Stop the presses! The newspaper comics section is dying. The bread and butter of many newspapers has always been the comics section. That has dwindled for many years. The internet has put the final nail on the coffin for newspapers or perhaps reshaped it into something new. Either way the cartoonist is finding it hard to make ends meet with strips being dropped globally. Canadian cartoonist Mike Cope’s new book, The Last of the Funnies, tells a tale based on the eventual demise of the Sunday Funnies. Mike came up with a clever old school newsreel stop the presses video to promote his book and promises for every book sold till 2014, he will donate $2.00 as challenged by Jean Schulz (Charles Schulz’s widow) to help renovate the Ohio State Cartoon Library and Museum.
I applaud Mike for his effort and getting a free publicity stunt out of it, but Jean Schulz has so much money that I bet she does not know what to do with it. I am sure the Schulz family could easily bankroll the whole thing. They have already given one million to the cause, Mike is not even near the Schulz stratosphere when it comes to his strips. Even the most celebrated cartoonists don’t have a lucrative merchandising deal like the Schulz family do. Shame on the other cartoonist who are not coming forward living on the laurels of the Schulz legacy.
After a worldwide energy and economic crisis, newspapers have ceased production and nearly every form of art and entertainment is a digital simulation. In this seemingly impossible (but plausible) future, a crusty old cartoonist named Frost has a great gift to leave Giles, his only child. Frost is the creator of Li’l Nibs; the most celebrated comic strip about four little aliens who crash-landed on Earth during the crisis and aptly announced, “Weez Comez in Peez!” However, to Giles, the funnies have caused nothing but conflict in his life. He’s grown to resent Frost’s crudely hand-drawn creations. But as the young Virtual Art professor soon learns, things aren’t always as they appear. Like a cartoon wizard behind ink-stained curtains, Frost weaves a whimsical tale about the origins of the funnies, webcomics, and a terrorizing menace that threatens to kidnap every artist’s childhood dreams! Whether Giles believes it or not, the fate of the funnies is in his hands.