1988: Farewell to the Gipper

Farewell to the Gipper (1988) #1 by Dan O’Neill.

Eclipse rarely published anything outside the normal comic book/magazine formats, and they didn’t publish any political cartoonists, so them doing this horizontal-format trade paperback is doubly weird. On the other hand, it perhaps part of the mini-line of political comics that started with Real War Stories the previous year. (A handful of graphic novels and trading cards on politics would follow.)

Dan O’Neill is probably most well known for participating in the Air Pirates stunt: They published and underground parody of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and were sued by Disney. (I think Disney won?) As usual when Eclipse prints something, there’s no mention where these strips came from, but I’ll guess an alternative weekly.

There’s an introduction by the Mayor of Boston, for some reason that’s not explained.

O’Neill seems like a guy who liked to do various weird stunts, so let’s hope the strip is funny.

Eh… Not really. But his lettering’s nice. Especially the logo, which has an oldee tymey look to it.

And it’s weird that Eclipse printed these strips with a huge top margin. Why not trim it down to the strip size?

How much effort O’Neill put into the artwork varies wildly, but it’s mostly pretty sketchy.

The bad reproduction doesn’t help, either. Lines fade to nothingness, and black areas fill in. It’s not a pleasure to look at.

I do like the patter of the dialogue. It feels quite natural.

And O’Neill is pretty prescient.

Some of these strips could have been text only, which is a bit tiresome. And it’s not really that funny, is it? It’s wryly amusing at best.

The later strips in this collection are generally the better ones.

The book has never been reprinted, apparently.

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