Official Press Release
Just now arriving in stores. GEORGE MCMANUS’ BRINGING UP FATHER is the third and latest in NBM Publishing’s FOREVER NUTS series of classic screwball strips, after the well-received MUTT & JEFF and HAPPY HOOLIGAN. One of the great creations in humor, character, and cartoon art, BRINGING UP FATHER became the 20th century’s second longest running strip, but it was more than that.
BRINGING UP FATHER began in 1913, when 28-year-old cartoonist McManus started drawing the adventures of Jiggs and Maggie, a lower-class couple who came into money. “While the snobbish Maggie and beautiful daughter Nora . . . constantly try to ‘bring up’ Father to his new social position,” comics expert Clark Holloway has said, “Jiggs can think of nothing finer than sitting down at Dinty Moore’s restaurant to finish off several dishes of corned beef and cabbage, followed by a night out with the boys from the old neighborhood. The clash of wills that ensued often resulted in flying rolling-pins, smashed crockery, and broken vases, all aimed in the general direction of Jiggs’s skull.”
In BRINGING UP FATHER, the daily comic strip left its rough and quirky origins to take a clean, carefully designed turn. From the scratchy, funky look of the strip’s birth to a style that lovingly rendered Maggie’s latest fashions and the decor behind them, McManus and his increasingly smooth line reveled in art deco and rococo.
FOREVER NUTS’ collection presents all the dailies of the classic strip’s first two years, many of which have not been reprinted since they first appeared nearly a century ago. “The strips have been meticulously restored,” NBM Publishing chief Terry Nantier says in the company’s blog. “It looks gorgeous.”
Comic-strip expert Jeffrey Lindenblatt is the FOREVER NUTS series’ editor. For more than 15 years, Lindenblatt has been reprinting classic comic strips in his magazines The Missing Years (featuring comics that have not been reprinted in decades) and Strip Adventure.
Lindenblatt and Nantier have assembled quite a team for BRINGING UP FATHER. Comic-strip expert Bill Blackward contributes the book’s forward, and cartoonist R.C. Harvey provides an introduction that “gives us all we could want to know about McManus and this seminal strip,” says Nantier. Comics historian Allen Holtz of the website Stripper’s Guide has helped to clean up the old strips and delivers “quite a few annotations/footnotes at the end of the book that explain references in the strips,” Nantier says.
NBM Publishing is no stranger to great comic-strip reprints. The company was the first publisher to issue complete runs of comic-strip classics, starting with Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates in 1983.
GEORGE MCMANUS’ BRINGING UP FATHER is a 192-page jacketed hardcover, with black-and-white interior art, 11 x 8 1/2 inches, at a cover price of $24.95; the ISBN is 978-1-56163-556-6..
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