August 25, 1978

The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


edited by Bill Blackbeard and Martin Williams, 336 pp, 763 illus, $27.50, paper $12.50, New York, Smithsonian Institution Press (New York, Abrams), 1978.

JAMA. 1978;240(8):789-790. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290080079039

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For most adults an anthology of comic strips will arouse two chains of association. One has to do with nostalgia, the other with an awareness of changing cultural patterns. The two may intermingle.

The degree of nostalgia will depend on one's age. Those whose memories readily extend back to the second decade of the century will, on seeing this new volume, scan it eagerly for the old favorites—the Katzenjammer Kids, Krazy Kat, Happy Hooligan,

Jiggs and Maggie. All these and more are represented by at least a few samples that bring back old memories—in my own case, eg, spreading the newspaper on the floor (that was an important part of the ritual, perhaps because I was too small to hold the paper more properly) and reading the captions while lying prone. Each of us will have different memories and emotional reactions, depending, obviously, on the point in time when the