After much hounding by fans and bemused interviewers, Jeph Jacques is finally, at long last, planning to release a print version of Questionable Content. The plan is to release the first 300 full-color strips (which is less than 20% of QC's full run) sometime in the next few months.
One small hurdle seems to be dealing with the strips themselves. Jacques explains that he's missing the original, hi-res artwork for 15-20 of the strips. However, he's turned what could be a real problem into a lovely opportunity by deciding to redraw the strips. The book will include the redrawn strips alongside low-resolution versions of the originals.
It's a particularly neat way for Jacques to solve his problem as one of the oft-cited features of QC is Jacques' evolving artistic style. In fact, Jacques has said time and again that he's a bit embarrassed by those early efforts, and though he won't replace the original strips in the archive, he'd really like to. But when he posted the redrawn strip #1 alongside the original, I was surprised how much I preferred the original drawing style. Normally, I view improved art as just that -- an improvement -- but there's something about the tone of those early strips that more nearly matches Jacques' initial style, rough as it was. That art reflects who Jacques was at the time -- just a guy with a job he hated imagining a slightly more exciting life for himself (Marten's life still sucked, but at least it had robots and psychotic Southern gal in it). The more polished art comes from a guy who's living the dream, who can remember what it was like to be that guy, but just isn't him any more.
Still, I'll never complain about more QC or more of Jacques' artwork.