Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Abrams ComicArts to Publish Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman's The TOON Treasury of Funny Comic Books for Kids

It was announced today that Abrams ComicArts’ Executive Editor Charles Kochman has acquired The TOON Treasury of Funny Comic Books for Kids, a collection of classic children’s comics from the 1940s to the 1960s, edited by two of the best-known creators in the field of comics—New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly and Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman. The book will be compiled by Mouly and Spiegelman with the help of an advisory board that includes Jeff Smith, Frank Young, Seth, Steve Geppi, Paul Levitz, Jeet Heer, John Benson, and Chris Duffy, among others—some of the most knowledgeable experts, artists, writers, historians, editors, collectors, and critics in the field. The TOON Treasury of Funny Comic Books for Kids is scheduled for publication on the Abrams ComicArts’ fall 2009 list.

Kochman commented, “Kids love comics—reading them seems to be hardwired into our collective DNA so that we respond readily to the material if we encounter it at an early age. We have all seen the incredible success of Jeff Smith’s Bone and Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and we know that when kids have access to comics made for them, they devour the stories. Who better than Françoise and Art to sort through the material from our glorious past and present it to a new generation?”

Art Spiegelman says, “Now that comics are no longer automatically dismissed as trash we can demonstrate that the best of them stand among the greatest literature produced for children in the past century—and some of most sophisticated works done for comics were the humor books for younger children.”

The lavishly produced, large-format TOON Treasury of Funny Comic Books for Kids will focus on comic books, not strips, and will feature humorous stories that range from a single page to eight or sixteen pages, each comic self-contained. Stories will be culled from the golden age of comic books, roughly the 1940s through the early 1960s, and feature the best examples of the works of such renowned cartoonists as Carl Barks (legendary Disney artist), John Stanley (Little Lulu), Sheldon Mayer (Sugar and Spike), Walt Kelly (Pogo), Basil Wolverton (Powerhouse Pepper), and George Carlson (Jingle Jangle comics), among many, many others. Along with the stories, the book will contain historical and biographical information.

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