Comic strip fans had much to choose from in 2008. Several classic strips have been reprinted in new formats, many for the first time. While all the news for the future of the newspaper comic strip isn’t good — comic strip space in newspapers continued to be at a premium, and several editorial cartoonists were laid off in 2008 — the year did provide a window into the past with several top-notch collections.
Two of the reprint projects have Oklahoma connections — IDW continued its comprehensive "The Complete Dick Tracy” reprints, and Fantagraphics reprinted almost all of Bill Mauldin’s "Willie and Joe” panels. Willie and Joe: The World War II Years collects 600 cartoons, many never-before reprinted, of Bill Mauldin’s cartoons from the front lines. Bill Mauldin’s early cartoons were published in The Oklahoman. Mauldin served with the 45th Infantry Division, and more than 200 of his cartoons are collected at the 45th Infantry Division Museum, 2145 NE 36th Street. "The Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy” volumes 4 and 5 were released in 2008. Volume 4 contains comic strips from July 1936 through January 1938.