Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

May 21, 2014

All Eyes On Derf: Alt-Weekly Veteran Kills "The City" For Move Full-Time Into Long-Form Comics


The alt-weekly fixture turned award winning comics memoir maker Derf Backderf has announced the end to his long-running "The City" feature after 24 years of publication. Above is the final installment at it appeared in his May 15 announcement. It's a funny, ever-so-slighty grumpy and always to the point post in the cartoonist's idiosyncratic voice. Derf notes that this is not him throwing in the towel on a failed endeavor but moving from one long-running gig and full time into an avenue of comics-making that has been extremely rewarding to him in recent years: making stand-alone, long-form comics in a graphic novel format. He notes that his follow-up with Abrams after their successful partnership on My Friend Dahmer is due in Fall 2015, and that he'll be doing a webcomic with his Otto character.

It looks like Derf will be slightly more expansive in terms of recalling his near quarter-century on the strip with a few reminiscence posts, of which this one is first.

I look forward to seeing what comes next for the cartoonist. The City wasn't to my memory one of the very first alt-weekly features but it was early on and in its prime was as successful as just about any of the big features. The move into making long-form narratives has been surprising only for how suited Derf's work seemed to that quick-hitting format. "The City" was also one of the few features in that entire expression of comics that for my money always had a regional flavor. As a result I've long seen Derf as a foundational modern Ohio comics-maker alongside creators like Pekar, Watterson, Borgman and Smith. Congratulations to him on a long and successful run, and interesting comics ahead.
posted 2:35 am PST | Permalink

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