The comic strip âAlley Oop,â starring a loin-cloth-wearing cave man of the same name, went into hibernation in September but will be back in January.
A new creative team, the writer Joey Alison Sayers and the artist Jonathan Lemon, will chronicle the exploits of the title hero six days a week, Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, they will tell the story of LiâL Oop, a new preteen version of Alley Oop that will focus on his early middle-school years.
Sayers said she hoped to add more humor to the strip, which has created by V.T. Hamlin and focused on Alley Oop and his life in the prehistoric kingdom of Moo since its debut in 1932. In 1939, it introduced Dr. Elbert Wonmug, a 20th-century scientist who sent the cave man on time-travel adventures. âI want to make it a little zanier and just have a little more fun and draw readers in,â Sayers said. The Sunday installments, she said, would likely not involve time travel. They will be a little more slice-of-life and coming-of-age-type stories, she remarked.
The strip is preserving its history, she noted. âItâs not that the stuff in the past doesnât exist,â she said. âIt is still the same characters, but circumstances have changed. I definitely donât want to alienate the old readers, but I want to create a starting point for new readers.â
Sayers, who usually draws her own comics, will be working with Lemon on the strip. âAll of my own strips start out as scripts anyway,â she said. âIâm excited to see someone else take that and put their own spin on it.â
Lemon, who has been working daily on his comic strip, âRabbits Against Magic,â since its debut in May 2008, is looking forward to the challenge.
A page of his character sketches shows the evolution of Alley Oop and his approach to drawing the character. âPaper supplies were running low,â he said, joking about a digitally created image that includes tears in the art, creases and stray pencil marks. (Sharp eyes will also note the playful inclusion of one of his magic rabbits.)
He said he believes âpurists will be happy with the fact that the characters are not radically changed and also excited that the freshness of the heyday of the âAlley Oopâ universe is being revived.â