Living The Line; $39.99

Forbes’ Rob Salkowitz called The Strange Death of Alex Raymond “…an inspired work of obsessive genius that will take a long time to untangle.” And he’s right, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the journey. In fact, for the mind-bending trek through the development of the top comic strip art of the 20th century (and probably all time), that journey may well be the destination.

Cerebus creator Dave Sim is not a newcomer when it comes to groundbreaking, but in The Strange Death of Alex Raymond he has gone all out to deliver readers a compelling, thought-provoking look at the techniques and the stories behind such comic strip luminaries as Alex Raymond (Rip Kirby), Stan Drake (Juliet Jones), Hal Foster (Prince Valiant), Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates), and others.

At first it may seem a beautiful, rather stream-of-conscience-type approach, but Sim and Carson Grubaugh weave their own intricate story on or in which all of their analysis rests. They showcase the artists and their respective approaches to comic art in convincing fashion.

This is an amazing piece of work that will take some time to fully digest. It’s also superbly produced.

– J.C. Vaughn