In the long awaited-volume of Walt and Skeezix, the newly married Walt Wallet settles into domestic life with his wife, Phyllis, and their adopted son, Skeezix, but their family bliss is soon disrupted by a man who claims to be Skeezix’s natural father. A long custody battle erupts, raising questions as to the importance of blood ties compared to a loving environment. Later, Walt and Phyllis have to deal with all the dilemmas of a young couple’s life as their family starts to unexpectedly expand. This is the very stuff of life—paying the bills, nursing a sick child, finding the right job while spending quality time with family—expertly explored with cartoonist Frank King’s unerring fidelity to reality. In unfolding the drama of the Wallet family’s life, King displays his full mastery of long and complex narratives, which made his work a forerunner to the modern graphic novel.
In his introduction to the series, Jeet Heer explores King’s storytelling prowess and links the concerns of the strip with changes in American culture in the 1920s. Lavishly illustrated with King’s family photos, the book is designed by Chris Ware, whose elegant and detail-rich books have revolutionized the graphic novel field.