In November Abrams ComicsArt will publish The Someday Funnies, a project put together some 40 years ago by Michel Choquette, who was approached by Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner to create a history of the 1960s in comic book form as a supplement for the popular weekly newspaper. At a time when comic book journalism was not unknown, but a lot rarer than it is today, Choquette attempted to create a record of the turbulent 1960s by assembling a wide-ranging team of comic artists that included mainstream greats like Jack Kirby and C.C. Beck, underground stalwarts like Jay Lynch and Art Spiegelman, European heavyweights like Rene Goscinny, along with some inspired choices from outside the comics world including Red Grooms, Tom Wolfe, William Burroughs, Federico Fellini, and Frank Zappa.
During the three years that he worked on the project, which morphed from a comics supplement feature for Rolling Stone into a full-fledged book project, Choquette assembled 129 comic strips created by 169 writers and artists before Rolling Stone’s Wenner backed out. Then it appeared that Harper might publish it, but that deal also fell through and this material has languished for almost four decades until an article by Bob Levin in the Comics Journal in August of 2009 spurred renewed interest in the project.
Charlie Kochman, the Editorial Director of Abrams ComicArts, described The Someday Funnies this way to ICv2: “It’s this time capsule of the sixties. It’s the most amazing thing. I feel like this is kind of the “Holy Grail” of comics. I heard about this project a lot over the years. When I was working with Mark Evanier on the Kirby book, I mentioned that I had heard that Kirby had done something for this project, and he said, ‘Yeah, I don’t think that really exists, nobody’s ever seen it.’ But sure enough it does, and I’ve held the original Kirby art in my hands.”
The Someday Funnies, which has a cover price of $55.00, features a foreword by comics historian Jeet Heer and contains 200 full color illustrations in 216 pages. Kochman described the format to ICv2: “You are familiar with Wednesday Comics? Our book is a little bit wider and a little bit taller than that. It’s a huge book, and it’s just amazing. The stories vary from single pages to two pages and they engage different topics so everything is covered from what happened in Ohio, to Martin Luther King, or Marilyn Monroe, Vietnam,or going to the moon—any aspect of the 60s, Woodstock obviously, the assassinations—all that is covered.”
For more on The Someday Funnies, see ICv2’s interview with Michel Choquette, the project’s editor.