Well, it’s been awhile since I posted anything in the News section, so I thought I’d chime in with a quick book recommendation.  I recently purchased a new book out on Johnny Hart and Brant Parker’s Wizard of Id comic strip.  The title of the book is The Best of the Wizard of Id: 40 Years of Mirth, Merriment and Mayhem and it’s published by Titan Books.

wizard

The Wizard of Id has always been one of my favorite comic strips in the newspaper.  The strip was written by Johnny Hart (also the man behind B.C.) and illustrated by Brant Parker.  They both passed away in 2007, but the strip lives on.  I believe the comic is now drawn by Brant’s son Jeff. The book opens with a brief introduction to the strip with some of it’s history and how it came to be.  Next it includes short bios of both Hart and Parker, followed by a brief rundown of the strip’s wide cast of characters.  After that, the book is divided into three sections of comics: The 70′s, The 80′s, and The 90′s and Beyond (I was a little disappointed that there weren’t any examples from the 60′s – the comic debuted in 1964).

There are two reasons I like The Wizard of Id so much.  One is how cleverly it is written.  The punchline is almost always an unexpected one.  I’m often left wondering how in the world Hart came up with some of the gags.  This collection is full of gems like that.  Also, I think this comic has some of the most well written and defined characters on the funny pages.  And that says a lot considering the fact that The Wizard of Id has one of the larger casts of characters. The other thing that really draws me (no pun intended) to The Wizard of Id is Brant Parker’s art.  He used a very loose and spontaneous line in his work that is very appealing.  I often wish I could draw in such a quick, spontaneous way, but it just doesn’t work for me.  Interestingly, I’ve always thought Parker’s art was very reminiscent of Johnny Hart’s artwork on B.C. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence or if there is something more to it.

So if you’re a fan of The Wizard of Id, classic comic strips, or just comics in general, you might want to check out this book!  You can keep up with the current happenings in the Kingdom of Id every day at Comics.com

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