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With its tortured perspective, gritty realism, and outlandish urban humor, Derf’s The City has kept an outsider’s beat on current events, trends and out-there aspects of contemporary culture since 1990. Whether depicting the coarse insanity of modern urban life or the ultra-clean realm of the feature’s only recurring character - White Middle Class Suburban Man - Derf uses dissonant humor to speak up for what he calls "the common schlub."

The City

John Backderf

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Bloom County, a 1980s cartoon-comic strip that dealt with socio-political issues as seen through the eyes of highly exaggerated characters (e.g. Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin) and humorous analogies. Creator Berkeley Breathed's first regularly published strip, Academia Waltz, appeared in the Daily Texan in 1978. The strip attracted notice from the editors of the Washington Post who recruited him to do a nationally syndicated strip. On December 8, 1980, Bloom County made its debut and featured some of the characters from Academia Waltz, including former frat-boy Steve Dallas and the paraplegic Vietnam War veteran Cutter John. Bloom County earned Berkeley the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1987. The strip eventually appeared in over 1,200 newspapers around the world until he retired the daily strip in 1989, stating, "A good comic strip is no more eternal than a ripe melon. The ugly truth is that in most cases, comics age less gracefully than their creators". The comic continues in recirculation on GoComics!

Bloom County

Berkeley Breathed

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1,535 Subscribers

Here are the dreams of all children—worlds of fantasy, humor, terror, and grand adventure. Little Nemo in Slumberland was the greatest comic strip of its day, perhaps the greatest of all time, acclaimed the world over for it’s artistic majesty, unbounded imagination, and ground-breaking techniques that helped define a new art form. Sunday Press presents Winsor McCay’s masterpiece in all its glory, on the web for the first time ever, in sequence, starting with the very first page. Over 100 years later, these Sunday comic strips, which influenced generations of artists, are as fresh and glorious as ever! A BRIEF HISTORY Zenas Winsor McCay was born sometime between 1867 and 1870, most likely in Canada, though his earliest years are not well documented. He quickly gained fame, as his natural talent as an artist and draftsman saw him rise quickly from dime museum sign painter, to prolific newspaper artist and cartoonist, to pioneer animator, even a vaudeville quick-draw entertainer. He started his serious illustration work Cincinnati, where he created his first Sunday feature, Tales of the Jungle Imps (1903), while also drawing illustrations for the original Life magazine. He moved on to the New York Herald where he created a number of small cartoon features, and then Little Sammy Sneeze, Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, and his masterpiece, Little Nemo in Slumberland. Little Nemo drew character inspiration from McCay’s son Robert, architecture and design from the 1893 World’s Columbia Exposition in Chicago, and fantastical features from those found at the Coney Island Amusement park near his home in Brooklyn. But the brilliance of it all came from McCay himself, with his unsurpassed draftsmanship and boundless imagination that created a new language of comics, even anticipating aspects of modern cinema decades before appearing on the screen. There were three incarnations of Little Nemo, first at the Herald from 1905 to 1911, then at Hearst’s American from 1911 to 1914, and once again at the Herald from 1924 to 1927. Winsor McCay died in 1934, ending his career drawing marvelously detailed editorial cartoons. Looking at the images presented in this online feature, it is no surprise that he once stated, “I have never been so happy as when I was drawing Little Nemo in Slumberland.”

Little Nemo

Winsor McCay


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