Two Swell New Comic Reprints

Red Dragon #4 (August 1948) is a comic so rare that it only rated a note (p. 71), not a listing, in the definitive Pictures and Conversations: Lewis Carroll in the Comics, as none of the authors had ever seen a copy, which sells for $200-$500 these days. Fortunately, we all can have a b&w reproduction of the story, along with an article about its creator, Edd Cartier, as they now appear in The Shadow , Volume 86, by Sanctum Books (2014), obtainable at Bud Plant for $15. Cartier also illustrated the story “Jabberwocky Thrust” in Shadow Mystery magazine (Oct. – Nov. 1947).

The wonderfully printed and thrillingly oversized (21.6 x 16.9 inches; 55 x 43 cm.) Society is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy of the Dawn of the American Comic Strip 1895-1915 ($125 list) reproduces both the teaser page for the first instance of Alice in the “funny pages” (“Alice’s Adventures in Funnyland,” Chicago Sunday Tribune, November 10, 1901 — yes, the “Alfred E. Neuman” lookalike) and a page from Buddy Tucker Meets Alice in Wonderland (1906). (The “Funnyland” page and a similar page from Buddy Tucker are in Alice in Comicland [$30 list] although at a smaller size.) The rest of the book is wonderful as well; Chris Ware calls it, “a mind-blowing portable museum retrospective of the raw, tangled ferocity and frustration that went into the making of America.”