Hands On: The Library of American Comics Essentials: Alley Oop

Find out about the caveman time traveler from the newspapers.

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Spotlight On: The Library of American Comics Essentials: Alley Oop

Do you know who Alley Oop is? Find out about the time traveling caveman from the newspaper comics.

Here's another spotlight on a really cool recent release. IDW has collected some of the classic newspaper comics featuring Alley Oop, the time traveling caveman.

When this book came out and I would mention Alley Oop to people, I was surprised at how many people didn't know who or what I was talking about. I'd say, "You know, the caveman that was able to time travel in the daily newspaper comics."

You can check out our hands on video at the top of the page to really get a feel for the presentation of the book.

Alley Oop was created by V.T. Hamlin and first appeared in newspapers in late 1932. He didn't always time travel. His adventures originally were in the kingdom of Moo.

Alley Oop had a pet dinosaur, Dinny. His girlfriend was Oola and of course we had King Guz who sort of ruled the kingdom (I saw sort of because many times it seemed like Queen Umpateedle really ruled).

With this release, we see when and how Alley Oop and Oola started time traveling, which happened in 1939.

What always struck me as odd as I didn't know Alley Oop had time traveling adventures for some time. I started out reading his stories in the Sunday comics. It was actually later, when I had a paper route, I discovered he had some scientist friends and he traveled through time. It kind of blew my mind.

If you think about, being able to travel through time must have given V.T. Hamlin a huge amount of room to tell all sorts of stories.

What I really love about this release is the format. It's a little oddly shaped with dimensions at 1.2" x 11.5" x 4.5". It really works having one strip per page rather than several, shrunk down, on the same page. One of the things I immediately fell in love with was Hamlin's art. Having the strips presented this way allows for the art to be larger and you can really admire the detail. Other comics from this period or later sometimes felt as if they were skimping on the details.

This release contains 336 pages and retails for $24.99. Even if you haven't heard of Alley Oop before, it's worth checking out. Chances are if you don't know who he is, maybe your parents will.

I do hope we see more releases like this. There was always something about Alley Oop that fascinated me but it was difficult for me to always keep up with reading the newspaper on a daily basis when being a kid was so demanding. The book was released earlier this month so you should be able to find it at stores or online.

Make sure you check out the video at the top of the page to really get a sense of the size of the book.

5 Comments
Posted by iceslick

@g_man: No Tony I don't know who he is. I don't even think my parents do either because they barely read newspapers back in the days. Like the majority people do now these days (not read newspapers), maybe that's why they don't know who he is. lol I do think this looks pretty cool though, I really like that book is opened in newspaper strip format. It can make it easier to read I think and I think those Superman or Spider-Man newspaper strips should look like that and that's a cool bookmark. I think I might check it when I go to the comic book store in the city whenever I'm in the city (Another reason why I do digital there's no comic book stores where I live. :-()

I also researched that the "alley-oop" saying comes from the French called "allez-oop" which people say out loud when a circus acrobat is about to leap. So, I guess I kind of get where the phrase came from.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alley-oop