October 23, 2023
King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters, has announced a partnership with Drawn & Quarterly for a forthcoming book featuring some of the strips from the comic strip, “Curtis.”
“Curtis has made a huge impact on its readers, and we are thrilled to work with Drawn & Quarterly to bring fans this beautiful, collected edition book,” says Christina Nix-Lynch, senior director, licensing, King Features. “It’s a priority for King Features to continue offering comics that educate and entertain our diverse audience of comic fans.”
Coming to shelves in February 2025, the book is a collected edition of past strips from Ray Billingsley’s syndicated comic.
“Ray Billingsley is an all-time great cartoonist,” says Tom Devlin, executive editor, Drawn & Quarterly. “Rereading ‘Curtis,’ you realize that the strip is not just a daily laugh but a whole world, the creation of a living, breathing boy who argues with his father, has an unrequited love interest named Michelle, has a best friend named Gunk who’s absolutely puzzling. With a lesser cartoonist, they would just exist for punchlines, but in Ray’s hands, we care about each and every one of them.”
Following the stories of a Black middle-class family navigating everyday life, “Curtis” comes together in a new collector’s edition from Drawn & Quarterly. Featuring extensive interviews, supplementary writing and never-before-seen early comics, Billingsley’s career takes center stage in this career retrospective.
As a comics veteran, Billingsley uses his own childhood of growing up in Harlem in a tight-knit family as the template for the Curtis character. Some of the experiences and featured characters are directly influenced by real people and happenings the author has known and experienced.
“I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all my readers, both loyal and new, who have embraced Curtis and made him part of their family,” says Ray Billingsley. “I have lived a career that some would dream of, and I’m more than happy to have you accompany me on this journey. And a mighty thanks to all at King Features Syndicate who actually put up with all my eccentricities. This book is my gift to you all everywhere.”
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