Author Archive | Bruce Canwell

Somewhat More Esoteric Offerings from The Iron Gate (Second in a Series)

Following up on our previous entry in this space devoted to the New York hotspot “21” and its tribute book, The Iron Gate (see that first installment here), please enjoy these six additional images …

Cartoonist Dave Breger helped popularize the term “G.I.” during World War II with his G.I. JOE and PRIVATE BREGER comic strips. After the War, PRIVATE BREGER went civilian and his strip continued as MISTER BREGER.

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Found Inside The Iron Gate (First in a Series)

The Air Force Association (AFA) was founded in 1945 when the head of the Army Air Forces, General Hap Arnold, campaigned for the creation of a veterans group that would support establishing the Air Force as a separate branch of the military. Chapters of the AFA blossomed in major cities coast to coast, and when its initial mission was successfully accomplished the organization shifted its emphasis to fundraising for charitable causes (often targeting the Air Force Aid Society, the official charity of the U.S.A.F.) or educational pursuits in the areas of aviation.

By the early 1960s a New York branch of the Association opened called The Iron Gate Squadron. Aside from, sounding strong and distinctive, that name had specific significance: it referred to the imposing entrance of the high-toned Manhattan restaurant sometimes referred to as “Jack & Charlie’s 21,” or simply as “21.”

The array of iron lawn jockey statues adorning the front of “21” reflect a tradition extending back to the 1930s, and to the racing world that was long connected to the restaurant.

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For Those Who Came in Late …

Knowing that persons everywhere are looking for new diversions during the current global circumstances, it occurred to us that we may be getting casual browsers stopping by this space for only the first or second time. They may find themselves wondering, “What’s this whole Library of American Comics thing about, anyway?”

This entry is a very compressed primer on things a newcomer might want to know about our books, and the source material for them …

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A Rare Gift of New (To Me) Artwork

Greetings to all our visitors — I’ve been quiet in recent weeks because my wife has been under the weather and I’ve been running the household by myself (she’s much better now, thanks!). It was a challenge, even before the current circumstances fully took hold. We trust all our readers are acting responsibly and staying healthy. My wife had a far more pedestrian illness than the pandemic threat, but it was a fresh reminder that a sickbed is never a pleasant destination.

Shortly before my wife’s health took a downward turn, I became the custodian of a generous gift to LOAC. Here’s a look at it, and the backstory around it …

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Bud, Michener, & Me (One of These Things is Not Like the Others …)

If you read our 2008 extravaganza, Scorchy Smith and The Art of Noel Sickles, you know that Sickles (called “Bud” by his friends) was an immense talent, establishing himself in cartooning before shifting to a stellar illustration career. If you’re unfamiliar with the works of James A. Michener, you can Google his name and find a list of his works, several considered major publishing events in their time (Tales of the South Pacific, for example, was a Pulitzer Prize winner). So when I drop myself into their midst, it’s apparent to me (and I suspect to you, even if you’re too polite to say it) that I’m the “one of these things” that is not like the others. What entitles me to mix with such august company?

Here’s one-half of that answer …

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Mile Markers on the Road to 200: LOAC’s Bicentennial Biggies

Concluding our look back on our first two hundred releases — the earlier installments can be found herehere, and here, too — we check out LOAC books number one hundred fifty-one to two hundred, spanning the years 2016 to 2019. Here’s the list of those titles:

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Mile Markers on the Road to 200: Reaching the Sesquicentennial

Continuing our review of the first two hundred LOAC books, which began here and continued right here, what follows is a look at our one hundred first to one hundred fiftieth releases …

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Mile Markers on the LOAC Road to 200

With a brand-new year and LOAC Essentials Volume 14: Barney Google available on sale, we’ve now successfully traveled The Library of American Comics Road to 200. Each month during 2019 in this space we paused to feature one of our books via the trusty ol’ LOAC Wheel of Fortune, but now seems like an opportune time to show everyone our full list of publications, from Number One to Number Two Hundred.

Of course, a list this big is best absorbed in bite-sized pieces, so we’ll offer it to you in four separate postings, with a few of my personal recollections and observations along the way.

Here is our list of LOAC titles, # 1 – 50 …

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