Last Friday I received a package in the mail from cartoonist Mike Cope (Cartoonist Survey #74). It was a copy of his book, “The Last of the Funnies.” I finished reading it last night and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The story combines science fiction with a historical overview of the cartooning industry and a warning about where the future may lead. It is set in the year 2076, after a worldwide energy and economic crisis. There are no longer any newspapers being printed and most forms of art and entertainment are only done via digital simulation. The story focuses on an old cartoonist, Frost and his son Giles who is a Virtual Art professor. Frost is one of the last remaining cartoonists who actually still draws his comic strip by hand. He wants his son to be his successor, but Giles doesn’t share his enthusiasm…that is, until Frost tells the story behind the special ink he uses, that draws whatever he imagines.
It really was a fun, quick read that left me wishing the book wouldn’t end. Mike’s writing does a great job of keeping the reader interested in the story while educating them on the history of the comics industry at the same time. If you are a fan of cartooning or science fiction you can’t go wrong picking up this little gem. Plus, Mike is donating $2 from every copy purchased to the Ohio State’s Cartoon Library and Museum. He is doing this in response to the challenge put out by Jean Schulz, Charles Schulz’s widow, when she donated $1 million to Ohio State’s Cartoon Library and Museum.
Here is the “The Last of the Funnies” website. You can see what Mike is up to here on his CopeToons blog.
While you are on Amazon purchasing Mike’s book, why don’t you also grab my buddy Chris Sabatino’s (Cartoonist Survey #53) latest book, “Pocket Doodles for Boys.” Both books would make a great gift for budding cartoonists young and old.