The much-beloved cult strip Barnaby by Crockett Johnson is getting a quality reprint, courtesy of Fantagraphics, The Comics Reporter reports. Eric Reynolds will edit while Dan Clowes supplies the art direction. The first volume is due in April 2012. Spurge has all the history and details:

CR has learned that that Fantagraphics wishes to make public that it’s reached an agreement to publish a major, all-but-complete collection of Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby. One of the best comic strips of the 20th Century and one of the most beloved older strips for a generation of devoted adult comics fans, Barnaby had become in the last decade and a half the great unsigned strip collection.

Johnson is also known as the creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon, and many other favorite children’s books. The return of Barnaby is welcome news and means that minute by minute, the list of essential comics in print and available grows larger and larger.


  1. I’ve read a bit of it. Even acquired one of the original reprints. What I’ve seen I’ve liked quite a bit. For that matter, Art Spiegelman was trying to get the reprint rights for years.

    Good news, indeed.

  2. Fantastic!

    Columbia had a foresightful librarian back in the 1960s who bought the 1967 Dover reprint of the unabridged 1943 edition, so it’ll be interesting to compare this to that one and make sure we’ve got the whole kit & caboodle.

    Barnaby is awesome.

  3. From what I’ve heard from various talks with Fantagraphics staff at trade shows, the estate wanted more money than was economically feasible, thinking that Barnaby could be relaunched in other media.

    I actually own one of those Del Rey paperbacks… They are not too pricey online…

    Nice to see the University Press of Mississippi is publishing a biography!

    So what’s next on the strip parade? Gordo? Sesame Street?

  4. Just to clarify: yes, “all-but-complete” is 100% accurate in the sense that the five volumes won’t include the 1960-1962 retreads or the redrawn versions (for Holt in 1943 and 1944). But it will include the complete 1942-1952 run of the strip. Happy to see that you all are enthusiastic about this, too! Have wanted to make this happen for years! So, it is indeed time to celebrate with your local chapter of the Elves, Leprechauns, Gnomes and Little Men’s Chowder and Marching Society.