Now, here’s a funny thing. A while back at the excellent Comics Salopia I was fortunate enough to briefly bump into IDW’s Chris Ryall And asked what there plans were to celebrate Olive Oyl’s 100th anniversary this December. I think Ryall was somewhat surprised by that revelation, as he didn’t have an answer at the time.
But, with the acquisition of Sunday Press Books, which has amongst its titles Thimble Theatre – the very strip that gave the world Olive Oyl, a decade before Popeye’s first appearance in said strip – I’m hoping that we will see something of a celebration after all. Fingers crossed.
Sunday Press Books is a specialty publishing house best known for its restoration of classic American comic strips, reprinted as hardcover editions in their original size and colors.
The brainchild of Peter Maresca, Sunday Press has rekindled our collective fascination with such beloved features as Little Nemo in Slumberland, Krazy Kat, Thimble Theatre, and more. These collections have received dozens of salutations and awards, including a stream of seventeen Will Eisner Comic Industry Award nominations for thirteen years running.
The partnership between IDW and Sunday Press will preserve Maresca’s independence and keen eye for curating American comic strips, both famous and forgotten, while bolstering the reach of distribution and marketing for its output. Acclaimed out-of-print collections will see new printings, and IDW will launch a digital publishing program, bringing these classics to a new generation of comics aficionados.
However, with word that their first publication will be Little Joe (the uncredited work from Little Orphan Annie creator, Harold Gray, I’m still worried we won’t have an appropriate celebration of the first dame of comic strips after all. Say it ain’t so, Chris?