When I began "Stanley Stories" as a primitive website in 2000, John Stanley's work was almost entirely unreprinted. Only the flawed but essential Little Lulu Library had been issued, and that was 15 years prior.
In 2009, we will see the publication of several new volumes of John Stanley comics--from Drawn + Quarterly's series of Stanley's 1960s work, to Dark Horse's continuation of the Lulu reprints (and, just announced, the run of Stanley's companion title Tubby) to the upcoming Toon Treasury, a thick hardcover book of great "kid's comics" from the 1930s to the '60s, including a substantial section on John Stanley, to which I contributed input.
All this reprinting is wonderful. It restores John Stanley's largely-unread work to a mass audience. I'm all for it.
What does it mean for the future of this blog?
I've gone out of my way to avoid posting any stories that already exist in an in-print, available edition.
With D+Q reprinting Dunc 'n' Loo, Nancy, Melvin Monster and Thirteen Going on Eighteen, and DH finishing the Stanley run of the Marge-based titles, that doesn't leave much wiggle room for me.
I'd like to get your honest feedback:
Would you rather I avoid this material, as it will be available in book form within the next few years?
Shall I restrain myself only to the material that will obviously never be reprinted (the Walter Lantz-based material, etc.)?
Or should I comment on stories without "reprinting" them here, and creating a redundancy with the soon-to-be-published books? As I understand it, none of these books will offer anything substantial in the way of introductions or critical commentary.
At least 60% of what I've posted on this blog, so far, will be in those books.
I enjoy working in this blog, and I feel that, in many cases, I am the first person to ever offer critical analysis of this work. Is that enough to sustain your interest as a reader?
Thanks. I await your input. I'm a worry-wart, so I may be fretting over nothing at all.
UPDATE: Wow! Thanks for your comments! I feel utterly reassured!
Look for a new post with a couple of Stanley stories this weekend...