Sunday, October 28, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #301: What a Long Strange Strip It's Been by Keith Knight

I'm a big fan of irony. So I'm happy to report that What a Long Strange Strip It's Been is a collection from 2002 of a weekly strip that started sometime in the '90s (I can't find any exact date, online or in this book) and is still running today.

So, yes, K Chronicles is long -- I'll let the creator's statement about strangeness stand, and not comment -- but it's been much longer since this book was published than it was beforehand.

Ah, cheap irony: isn't it lovely?

Anyway, this was a collection of the "K Chronicles" strips by Keith Knight from what seems to be a two-and-a-half year period covering something like 1999-2001. The strips are each presented on a single page here, which gives a decent amount of space to these multi-panel, filled-with-words extravaganzas. (They could have been even bigger, frankly -- if the book was an inch or two larger each dimension, it wouldn't hurt. Could show off Knight's artwork, as well.)

K Chronicles is somewhere in the the no-man's-land between political cartoon and slice-of-life: some strips are about Knight's everyday life, some are about current political issues, and some are odder, idiosyncratic things, such as the periodic "Life's Little Victories" strips. That's a good thing when reading a collection of the strip -- there might be two weeks in a row that are on similar topics, but that's fairly rare, and Knight usually bounces to something else right afterward. It gives Long Strange Strip a breadth that's uncommon in a strip collection: most creators stick more closely to a specific remit.

Of course, that's true for K Chronicles in general, and there are probably (does quick math) a dozen other collections of that strip of about this size out there, or potentially out there, for you to enjoy. Keith Knight is good at this, smart, has good drawing chops and a grounded, particular viewpoint to work from. Go find his stuff.

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