This collects the first years of Frank King's beloved comic strip Gasoline Alley--one of the most widely read and syndicated strips of its time, which is still syndicated today. These first strips and single-panel cartoons focus primarily on Walt Wallet and his friends as they engage with the then-novel automobile sensation that was sweeping the nation. And philosophize about being "common men" on the social scale, and get stoic about putting their primitive jalopies, and those of others, in running shape.
This period of the newspaper strip is especially fascinating as a historical time capsule, charting a moment in America's past when horses and buggies shared the road with cars, and when the country was making the transition from rural farmers to urban, industrialized society.
King was a pioneering American cartoonist who changed comics forever by setting his strip in contemporary America and having his characters age in real time. These lavish volumes pay tribute to the evolution of his style and storytelling. Designed and edited by the world-renowned cartoonist Chris Ware, Walt Before Skeezix includes a wide-ranging introductory essay from the noted comics historian Jeet Heer, the co-editor of Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium, and an essay by Tim Samuelson, the cultural historian for the city of Chicago, about how Chicago's history is reflected in King's newspaper strip.