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One of the few certainties of comics blogging is that any reaction to news of a major archival collection from Fantagraphics Books — say, the Mickey Mouse strips of Floyd Gottfredson or, just this week, the complete Donald Duck stories of Carl Barks — will include a chorus of “I’m still waiting on Pogo.” That’s a reference, of course, to the planned 12-volume collection of The Complete Pogo Daily & Sunday Comics Strips by Walt Kelly, announced in February 2007. Although the series was set to debut in October of that year, to date no volumes have been released.
But the publisher promises that’s about to change. “[A] new year is upon and it’s time to ‘fess up about all the late Fantagraphics titles you were expecting to have by now, and don’t, because we suck,” Co-Publisher Kim Thompson writes on the company’s blog. “Specific apologia and weaseling have been added to some titles, others we just pass under mortified silence. 2011 will be better!”
He follows that admission with updates on some 22 titles, including the first volume of The Complete Pogo, which is now set for release this fall. “Yes, seriously, for real this time,” Thompson writes. He also previews the cover for that first collection, which you can see above.