Cast Away on the Letter A – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer, submits this review:

Cast Away on the Letter A, by Fred. [Translated by Richard Kutner.]download (2)

NYC, Candlewick Press/TOON Books, September 2014, hardcover $16.95 (45 [+ 1] pages).

I have been waiting for over forty years for this book! In the 1960s and early ‘70s, before I concentrated upon Japanese comics and furry literature, I was an obsessive fan of French-language cartoon albums; bandes dessinées. I did not only buy those that came to Los Angeles; I mail-ordered them from Paris and from Brussels. I also got the three major weekly magazines; Spirou, Tintin, and Pilote.

In 1965, Pilote began serializing the work of a new cartoonist: Fred. There was nothing quite like it, but it was in the same surrealistic, psychedelic league as Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, The Kin-der Kids by Lyonel Feininger, and Krazy Kat by George Herriman. Fred became an instant star among the creators of French-language comics. His greatest work was the Philémon series, 15 volumes from 1972 to 1987. Other memorable works, short series or single albums, were (titles translated) The Little Circus; The Bottom of the Air is Fresh; Timoléon (three volumes); Okay, I’m Coming; Hmm; and The Story of the Crow in Tennis Shoes.

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