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Cartoon Monarch: Otto Soglow and the Little King Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
GREAT content but way too dinky of a format for Soglow's wonderful graphic cartoons and comic strips. Read morePublished 9 months ago by monte beauchamp
A well-done volume of this classic Sunday-only comic strip that seemed to last forever. Most surprising to me were the early pages Otto Soglow drew as "The Ambassador,"... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lucian of Samosata
The Little King is the only cartoon with no dialog that can make me laugh out loud.Published 20 months ago by snuster
I found it for a long time!
It's a awesome book!
Everything is perfect!
the delivery so fast/! Read more
This is one of my favorites! This is great thinking for people of all ages who enjoy life, thought, contemplation. This character is a fine and thoughtful human being. Read morePublished on June 5, 2013 by Jim
As a baby boomer I grew up reading "The Little KIng" every Sunday. It was a treasured part of my childhood. Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by sixtiesscawt