Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Gasoline Alley" Love!

      (2009 strip by Jim Scancarelli)

One of my favorite things about cartooning or sequential art is a
well-written, realistic, identifiable large-cast storyline. To have one
that has a lengthy history and has maintained consistent quality is
a huge plus!

"Gasoline Alley" was one of my favorite early finds in the
1980s, and possibly part of my reason for having a more expansive
love of the medium. At the time I was being exposed to Love & Rockets,
the British invasion, all sorts of classic goodness in the form of The
Comics Revue (which introduced me to Gasoline Alley,) all of the
Fantagraphics books, and many other high quality stories.

(The well-known Dick Moores' version which first attracted me to
the strip in the 1980s.)

The 1980s was sort of a second coming for the comics industry, what
with some great strides in printing, story-telling, art styles, and an expanded
international market. A cornucopia of beloved older tales (Will Eisner,
             Hal Foster, Walt Kelly, Milton Caniff, and more)
were made available in reprint form by an increasingly visible
independent market, and 'mature comics' were
just coming into their stride.

I of course liked the titillating nature of books that
were meant for older readers, like Somerset Holmes,
Modesty Blaise, Kelly Greene, Zenith, Miracleman,
Real Girl Comics, Gay Comix, and all the many
graphic novels and other 'real' reads that were available.
But I was equally--if not more genuinely--drawn to
the quality works of Dick Moores, Lynn Johnston's "For
Better or For Worse," Berke Breathed's "Bloom County,"
and so on while comic strips were experiencing a boom.
Simple, elegant, easy-to-access, and consistent...
yet wise beyond their meager appearances. 

Some assistance with the connections, courtesy of Scancarelli)
(From the original, by Frank King)

The collected editions of the series are available,
and you can find several here
Gasoline Alley Collected Editions for sale

For an indepth look at the series,
check out this amazing website;

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