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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gasoline Alley one of the great comic strips
Gasoline Alley was created by Frank King and first appeared Sunday, November 24, 1918. The daily began about a year later, Aug 23, 1919. After many changes of artist and writer (many fans think Dick Moores was the greatest -- see Comics Revue monthly to decide for yourself) the strip still runs both Sunday and daily in newspapers today (2005), just thirteen years short...
Published on August 21, 2005 by Frederick Norwood

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading product description
Contrary to what the product description reads, this is NOT "the first-ever collection of the classic twentieth-century newspaper strip Gasoline Alley". In 2003, Spec Productions began a series of softcover collections, "Frank King's Gasoline Alley Nostalgia Journal", reprinting the strip from the first Rectangle panel (November 24, 1918). To date, four volumes have...
Published 11 months ago by Alacran


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gasoline Alley one of the great comic strips, August 21, 2005
This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
Gasoline Alley was created by Frank King and first appeared Sunday, November 24, 1918. The daily began about a year later, Aug 23, 1919. After many changes of artist and writer (many fans think Dick Moores was the greatest -- see Comics Revue monthly to decide for yourself) the strip still runs both Sunday and daily in newspapers today (2005), just thirteen years short of its hundredth aniversary.

The most memorable event in the strip, chronicled in this book, is when Walt Wallet finds on his doorstep a baby basket, containing Skeezix, on February 14, 1921. (Popeye, in the Thimble Theatre strip, would find Swee'pea in a similar basket ten years later).

The daily Frank King Gasoline Alley seems a bit slow and talky by today's faster paced standard, but his full color Sunday pages are often marvels of color and design. For some of the best full pages, see Bill Blackbeard's The Comic Strip Century.

Frank King died in 1969.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Volume 1, No. 1, July 24, 2005
By 
C. Wagner "cecilkunkle" (On the banks of the Wabash far away) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
The first volume of the proposed complete publication of Frank King's "Gasoline Alley," dailies printed in an agreeable two strip per page format, properly dated and containing 1921 and 1922. The characters are alive and grow older even as we ask where did this Skeezix come from? Who is this Mrs. Blossom, really? How does she support herself, and exactly what is going on or not between her and Walt? Ah, you will have to buy volume 2 to find out or not... Frank King drew in a simple, realistic style and put great thought into the characterization of his stars. This is not your average gag a day strip. Recommended for public and academic libraries, as well as for gentle readers of vintage cartoon strips and Frank King aficionados.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A window into the past and a great story., December 28, 2005
By 
Lee Hawley (Bellingham, WA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
Buy this book ! It is outstanding. There is a 50+ page biography of the strip's creator, Frank King, and then all the daily strips in order for the years 1921 and 1922. The biography provides context for the strip. Then there is the strip, itself. It makes for fascinating reading because a window is provided for life at the time. My favorite part was when Walt and friends went on a driving tour out west. Driving was certainly a different experience back then.

Buy this book if you are interested in history or if you just like a good story. You will not be disappointed !
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The timeless genius of Frank King!, January 17, 2007
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This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
I had never really understood the appeal of Gasoline Alley. I sensed that it was a pleasant enough "slice of life" comic strip, well drawn and harmless. I had given it a glance now and then over the years, not even beginning to sense the iceberg that was always there, just beneath the 3 or 4 daily comic panels. This was all before I was exposed to the collected early stuff and the absolute genius of creator Frank King. Now, after having just finished the first volume of "Walt and Skeezix" which covers years 1921 and 1922 of this wonderful strip, I am simply very grateful to the Montreal publishing house, Drawn and Quarterly, for undertaking the multi-year project of collecting all the dailies from the King years.

The effect of this strip is somewhat cumulative, and Jeet Heer puts it best in his introduction when he writes "Gasoline Alley needs to be read in bulk to be appreciated." As I read along, it became increasingly clear to me what an astonishingly bright gem I was looking at. After I had read about six months into the dailies from 1921, I knew I was onto something very, very unique. The story of Walt and Skeezix unfolded exactly at the pace of real life, with all the well drawn characters growing older in real time. This infuses the strip with an immediately gripping "realism" that in turn makes the reader identify in a powerful way with the characters. The moments of subtle insight into human nature are many and so brilliantly done I found myself re-reading a single daily strip two or three times to truly savor it, finding ever-deepening levels to appreciate (if this sounds like hyperbole for a review of a comic strip, all I can say is buy this volume and I bet you will agree).

I don't want to gush and ruin your enjoyment of this work. You should come to it yourself, on your own terms. I will just say that you can truly sense the earth turning as you read these pages, and that this strip contains some of the truest, purest moments of understanding that I have experienced in any book.

One can look at this collected work as an incredible record of American life, or simply appreciate Frank King's wonderful art, and be well rewarded for all effort. Just beneath the surface, though, lies a much larger and impressive piece of art. Chris Ware, editor of the series, writes in his preface "I am convinced that after all these books are published, Gasoline Alley will stand as one of the most individual, human, and genuinely great works in the history of comics." Amen to that, brother. I will go further even than Mr. Ware: I believe that Frank King's Gasoline Alley, taken as a whole, is one of the greatest works of literature by an American.

Drawn and Quarterly Books deserves a medal of recognition for this multi-volume publishing project, and I personally regret every mean thought I have ever had about our neighbors to the north.

This work is highly recommended. -Mykal Banta
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is a Gentle Wonder, July 11, 2005
This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
Finally, the first part in a projected series that reprints the most underrated masterpiece in American comic strips. There was no flash or (for the most part) melodrama to Frank King's Gasoline Alley; just an amusing look at four buddies endlessly tinkering with their cars in the alley behind their homes. Then, a few years after the strip began, the one bachelor among them, Walt, is left with a newborn baby on his doorstep. From there the strip gains the stride that has never failed it in its nearly 90 year history. Gasoline Alley is a chronicle of the upbringing of that baby, and the love between Walt and Skeezix. The strip would have been a classic with that subject alone, but King widened the Alley universe and populated it with dozens of unforgettable characters. As readers went about their everyday lives, so too did the Alley denizens, through Prohibition, the Depression, war and prosperity. There were births and deaths, laughter and sorrow, all rendered by the deceptively simple lines of Frank King's pen.

As an added bonus, the book is crammed with never-before-seen photographs of King, his homes, the actually locale of Gasoline Alley and Robert, his son who became the model for Skeezix.

Did I mention I kind of like this book? Buy it and discover a family you really would like to know.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid collection of vintage comic strips!, January 28, 2006
By 
Fermier (Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
I have been a fan of the comic strip, Gasoline Alley for my entire life. This collection of daily strips from the years 1921 and 1922, tell the story of Walt, a bachelor and car fanatic, who awakes one morning to find a foundling on his door step. He decides to raise the boy and names him Skeezix.

When he isn't taking care of Skeezix, Walt and his friends are usually out in the alley, working on their cars. Back when these strips were created, the automobile was new invention that everyone was excited about and eager to experience. Cars back then, like with most new technology, had many problems and their owners needed to keep fiddling with then in order for them to work properly. The strip follows the daily lives of, Walt and his friends from the alley. The pace of the story seems slower than comic strips you find in today's newspapers. This helps you get to know the characters and I feel is reflective of what life was probably like 85 years ago.

This is a wonderful collection and includes biographical information and many photos of the cartoonist, Frank King and his family, taken from around the time these strips were drawn. This book is a treasure, buy it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, Indispensable Americana!!!!!!!!, September 22, 2005
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This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
If I could give ten stars out of five to this book, I'd do it! If you love comic strips, American history, old automobiles, the Andy Griffith Show, or if you just want to be in on the beginning of possibly the longest running continued tale in history, do not miss this volume. Frank King's art and writing is charming, poignant, and pointed.

The book is perfectly put together - with 60 pages of marvelous introductory material, including photographs of Gasoline Alley genius and creator Frank King's family and biographical material. The strips themselves are printed two to a page and on a color of paper reminiscent of slightly aged newspaper - brilliant! There are surprising and fascinating appendices.

The strips themselves are plumb in the middle of one of Gasoline Alley's several Golden Ages. We see Walt before Skeezix winds up on his doorstep and watch the charming tale unfold as the bachelor and the baby bond. We also get to see the debut of the mysterious and beautiful Mrs. Blossom. More importantly, for me, there are laugh out loud moments, along with the more usual quiet chuckles, involving Doc, Bill, and Avery - Walt's best friends and fellow denizens of the Alley. I just love these fellows!

On top of all this, Walt and Skeezix is one of the most beautifully bound books I have seen in years. Amazing care has been taken in every aspect of this volume, from the handsomely embossed hardcover, to the retro looking dustjacket, even to the inside of the dustjacket which reproduces one of King's original storyboards in almost its original size.

Thank you Drawn and Quarterly Press! When can we expect Volume Two?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gasline Alley Recalled Fondly, July 3, 2005
By 
W. S. Capuano (Ballston Spa, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
The characters in Gasoline Alley have been aging in real time since 1921. Finally we get to see the genesis of it in this wholly satisfying collection of Frank King's classic strip. King's story telling is clearly autobiographical, and the gentle humor shown throughout is touching. Walt Wallet's relationship with the infant Skeezix (left on his doorstep)is beautiful to watch, and shows us younger readers why Skeezix feels the way he does about Walt to this day. King's art perfectly captures the baby's first year. If you're a comic strip fan (and even if you're not) this book belongs in your library, to be read over and over.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keepin' it real, January 16, 2006
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This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
King eschewed the clutter of his cookie-cutter comic strip contemporaries in the 1920s by taking a minimalist path, using simple line and lots of white space that leads the eye. His content was also ground-breaking: characters that aged in real time. Gasoline Alley evolved from a single panel gag-a-day about cars to a gentle continuity strip of middle class family life that can still be enjoyed today. King's back-story bio, complete with family album snapshots, prove that he was mirroring his life through his art. I'm anxious for the next volumes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic Comics, January 10, 2008
By 
E. David Swan (South Euclid, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)
My only previous experience with Gasoline Alley was a Mad Magazine parody called Gasoline Valley that focused on the interesting fact that the characters actually grew older as the series progressed. The Mad Magazine parody showed Skeezix aging from a baby into an old man just as the comic does however this volume features only a couple of years so at the end Skeezix is just a toddler. Gasoline Alley isn't a hilarious comic; instead it's a sweet, light hearted view of small town life in the early 1920's. The comic revolves around Walt, a big hearted confirmed bachelor who finds a baby deposited on his doorstep. This being the "good ol' days" Walt just keeps the baby becoming Uncle Walt (later in the book he does actually go to the effort to make it a legal adoption).

A lot of the jokes are repeated, for instance Walt, the only bachelor among his circle of friends, constantly uses the line `I know when I have it good' after seeing his hen pecked buddies. We also get to experience Walt's continual struggle with his weight. There are a few extended storylines including a shady land developer who takes the Gasoline Alley gang for a bit of money. The longest story is about the arrival of an attractive young lady named Blossom and her developing relationship with Walt.

Three things stood out for me in this collection. First was the always meticulous job done by editor Chris Ware who goes above and beyond the call of duty. There is a ton of fascinating background information on cartoonist Frank King. My tip is that any publisher who wants to release a comic collection like this one should call on Chris Ware. He is a man with serious passion for comics. The second thing that caught my attention is how clean and pleasant Frank King's drawings are. But what I enjoyed most about Walt and Skeezik's was the glimpse at life in the United States prior to the Great Depression.

What you need to do when reading through these comic strips is to try and put yourself into the era. These comics were created over 85 years ago and it's like peering into a time capsule. There is not a single mention of television or pop culture. Most of the residents of Gasoline Alley are chiefly concerned with the mileage they get on their tires or the cost of a new hat. Volume one pretty much satisfied my curiosity and I probably won't buy further volumes but that takes nothing away from this excellent collection. You definitely get your money's worth and it literally took me months to get through the entire book.
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Walt and Skeezix: Book One, 1921 & 1922 (Walt & Skeezix) (Bk. 1)
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