nancy ontology
And yet another fantastic announcement you may have missed in the San Diego scramble: Fantagraphics is reprinting NANCY, Ernie Bushmiller’s great experiment in ontology, starting in early 2010.

According to Co-Publisher Gary Groth, who inked the deal, Fantagraphics has contracted to publish the first 24 years of Nancy dailies, beginning in 1938 (when Nancy took over the strip from its former star, Fritzi Ritz) through 1961. “If the demand is there,” Groth noted, “we will of course want to continue into the 1960s and beyond, if for no other reason than to run all those great ‘hippie’ Nancy episodes. But we’ll cross that bridge in 2016 when we finish publishing the books we’ve contracted for.”

“I was a late Nancy convert,” admits Co-Publisher Kim Thompson, who will be editing the series. “It wasn’t until Denis Kitchen published his Nancy collections in 1989 and 1990, after people like Bill Griffith and Scott McCloud had been touting it for years, that I finally ‘got’ it. It’s one of the all-time greats — way ahead of its time in its own goofy way. Ever since then it’s been at the back of my mind to do a more extensive reprinting, and our ongoing successes with classic reprint series these past five years told me the time is now ripe.”

Jacob Covey will design the series, while Daniel Clowes will provide the intro to the first volume.
In addition, there is a call for help from the great international Nancy Cult:

Fantagraphics will begin with the “second” volume, 1942-1945. According to Thompson, “While we have access to great, nearly complete runs for most of the 1940s dailies, it looks like it will be far more trouble to collect the 1938 and 1939 material. So we’ll be putting out a call to Nancy fans, both over the internet and in the first book itself, until we eventually secure the missing strips to double back and release the best possible 1938-1941 volume.”

At the very least, this could make games of Five-Card Nancy even more exciting!


  1. Looking at Scott McCloud’s crossword comics (as seen in Understanding Comics), why not SCRABBLE NANCY? Instead of building a word with letter tiles, one builds COMIC STRIPS with Nancy panel tiles!

    (L’Association offers something similar in France, called “Scroubabble”.)

    While waiting, why not blow your mind with an incredible essay titled “How to Read Nancy” by Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik? (Rumor has it that there will be a book sometime…)

  2. Yes. Never been invited to sit in on a game, but Five-Card Nancy is legendary. Fantagraphics would be smart to sell/hand-out a 52-card deck to promote this new series. Perhaps even host a panel with an opaque projector where five celebrity panelists play a few rounds with the audience as judges.

    Or offer an online solitaire version where visitors can post their “hands”. Fantagraphics could even publish Nancy Comics “edited” by notable creators.

  3. Not to be the ultimate name dropper, but I remember playing a game of post-Eisner Award Nancy with Scott, Icy and…Will Eisner. Who won the game!

    If that happened now I would probably Twitter about it!

  4. No rumor, “How To Read Nancy”, the book, will be forthcoming from Fantagraphics in Spring, 2010. Everything you need to know about comics wrapped up in three small panels.

  5. It’s interesting and probably a good strategy to start with the volume II. But why not do the similar thing with the already-announced-long-ago Pogo collections? Is Fanta still looking for missing strips?