GEORGE MCMANUSâ€™ BRINGING UP FATHER is the third and latest in NBM Publishingâ€™s FOREVER NUTS series of classic screwball strips, after the well-received MUTT & JEFF and HAPPY HOOLIGAN.Â One of the great creations in humor, character, and cartoon art, BRINGING UP FATHER became the 20th centuryâ€™s second longest running strip, but it was more than that.
BRINGING UP FATHER began in 1913, when 28-year-old cartoonist McManus started drawing the adventures of Jiggs and Maggie, a lower-class couple who came into money. â€œWhile the snobbish Maggie and beautiful daughter Nora . . . constantly try to â€˜bring upâ€™ Father to his new social position,â€ comics expert Clark Holloway has said, â€œJiggs can think of nothing finer than sitting down at Dinty Moore’s restaurant to finish off several dishes of corned beef and cabbage, followed by a night out with the boys from the old neighborhood. The clash of wills that ensued often resulted in flying rolling-pins, smashed crockery, and broken vases, all aimed in the general direction of Jiggs’s skull.â€œ
In BRINGING UP FATHER, the daily comic strip left its rough and quirky origins to take a clean, carefully designed turn. From the scratchy, funky look of the stripâ€™s birth to a style that lovingly rendered Maggieâ€™s latest fashions and the dÃ©cor behind them, McManus and his increasingly smooth line reveled in art deco and rococo.
FOREVER NUTSâ€™ collection presents all the dailies of the classic stripâ€™s first two years, many of which have not been reprinted since they first appeared nearly a century ago. â€œThe strips have been meticulously restored,â€ NBM Publishing chief Terry Nantier says in the companyâ€™s blog. â€œIt looks gorgeous.â€
Comic-strip expert Jeffrey Lindenblatt is the FOREVER NUTS seriesâ€™ editor. For more than 15 years, Lindenblatt has been reprinting classic comic strips in his magazines The Missing Years (featuring comics that have not been reprinted in decades) and Strip Adventure.
Lindenblatt and Nantier have assembled quite a team for BRINGING UP FATHER. Comic-strip expert Bill Blackward contributes the bookâ€™s forward, and cartoonist R.C. Harvey provides an introduction that â€œgives us all we could want to know about McManus and this seminal strip,â€ says Nantier. Comics historian Allen Holtz of the website Stripperâ€™s Guide has helped to clean up the old strips and delivers â€œquite a few annotations/footnotes at the end of the book that explain references in the strips,â€ Nantier says.
NBM Publishing is no stranger to great comic-strip reprints. The company was the first publisher to issue complete runs of comic-strip classics, starting with Milton Caniffâ€™s Terry and the Pirates in 1983.
GEORGE MCMANUSâ€™ BRINGING UP FATHER is a 192-page jacketed hardcover, with black-and-white interior art, 11 x 8 1/2 inches, at a cover price of $24.95; the ISBN is 978-1-56163-556-6.