One of the critical jewels in Drawn and Quarterly’s crown in recent years has been their ongoing collection of classic Gasoline Alley strips by its creator, Frank King. Three fat volumes, spanning 1921-26, have been released so far, each one winning its share of accolades.
All that seems to have come to a halt recently and there hasn’t been any mention of a fourth volume in any of D&Q’s recent catalogs or press releases. The reason? According to this Comics Journal message board thread, apparently Tribune Media has threatened to sue the company if they continue with the series. Here’s a statement from publisher Chris Oliveros, courtesy of Kevin Greenlee:
“Technically we have not ended the series and hope to somehow continue it. Sales are not a problem, but rather Tribune Media. They are threatening to sue us if we continue, despite the fact that, according to our lawyer, the material we are reprinting has lapsed in copyright. Even though the law appears to be on our side, we cannot afford to go into any lawsuit against a large corporation. We’ll wait and see…
Thanks for your interest and support,
Drawn & Quarterly”
Later posts in the thread suggest that a fourth volume is in the planning, so let’s just hope this is a temporary setback.