Sam's Strip: The Comic About Comics
By Mort Walker & Jerry Dumas
Sam’s Strip was ahead of its time when it debuted in 1961. Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas’ offbeat creation took the inside joke of breaking the “fourth wall” to a new level, playing with the basic elements of the cartoon form, experimenting with different art styles and featuring famous characters from other strips. Sam and his cartoonist assistant owned and operated the comic strip they inhabited. The Yellow Kid, Jiggs, Krazy Kat, Dagwood, and Charlie Brown were among the many familiar faces who made walk-on appearances. Sam and his assistant discussed the inner workings and hidden secrets of life within the panel borders. This type of self-referential humor, called “metacomics” by scholar Thomas Inge, had been explored previously by Al Capp, Ernie Bushmiller, and Walt Kelly and has been used on a more regular basis by such contemporary cartoonists as Garry Trudeau, Berke Breathed, and Bill Griffith. Sam’s Strip, which never appeared in more than 60 newpapers, was too esoteric for most readers, and was terminated by its creators in 1963. It is considered a cult classic among comic-strip aficionados today.
This collection features the complete 20-month run, almost 510 daily strips, of Sam’s Strip. Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas provide first-hand accounts of the creation of the strip and other rare, behind-the-scenes material, including unpublished sketches, original artwork, photographs and sales brochures. Take a trip beyond the fourth wall and rediscover this unique behind-the-scenes look at the world of comic strip humor.