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BALLS OF FIRE: MORE SNUFFY SMITH COMICS

 

Balls of Fire: More Snuffy Smith Comics
By John Rose
138 7.5x7-inch pages, b/w
2016 Lulu paperback
$19.50

This is the second collection of this famed comic strip from Rose, who took over the feature in 2001 after the death of Fred Lasswell, who’d been assisting its creator Billy DeBeck and inherited the strip in 1942, soon after DeBeck’s death. Rose had been assisting Lasswell since 1998, and he has the appearance of the classic cast of hillbillies down pat — even to the visual tic of making all the characters talk out of the sides of their mouths. The strip started June 17, 1919 under the title Take Barney Google, F’Instance; it is, therefore, the second oldest comic strip still in daily circulation (Gasoline Alley is the oldest, debuting in 1918 on November 24). But Lasswell and then Rose kept the comedy contemporary albeit just a little cornball, in keeping with the happy hillbilly ambiance.

BarneySnuffy1

Despite the title of the strip — Barney Google and Snuffy Smith — Barney (the original star of the feature) hasn’t been seen in it much since he was formally written out in 1954. Lasswell brought him back occasionally “for the old folks” (fans), but Rose has let Barney visit about once a year since 2012, when he came back for a week for the first time in 15 years. Barney appears two or three times in the volume at hand, culled from releases in 2013 and 2014. And he’s around a couple of times in Rose’s preceding tome, The Bodacious Best of Snuffy Smith (same dimensions and price, also from Lulu).

Here is a sampling of the bounty in Balls of Fire.

BarneySnuffy2

BarneySnuffy3

 

For the complete Barney Google, Snuffy Smith, DeBeck, Lasswell and Rose saga, beam up to the Usual Place to visit Harv’s Hindsight for December 2009, where all is divulged.                       

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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