Mr. Twee Deedle by Johnny Gruelle
Raggedy Ann's Sprightly Cousin: The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle

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A spectacular re-presentation of a lost classic.

The second Marschall Books collection from Fantagraphics is a magnificent collection of Mr. Twee Deedle, Johnny Gruelle’s masterpiece, unjustly forgotten by history and never before reprinted since its first appearance in America’s newspapers from 1911 to 1914.  The title character in the Sunday color page, Mr. Twee Deedle, is a magical wood sprite who befriends the strip’s two human children, Dickie and Dolly. Gruelle depicted a charming, fantastical child’s world, filled with light whimsy and outlandish surrealism. The artwork is among the most stunning ever to grace an Amercian newspaper page, and Gruelle’s painterly color makes every page look like it was created on a canvas.

Gruelle’s creation was the winning entry out of 1500 submissions to succeed Little Nemo, which the New York Herald was losing at the time to the rival Hearst papers. With such import, the Herald added a $2000 prize, a long contract, and arguably the most care devoted to the reproduction of any color newspaper comic strip before or since. Yet the wood sprite and his fanciful world have been strangely overlooked, partly because Gruelle created Raggedy Ann immediately after the strip’s run, eclipsing not only Mr. Twee Deedle but almost everything else the cartoonist ever did.

Mr. Twee Deedle stands as a bizarre time-warp: at a time when most children’s literature and kids’ comic strips were somewhat violent or starkly moralistic (the Brothers Grimm; the Katzenjammer Kids; and even Little Nemo itself, which often depicted nightmares, fears, and dangers), Twee Deedle was sensitive and whimsical. Instead of stark moralizing, it presented gentle lessons. It reads today like a work for the 21st century… indeed for all times, all ages.

Mr. Twee Deedle is edited and includes an introduction by comics historian Rick Marschall. The volume will present the first year of the forgotten masterpiece and selected episodes from later years, as well as special drawings, promotional material, and related artwork. 128 pages of full color

About Johnny Gruelle

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Author, illustrator, and cartoonist Johnny Gruelle was born in Arcola, Illinois on December 24, 1880. Throughout his life, he worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Herald and McCall's. In 1914, he received his first book commission which was a set of illustrations for a volume of Grimms' fairy tales. He is best known for creating the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and stories. It all started when he gave his daughter Marcella a dusty, faceless doll that was found in his mother's attic. He drew a face on it, named her Raggedy Ann, and created stories about her for Marcella. Eventually, he decided to recreate the doll and stories for other children and in 1915, he patented and trademarked the design of the doll. He published the first book and matching doll in 1918 with the P. F. Volland Company. Many more stories and the Raggedy Andy doll soon followed. He died on January 9, 1939. Tony Millionaire lives in Pasadena, CA with his wife, the actress Becky Thyre, and their two daughters. He creates the award-winning weekly syndicated comic strip Maakies . His books include Billy Hazelnuts , Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird, Der Struwwelmaakies , Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury , Maakies with the Wrinkled Knees , Mighty Mite the Ear Mite , Premillennial Maakies , Little Maakies on the Prairie , The House at Maakies Corner , When We Were Very Maakies , 500 Portraits, and the Sock Monkey series of comics and storybooks. Rick Marschall , called by Bostonia Magazine perhaps Americarsquo;s foremost authority on popular culture, has written oredited more than 60 books. He co-founded Nemo: The Classic Comics Library and Hoganrsquo;s Alley magazines and is President ofRosebud Archives. He has taught comics history at the School of Visual Arts and Rutgers University. His biography of JohannSebastian Bach will be published by Thomas Nelson in 2010.
Published June 11, 2012 by Fantagraphics. 128 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Humor & Entertainment.

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The Washington Times

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A comic strip's popularity and long-term appeal is determined by various factors, including generational references, character and story development and merchandising. That's why some great strips have been able to maintain a strong following (Peanuts, Beetle Bailey, Little Nemo in Slumberland, P...

Jun 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Mr. Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann'...

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