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Cartoon Monarch: Otto Soglow and the Little King Hardcover – April 5, 2012

11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing (April 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613771487
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613771488
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 9.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Grossman on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable book of a neglected strip artist - Otto Soglow. His art is as unique as any comic strip artist and is the strip itself is unlike any other. It must be taken in small doses and this book fills the bill. Beautiful printing on great stock.

Besides the Monarch himself is the complete run of The Ambassador, almost a Little King clone. My one disappointment is the short shift of Sentinel Louie, the topper in the Sundays. There are about nine or ten pages of him.

A great book about a very neglected genius and a perfect partner for the wonderful new Nancy book. Now, can't we have the most neglected strip of all time, Clifford McBride's Napoleon and Uncle Elby, possibly the best dog strip of the 20th century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John J. Pocsik on June 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Otto Soglow's deceptively simple Sunday strip THE LITTLE KING
has been given the deluxe IDW treatment - and it's wonderful!
Our rotund royal delights on just about every page, with panels
that are artistic gems - whether LK is trying to sneak out of
the palace just to have some fun; or to free himself from the stodgy
routine which is his particular bane. I wasn't aware that
Soglow, a contributor to THE NEW YORKER, used his creation in that magazine's pages. IDW
provides a brief essay on his artistic endeavors - some of which are
rather surprising - along with examples of the Little King's
predecessor strip, THE AMBASSADOR. A hefty volume, nicely produced.
If you are into "different" newspaper strip art, this is for you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M.B. on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
US comic strip fans have been waiting a long time for a collection of "The Little King." It's finally here and it does not disappoint.

The editors did a nice job of cleaning up the strips that have been out of print in the US for a long time. I'm not sure why the first quarter of the book is in color and the rest of it is in black and white. I prefer the black and white because it is easier to see Soglow's rigid and mathematical lines. Each of the hundreds of strips has a lot of build up before the final "shocking" gag panel and they are all generally cute with a few that are poignant. It is very difficult to read a whole slew of strips in one sitting. The temptation is to read past most of the panels and go straight to the gag, because many of the strips fit into a couple of different formulas that Soglow mastered.

The introduction includes many interesting examples of Soglow's work before "The Little King" as well as numerous examples of his advertising art, but I take issue with the introduction's thesis that "The Little King" represents a struggle between Soglow's inner-leftist and his desire to make money. That seemed like the unsupported thesis of an academic (who probably knows a lot more than I do about the material). Soglow obviously reveled in marketing his character for the sake of money. I also disagree that the strip is artistically economic and that there are no unnecessary lines, because Soglow draws plenty of unnecessary (but visually delightful) panels in every strip.

I would have liked an explanation of why they chose the strips that are included. There are huge chunks left out. I'm curious why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allan Holtz on September 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's about time that Otto Soglow and his Little King finally got their due. Universally admired for his economy of line and elegant flowing style, Soglow's art is a treat that should have this book on any cartooning fan's wish list.

We couldn't ask for more in this collection. There are more Little King strips in here than you can shake a stick at, so many in fact that we really get to know Soglow's tricks for putting together pantomime gags. Pantomime is the toughest act to pull off in comics, and to get inside Soglow's mind to this extent is an enlightening treat. What is also wonderful is that the strips are chosen from a complete cross-section of the strip's long lifespan. Oddly enough, I found the latest material (1975) to be perhaps the most fascinating. By this time Soglow's aging mind seemed to be a little off, and the strips become downright Dali-esque. The surreal element was probably unintentional, but it is quite unsettling work, especially when tackled right after perusing the earlier more lighthearted strips.

In addition to The Little King, we also get a good sampling of The Ambassador, Soglow's 1933-34 stand-in while King Features was waiting for the rights to use The Little King, originally held by The New Yorker. We also get some Sentinel Louie topper strips. An excellent biographical essay by Jared Gardner includes rare early Soglow work, including material in different styles that you would never guess to be Soglow's. The only thing I missed was a sampling of Soglow's short-lived Travelin' Gus strip, but that has been reprinted in Hogan's Alley magazine, so I guess they felt that strip had already gotten its due.

Most of the Little King strips are reproduced in black and white, but there is a color section of nearly a hundred pages.
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