About Comics is not particularly proud to admit that we've just released a reprint of Alley Whoops!, a 1962 book of mediocre cartoons about bowling by Hal Sherman, who is better known for his artwork on Golden Age comic books. This co-creator (with Jerry Siegle) of the Star-Spangled Kid had a run of doing original cartoon paperbacks, of which this is not the best. (The Little Friar, a book that we reprinted last year, is much better than this.)
So why did we reprint this obscure book? Obviously, it's not great work. And it's not a particularly good window on its times the way some other About Comics projects are; the cartoons are set in the cartoon clichés of the time, particularly when it comes to husband/wife relations (husbands trying tot sneak off into doing their hobby, wives trying to keep them from it, and men humiliated that their wife is a better bowler than they are), but they really don't tell you much. So it must've been for the bucks, right? If you think so, you must not have seen the nigh-indetectible sales of The Little Friar, or of our book of golf cartoons by much better and better-known talent, Great Golf Gags by Classic Cartoonists.
We reprinted this book because we – and I'm using the corporate "we" here, as About Comics is a one-man company, that one man being the secretly handsome Nat Gertler – wanted a nice, calm simple project to do during these turbulent times. I've got other projects, with a graphic novel in the works, a book for a larger publisher in the editing phase, and other things that I'd like to put forth. But taking a day or two for scanning, doing basic clean-up, resetting the text, handling the layout, and so forth was just what the doctor would've ordered, had the doctor been open. It's all work that I can do while simultaneously watching TV (and hey, Hulu has Terriers! This both fun and dark detective series only ran a season, but it tells a complete tale and it's Really Good. Not sure if this is the third or fourth time I've watched it, but it won't be the last.)
So if for some reason you really want this book of over 120 cartoons, Alley Whoops! is available for $5.99 through Amazon US, and just $2.99 on your Kindle.
But a better idea is to find a little room in your life for something that makes you calm and happy. Take care of others when you can, but take care of yourself as well, and we'll see you on the other side.