartoons from previously published books, this kid-targeted book portrays a not so typical look at how a year unfolds in the Fox family.
Woodrow Phoenix is one of the two editors who compiled Nelson, a 250-page anthology featuring work from over 50 different writers and artists. The idea of Rob Davis, the Blank Slate-published anthology tells a single tale, as told by a variety of different artists and writers. Amongst the incredible range of creators involved are people such as Roger Langridge, Paul Grist, Kate Brown, Posy Simmonds and Philip Bond.
I caught Woodrow by surprise and cornered him on the morning after he found out Nelson had won Best Book at the British Comic Awards, to ask him a few questions about the book and how it came together.
Steve: Last night Nelson won Best Book at the British Comic Awards!
Woodrow Phoenix: We’re very pleased and thrilled that people whose opinions we respect have seen fit to bestow this honour on us!
Steve: What first inspired yourself and Rob Davis to create Nelson?
Woodrow: Rob had this idea which I thought was a great concept I’ve never seen before. Nelson tells a complete story, as written and drawn by a series of gifted creators. It’s an anthology with just one story. It was such a great concept that I immediately thought ‘we have to do this’! I work as a designer as well as an illustrator, and I knew that something like this would need a strong sense of design, so I felt that was something I could bring to the project.
For example, I designed the cover for the anthology – we wanted something that would stand out and have something immediately compelling. Rob sketched the character, I did the type treatment, we put them together and we literally had the cover design in only a few hours.
Steve: How did you go about finding writers and artists to work on the anthology?
Woodrow: Between Rob and I we know a lot of people who we think are doing different, interesting things in comics, and we reached out to them. We also wrote a list of people who perhaps hadn’t done as much experimental, different stuff, and we wanted to challenge by inviting to work on Nelson. We picked people we wanted to see work, and then emailed everyone on our lists to see if they were interested. We thought it’d take a long time, but surprisingly, almost immediately everybody said “yes!”
Steve: With the now award-winning success of Nelson, are there perhaps now plans for a sequel project?
Woodrow: When we first finished, I vowed to never do something like this again! It was complicated and tiring, but enough time has passed that I’m thinking maybe there is something we could do. Something which would have some of the same features to it. It’s exciting to do something as ambitious and wide-ranging, and I’m considering trying it again.
Steve: Do you have anything else coming up on a personal level? Any other projects on the horizon?
Woodrow: I’m working on something else – a silent comic, where each page is a metre wide. I won’t be finishing it for a while!
I’ve reached a point now where I feel I’ve got all these crazy ideas, and it’s time to start trying them.
I think it’s important for the comics medium that we don’t keep doing the same things all the time. If you think about what we could do, you realise that there are a million subjects and styles we can work in. Rather than confining ourselves to capes we can do whatever we want, and I think we have to start taking that freedom to make work which isn’t predictable, doesn’t rely on old concepts, and isn’t always the same thing. We’ve got nothing to lose! We can afford to just try things out and be different.
Many thanks to Woodrow for his time! You can find more from him on his website, or on his twitter @mrphoenix. Also, if you google his name, you’ll see a picture which reveals he has the most suggestive eyebrows since Roger Moore. True!
Okay, I was a bit late on noticing the Daredevil edition, but IDW’s site says
New This Week
so I’m ahead of the curve on this one! This was announced back in 2011, but here it is!
Which issues are being collected?
IDW says “This Artist’s Edition measures 12 x 17 inches and features four oversized issues, including extras. Added bonus: the very first Groo story by Sergio (in redrawn form) will also be in this book.” No statement on which four issues will be shown. Since it’s a four-part story, it is probably from the Dark Horse era (1998- ). The very first appearance of Groo was in Destroyer Duck #1, which was reprinted in:
- The Groo Chronicles (Marvel, 1989 series) #2
- Groo Special (Eclipse, 1984 series) #1
The cover shown above is from… I don’t know. It’s not from the Pacific or Marvel/Epic runs. The Grand Comics Database didn’t show it. It’s possible it is an image from an interior page, as the covers are usually somewhat sedate and illustrative. The logo is from 1991, although it has been modified with a curl at the bottom (near the sword). Was it designed by Stan Sakai?
Here’s the text from IDW themselves:
Sergio Aragonés’ Groo the Wanderer: Artist’s Edition PRE-ORDER
Availability: In stock
This item is available for PRE-ORDER ONLY. It will not ship until it becomes available in July 2012.
IDW proudly presents SERGIO ARAGONÉS’ GROO THE WANDERER: ARTIST’S EDITION, collecting a classic four-part story in its entirety by the Mad, Manic, and Marvellous SERGIO ARAGONÉS! Sergio began his career at Mad Magazine in the early 1960s and has been drawing comics ever since.
In 1982 Sergio, with his frequent collaborator Mark Evanier, launched Groo the Wanderer. Groo has since become one of the most memorable and loveable characters of the last 30 years. This Artist’s Edition measures 12 x 17 inches and features four oversized issues, including extras. Added bonus: the very first Groo story by Sergio (in redrawn form) will also be in this book. This Artist’s Edition is shipped in a custom cardboard box for maximum protection. Available in July.
Brought to you by the same team responsible for the Eisner Award-winning Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: The Artist’s Edition, as well as Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artist’s Edition.
WHAT IS AN ARTIST’S EDITION?
AN ARTIST’S EDITION PRESENTS COMPLETE STORIES WITH EACH PAGE SCANNED FROM THE ACTUAL ORIGINAL ART.