miltgrossyoe miltgrossyoe

Craig Yoe’s Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story

How do I love thee, let me count the ways: this isn’t so much a book review, but a book RAVE. Craig Yoe’s massive new tome reprinting the comic book art of Milt Gross (IDW/Yoe Books, 354 color pages, $39.99 or cheaper on Amazon) is an absolute must-have by everyone reading this blog. Buy it now. Gross was the dean of funny cartoonists, influencing everyone from Bob Clampett and Harvey Kurtzman to R. Crumb. He pioneered what we call today the graphic novel, worked in animation, wrote songs, coined slang, had a long running newspaper comic strip and directed two insane MGM cartoons in the 1930s (I’ve embed one of them, Jitterbug Follies (1939), below).

Yoe’s new book reprints Gross’ rarely seen comic pages for Picture News magazine and for the American Comics Group (ACG) from the 1940s. He precedes this with a 38 page detailed history of Milt Gross, loaded with rare cartoons, advertisements, still photos and frame grabs that are worth the price of the book alone. A Foreword by Herb Gross (Milt’s son) and a clever “Fold-INtroduction” by Mad’s Al Jaffee set the zany tone. The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story; To paraphrase both Jack Kirby and Milt Gross: Dun’t Esk, just buy it!

  • thanks jerry, how do i love thee–countless ways. if your readers order their books on amazon the should not be dissuaded by amazon saying “out of stock”. amazon’s getting their copies in the next two days from the IDW warehouse so order with confidence. comic book shops will have them tomorrow, wednesday, and regular bookstores next tuesday. meanwhile lots of milt gross comics on , previews from the book including the funniest story to every be printed in a comic book! milt gross maniacal mania!!!

  • Banana oil!

  • uncle wayne

    Wow! What a great book (i can’t wait), and a great Tuesday treat. Thank YOO for that heavenly B&W MGM toon!! Grrrrreat!!

  • I’ve been waiting for this for some time.

    I just ordered it yesterday along with Is Diss a System?

    Now if only someone would put out Harvey Eisenberg and Milt Stein.

  • Jack, your wish is my command. He’s a big fave of mine and Milt Stein, in one of his greatest comics will be out in “The Golden Collection of Klassic Krazy Kool Kids Komics” out soon, sent it to the printer today!

    Amazon is fucked up, they’ve got the Milt Gross books now, but there is some kind of glitch, don’t give up or better yet order “The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story” elsewhere.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    I’m so there! I was one of the first to rave about the previous Milt Gross book on Amazon. I can’t wait to review this one, too…

  • I’m definitely going to get this as soon as possible. It sounds amazing. Coincidentally, I’m in the middle of reading “He Done Her Wrong” at the moment.

  • George

    Cripes Craig, you just don’t quit! I purchased the LE of Clean Cartoonists’ Dirty Drawings, bought Secret Identity from you and had it signed at SDCC last year, recently bought a copy of The Best of Sexology, and now I’m waiting for Amazon to tell me this book is ready to order (I have a giftcard, so I can wait patiently)! How do you do it!? Have you had this stuff lined up and ready to go for a while, absolutely amazing that you can continue to put out such well written well researched books one after the other. Thanks for the hard work!

  • Yo, Mike, I wrote the intro to the edition of “He Done Her Wrong” you reviewed. I note with amusement that at the end of your review you wrote, “A definitive, coffee table art book on Gross and his contributions to American comic strips and animated cartoons is long, long overdue.” And here it is!

    Of course Cartoon Brew is all about animation. In the introduction there’s plenty on the early days of animation in New York that Milt Gross was very much a part of. Details on Milt’s battles with Fred Quimby at MGM, his unheard work on The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad for which he was personally recruited by Walt Disney (as Milt details in a previously unpublished letter). Plus the scoop on the kid’s show where Gross drew cartoons at an easel that morphed into animation that Milt was working on at the time of his death.

    Tons of rare and unpublished art related to all Milt’s many pursuits, his work with Charlie Chaplin, Spike Jones, his fine art foray, his groundbreaking graphic novel, etc. etc. And what a hilarious genius Milt was as seen in the over 300 pages of full color lovingly restored comic book stories!

  • Shmorky

    Milt Gross is my #1 favorite cartoonist. When I was a child I had a limited but good look into his work because my grandfather had the Smithsonian collection of newspaper comics. His style not only influenced how I drew but how I animated too! I’m bringing this to the office and showing everyone.
    I really want to order this from amazon so I’ll be F5ing the page until it appears. They’ve got a great track record when it comes to shipping.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    Yo, Mike, I wrote the intro to the edition of “He Done Her Wrong” you reviewed…

    Of course you did, Craig; you’ve been fighting the good fight on behalf of undeservedly forgotten strip cartoonists for years – just as Jerry and Amid have for animators. (BTW, I’ve had Kremos, Jetta and Krazy Kool Klassic Kids’ Komix on pre-order at Amazon for months now. Thanks for those, either.) Nothing I say can ever thank you enough for that. Keep your eyes peeled for a glowing review, and keep up the great work…

  • Jeffrey T. McAndrew

    Thanks in advance Craig for what I am certain will be another masterpiece art book. I got your Art of Mickey Mouse book when I was a teenager and it is still one of my all time favorite art books. I too am in awe of the professional work your company puts into everything it produces.

  • Jeffrey T. McAndrew price is $26.39!!!

  • You guys are making me blush–thank so much, trust me, your encouragement means a LOT! Two new books: “The Art of Ditko” and “The Great Anti-War Cartoons”. There’s many more books coming…Felix the Cat: The Greatest Comic Book Tales” (Otto Messmer, Joe Oriolo)… “Dan Decarlo’s Jetta”. There’s two books on Krazy Kat: “Krazy and Ignatz in Tiger Tea” and “Krazy Kat & the Art of George Herriman: A Celebration”. There’s “Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein”, and many, many more, but I’ve already said too much–you heard it on Cartoon Brew first!

  • That cartoon was fun. Milt Gross should’ve worked in animation longer.

  • Jorgen Klubien

    Hmmm… my guess is they must have seen Disney’s “Mother Goose Goes Hollywood” from 1938. One of my all time favorite Disney shorts full of great caricatures by Joe Grant and T. Hee.

  • Robert Barker

    I had no idea MGM was still making b&w toons by 1939. I don’t think I ever saw this on TV.

  • Alton

    This is great but no thanks to the plug for Amazon.This won’t exactly motivate the three LCS stores in my area to stock this volume.They actually have to operate on a real time profit-loss margin.I don’t suppose IDW/YOE books is cutting them the same discount they fawningly pass on to the the big discounters with their zero overhead/minimum wage/no benefits/undocumented workforce? Just a thought dudes.

  • Shmorky

    What the hell is goin on with amazon?

  • Stephen

    Did Jim Tyer work on this? Was he ever at MGM?

  • As a longtime Gross fan, I just wanted to express my gratitude to Mr. Yoe. Pinch me, Mrs. Feitelbaum!

  • Is there any reason Amazon is listing this as one copy for sale used for $999? Surely that can’t be right. I can’t afford that copy! Help!

  • Rooniman


  • ShouldBeWorkin

    Never seen this cartoon before. Never heard (or paid attention) of Milt Gross until I read about him on John K.’s blog.
    That upside down dog dressed as an ostrich has to be up there in terms of the funniest animation I ever saw.