In stores now is Walt Before Skeezix, another compilation volume of Frank King's Gasoline Alley strips, but we've scrambled the order a little bit- this one is technically Volume 0 of the series! And like the other Walt and Skeezix-es, this prequel is designed by Chris Ware (who has called the series one of his all-time favourites), so you know it's a beaut.
But let's not fail to mention the cartoons, which are the real treasure. Walt Before Skeezix covers the period of 1918-1920, when the automotive boom in America was really taking off. Suddenly pretty much everyone could afford a car, and pretty much everyone was taking cars. At least Walt and his friends were-- these were, after all, Walt's young bachelor years before baby Skeezix appeared on his doorstep.
Walt Before Skeezix is already receiving praise: "Between the adorable language, the window onto early automotive life and the plain fun of reading comics from that era, this volume is a delight for any cultural history buff...The book is delightful on a purely physical level, too, with much thought and expense clearly poured into every detail. It even smells good." —NPR
I can confirm that the book does smell pretty darn good. So grab a copy, give it a whiff or a read or both (your choice-we're not judging), and settle in for some good ol' Americana. Gasoline Alley was one of the longest-running and most widely syndicated comics ever, and with good reason. This g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s and historically-important deluxe volume deserves a spot on any comics collector's shelf.
Bonus: don't forget to check out the inside of the dust jacket!