Since it looks like I'll also have to be reprinting books 1, 5 and 6 myself, I've been formatting those as I've had time, and wow, I don't recall that early first-book art being quite that bad.
Of course, the last time I really revisited that stuff was... well, the last time we formatted Book 1, and that was over a decade ago. And while I'm no Picasso, I've learned a bit since then.
I find myself wanting to 'clean up' basically the entire panels- lines are crooked, the eye shapes are wonky, the shape of Doc's head is all over the place...
But, I don't have time for that, of course, nor is it... I suppose 'fair' to the old art. I liked to see the progression, over the years, of famous artists- Watterson really didn't change in his basics much, but his style definitely got more refined and elegant as time went on.
"Bloom County" had the usual teething pains early on- Opus' nose, similarly, went all over the place in size and shape- but was fairly stable in the 'golden era'. His later stuff got too... in some cases almost creepy, but mostly too sloppy.
And so on. Much as I might like to get rid of the old stuff, it's still part of TWB.
I am gonna have to throw in some homages of a couple of those old gags into the upcoming tourney storyline though.