is a comic strip
and comic book
created, written and illustrated by Frank Cho
. It relates the comedic activities of the staff and denizens of the titular animal sanctuary
is the evolution of University²
(University Squared), a strip Cho wrote during his college years for The Diamondback
, the student newspaper at the University of Maryland, College Park
Originally, it was syndicated and appeared in many newspapers, while also being collected in comic books produced by Insight Studios. At the end of 2001, Cho ceased syndication, partly because editors kept censoring it, and has since published it directly in comic book format.
Cho self published the comic book at first, with Image Comics taking over printing and distribution with issue #27. The comic book went on a hiatus in early 2004, after issue #36. June 2006 saw the publication of issue #37, and Cho's comment that he would be "trying to have couple of issues of Liberty Meadows out per year".
In 2003 Cho and PvP creator Scott Kurtz collaborated on a PvP plotline involving PvP character Brent Sienna visiting Liberty Meadows in his search for Skull the Troll. The strips were published in issue #3 of PvP, as well as in the collection PvP at Large. In November 2007 the strips were published in Kurtz' online version of his strip.
At the 2007 Baltimore Comic-Con, Cho mentioned a few updates on the status of Liberty Meadows.
Cho freely mixes visual styles in the strip, drawing the majority of the cast like Walt Kelly
's anthropomorphic animals, borrowing Dave Stevens
's pin-up look for Brandy, and routinely throwing in savage musclemen, apes and dinosaurs in an elaborate homage to multiple illustrators, including Frank Frazetta
and Barry Windsor-Smith
's work on Conan the Barbarian
. He also uses frequent literary and visual references from sources ranging from Michelangelo
to the movie Deliverance
to commercials for Crest toothpaste
Cho also makes references to other comic strip characters. The Liberty Meadows denizens have found themselves sharing their strip with Calvin & Hobbes, Lil Abner, Hagar the Horrible, Dilbert, and Cathy, among others.
- Brandy Carter - A beautiful animal psychiatrist.
- Frank Mellish - A nerdy veterinarian. Frank is in love with Brandy but afraid to tell her.
- Tony - An accident prone maintenance man.
- Julius - Owner of Liberty Meadows animal sanctuary and an avid fisherman.
- Jen - Brandy's roommate. A sexy rocket scientist who enjoys toying with men.
- Al - Owner of the local bar where many of the other characters hang out. An educated man who believes in numerous conspiracies.
- Roger - Brandy's ex-fiancé who's trying to win her back.
- Barbara Carter - Brandy's controlling, malevolent mother. Hates Frank. Schemes constantly to fix Brandy up with Roger.
- John Carter - Brandy's doting father. The complete opposite of Brandy's mother.
- Evil Brandy - Brandy's evil twin from a mirror universe. A megalomaniacal criminal mastermind. In volume 3, she tied up Brandy, duct-taped her mouth shut, and shoved her in a closet in an attempt to impersonate her and kill Frank.
- Alternate Frank / "Ace" - Frank's super-studly twin from a mirror universe. The most feared lawman in the world and Evil Brandy's arch-nemesis.
|A Liberty Meadows gallery|
- Ralph - A midget circus bear with a perpetual squint and a penchant for inventing dangerous gadgets.
- Dean - A lecherous sexist pig with a drinking problem and an addiction to cigarettes. He's supposed to be in for detox but keeps breaking the 'no smoking' rule.
- Leslie - A dim-witted frog with hypochondria.
- Truman - A cute and naive young duck.
- Oscar - Truman's pet dachshund. The only animal in the strip who acts (more or less) like an animal.
- The Cow - A psychotic villain. Suffers from Mad Cow Disease.
- Khan - The Biggest Meanest Catfish in the Tri-State Area, and Julius' constant nemesis.
- Mike - A raccoon with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
- Sheldon - A turtle who mostly serves as a filler character.
- Frank Cho, aka "Monkey Boy" - Creator of the strip. Appears in the strip as a chimp to break the fourth wall.
The comics collecting the daily strips have themselves been collected into a series of books:
| ISG Hardcover
|| Deluxe Signed
|| Unsigned Trade |
|Liberty Meadows: Big Book of Love
||# 1– 5
||ISBN 1-889317-14-4 |
| Image Comics
|| Softcover |
|Liberty Meadows Book 1: Eden
||# 1– 9
||ISBN 1-58240-390-2 |
|Liberty Meadows Book 2: Creature Comforts
||ISBN 1-58240-432-1 |
|Liberty Meadows Book 3: Summer of Love
||ISBN 1-58240-534-4 |
|Liberty Meadows Book 4: Cold, Cold Heart
||ISBN 1-58240-720-7 |
|Liberty Meadows: Cover Girl (cover art of #1–37)
|Big Book of Love included an all new introduction piece and the Sunday strips, both in colour.|
Eden also included the intro piece (in black and white), but did not include the Sunday strips.
Frank Cho has won many awards, including: the prestigious National Cartoonists Society
’s Awards for Best Book Illustration
(2001) and Best Comic Book
(2001), the Eagle Award
, the Charles M. Schulz Award for Excellence in Cartooning, Scripps-Howard Award for Best College Cartoonist, College Media Association for Cartooning, and Germany’s highest award, Max & Moritz Medal, for Best International Comic Strip. He was also nominated for the coveted Harvey and Eisner Awards.