JK already caught the big Publisher’s Weekly story this week, regarding Francoise Mouly’s plans to launch a children’s graphic novel line.
But, naturally, the folks at PW had plenty of other goodies to share, including an interview with Fred Hembeck about his upcoming Image Omnibus:
PWCW: What can readers expect to see in the Omnibus?
FH: Besides all the Dateline:@#$! strips that appeared in The Buyer’s Guide in the late ’70s and into the early ’80s, nearly two hundred strips from the feature’s mid-’90s revival are included, as is all the material from seven Fantaco books from the ’80s—now all are long out of print. But it was Erik who suggested I open the flood gates and include all sorts of other stuff, so I included a number of my own characters like The Dog and Mr. Mumbo Jumbo in the mix. A fair amount of the material has either never seen the light of day, or only shown up in the most obscure of places (for instance, there’s a whole section of strips done for an apa [amateur publishing association], an original audience of roughly forty). Cover redos, Christmas cards, Internet illos, commissions–even two page of nature art! It’s all here—heaven help us, it’s all here…
PWCW: How does it feel to look back on your career through this 900 page book?
FH: It’s a bit sobering—where did those thirty years go anyway? And to be totally honest with you, I couldn’t help but notice a few definite ebbs in my flow—by the time I was finishing up my first run on Dateline:@#$! circa 1983, I was clearly losing interest. But Al and Erik wanted all of those strips included, so there are a few grimace inducing pages in the book (but, I’d like to think, only a few. Really.). Otherwise, it might be fun for readers to see how often I repeat the same gags over and over during a three decade span—my sense of humor hasn’t changed all that much, it would seem.