The Comics: The Complete Collection
By Brian Walker
Hardcover, 672 pages ($40)
Anyone who’s ever sought a daily dose of much-needed humor in the “funny pages” will find countless hours of fascinating pick-me-up in this coffee-table-busting compendium. The author, a founder and former director of the Museum of Cartoon Art, certainly knows his stuff, corralling Little Orphan Annie, Popeye, Dick Tracy, Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Snoopy, Garfield and dozens of other comic-strip icons, plus many of their creators, for this impressively informed, lavishly illustrated guided tour of more than a century of chuckles and social relevance.