Harrisburg Patriot-News on WALT & SKEEZIX

Graphic Lit

Harrisburg Patriot-News    |    Christopher Mautner    |    September 18, 2005

Everyone rightly acknowledges comic strips such as "Peanuts" and "Calvin and Hobbes" as classics. Equally deserving of that title, though largely ignored, is Frank King's "Gasoline Alley," a lovely, heartfelt strip that moved in real time, with the characters aging at the same pace as the reader.

Drawn and Quarterly and Chris Ware are now attempting to give King his due, thanks to this immense first volume in a projected series that will collect King's entire run.

What starts as a gag-a-day comic involving the early fascination with automobiles turns into something altogether different when main character Walt Wallet finds an abandoned baby on his doorstep. From there, the strip becomes a warm and funny look at parenthood and the simple joys of life. Extensive essays and archival photos of King sweeten the package. Do yourself a favor and pick up this lovely piece of early 20th-century Americana.

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