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Fuck Yes

The news broke yesterday and a friend asked me, had I heard? My reply:


In fact just about two weeks back I had the opportunity to tell Chris Onstad that The Great Outdoor Fight is one of my dessert island books so perhaps one dude or even none in a million wants that collection as much as me

This is not to brag

Two things should be mentioned here: I was speaking of the announcement (over AV Club way) of Oni Press‘s forthcoming comprehensive reprint of Achewood. And while I think I got the intent across in my paraphrase, I really should have said Oh necessarily instead of A’course. In my defense, I was on a train at the time.

Achewood has defeated attempts to reprint it in the past. There are the floppy collections of strips that Chris Onstad put out, nine volumes (IIRC) covering up to 10 May 2007¹, long since out of print. Dark Horse wisely started with the greatest run of comic strips in history, The Great Outdoor Fight, before looping back to the beginning of the strip with two additional volumes (covering up to the end of October 2002) before just stopping.

To be fair, Achewood is an acquired taste, and shifting to the start after seeing Onstad at the height of his power would be like starting the comprehensive Peanuts reprints around 1965 for one really great plot arc, then jumping back to 1950. It’s still Peanuts, and Schulz was always Schulz, but it’s also clearly nascent.

But now there’s an additional decade of pent-up demand, and a near-universal recognition of Onstad’s place in American Letters. And it’s going to be edited by Christopher Butcher, late of Viz, and founder of TCAF. There is literally nobody I would rather have in the editorial seat for this project.

The first volume of Achewood: The Complete Canon will release just before SDCC (14 July, to be exact), and will cover strips from October 2001 to June 2004 (no end date announced, but the last strip of the month is Ray going Goth so let’s hope it’s all of June).

That’s more than 600+, which Oni Press has confirmed to me will be in chronological order². No word yet on trim size, or how many volumes the series will take. Assuming they’re all that size, we should get The Fight (and the rest of 2006 — The Badass Games! The Transfer Station! Airwolf! Magic underpants! Mexican Magical Realism! Mister Band! — there’s possibly not a better calendar year of any webcomic, ever) in the second volume, and I’d anticipate five or six books in all.

It’s time to clear some space on the bookshelf.

Reached for comment on the awesomeness of his editing gig, Chevalier Butcher replied:

I’m definitely not afraid of the cops right now

Which would make him Mr Cornelius Bear, which is frankly perfect.

Updates on Achewood: The Complete Canon are available by sign-up at Oni’s site. You can be damn sure we’ll share whatever we at Fleen learn.

Spam of the day:


As I had occasion to say just yesterday (albeit in reference to something else), Scooby Doo doesn’t count unless Frank Welker is voicing Fred. That fact is non-negotiable.

¹ Volume X would therefore start on a Fuck You Friday, as it turns out.

² The 2nd and 3rd Dark Horse volumes had the earliest strips, the ones before the introduction of Ray, Pat, and Roast Beef, at the back of the book.

….and obviously the key arc in 1965-era Peanuts was the period when Linus became obsessed with the idea of being ‘chomped’ by a Queen Snake.

Naturally. Once you’ve been chomped by a Queen Snake, you’re a goner!

Also roughly the era when the Head Beagle was introduced. As we all know, Thompson was in trouble.

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