The Last of the Funnies

The Last of the Funnies cover
The Last of the Funnies
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This oversized short story (the book is only 80 pages, with eight of them an appendix of referenced images) uses a science fiction premise to explore the past and future of comic strips. Roughly seventy years from now, the newspaper is dead and all entertainment is virtual. Frost is a cartoonist clinging to the past, still drawing with pen and ink, trying to teach his son Giles the craft.

It’s a quick read, with short chapters, fascinated with specifying the tools of the trade, as though the author really was trying to capture a slice of time for the future. Most of the text is a history lesson as Frost tries to inspire Giles to understand the magic of cartooning. There’s also a screed against the Orphan Works Act and every artist’s wish dream, a magic ink that draws itself beautifully if you think hard at it.

Overall, the various pieces never gel. It’s a mission statement more than a story, an incident more than a path of change. Read an excerpt at the book’s website.

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