Author Archive | Dean Mullaney

Wonder Woman Strips!

When we published a collection of the rare 1940s Wonder Woman daily newspaper series several years ago, we noted that the strips we reproduced were from the files of DC Comics and represented, to the best knowledge at the time, the complete series. When the series was originally winding down, in late 1945, it was thought that it most likely appeared in only one newspaper—the Chicago Herald-American. That newspaper never ran the daily strip for November 19, 1945. The Herald-American did not publish on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22nd, so it published the November 20th strip on the 19th, and then scratched out the dates on the November 21st and 22nd dailies and published them on the 20th and 21st, respectively. It picked up again on Friday the 23rd and continued until the final strip on December 1st.

We promised at the time of our publication that if a November 19, 1945 daily surfaced in the future, we will make it available online and in subsequent editions.

Well, guess what?!

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The Raves Have Started! Bravo for Alex Toth!

Treasures Retold: The Lost Art of Alex Toth is just hitting stores and the raves have already begun:

The Library of American Comics has “put together an exciting and insightful new companion volume to their Eisner Award-winning Alex Toth: Genius trilogy…a superb mix of material.” —Scoop

“An eye feast of words and pictures…Over 290 pages of eye popping, adventure, art, and creativity by Alex Toth. AMAZING stuff. This is an addition that every creative person must have in their personal library.” —Beau Smith

Errata Man o’ Steel

Superman expert Karl Mattson pointed out an error in Superman Golden Age Dailies 1944-47: the November 22, 1944 daily was a duplicate of the November 23rd strip. As strip researchers know, some newspapers printed strips on days other than the “official” in-panel date; in these cases, the newspaper would often unilaterally re-date the strip. Our source for November 22nd (the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection) was obviously from one of those newspapers. Our apologies for not catching this before publication. We’ll fix it if we go into a second printing, and in the meantime, the correct strip is above.

Eating by the Arno

As part of our Summer 2018 Italian Tour, we spent some time in Florence with comics historian Alberto Becattini and his wife Luciana. Like all Italians, Alberto was eager to show off the highlights and sidelights of his home town.

Alberto and I have read each other’s work for decades and have exchanged innumerable emails, but this was the first time we met in person. And what better place to meet than in Florence!

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Have Computer—Will Travel

When I was a young child—we’re talking late-1950s—westerns ruled the TV airwaves. Next to Zorro, my unequivocal favorite was Have Gun—Will Travel, starring Richard Boone (who many longtime Steve Ditko fans recognize as the visual inspiration for Doctor Strange). Boone portrayed Paladin, a gun for hire who would travel across the West to help clients—hence the name “Have Gun—Will Travel.”

Over the years the title has engendered plenty of variations and parodies, to which Lorraine Turner and I add, “Have Computer—Will Travel.” When we headed to Italy for a couple of months this Spring, it was obvious that “the work must go on,” so we packed up the laptops and portable Wacom displays. In between meeting with European comics publishers, creators, and historians, we’re setting up shop as we go. Here’s a video of our latest stop: Praiano, on the Amalfi Coast. The view doesn’t get much better than this as we demonstrate that it’s indeed possible to Have Computer—Will Travel.

Buongiorno from Bologna!

Here’s LOAC Art Director Lorraine Turner with Francesco Meo of the Italian comics publisher Cosmo Editoriale. We had lunch with Francesco today in Bologna, renewing the friendship we established at Angoulême last year. Newspaper strips fans will be glad to know that Francesco is publishing Italian editions of Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon, Dick Tracy, Russ Manning’s Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Rip Kirby, as well as other “A” list strips!

Beyond the Death of Mary Gold

The second volume in LOAC Essentials reprinted “The Death of Mary Gold,” one of the most significant and influential sequences in comics history. The events that occurred in Sidney Smith’s The Gumps during the spring of 1929 are the benchmark against which every major comic strip death in the succeeding ninety years has inevitably been compared.

When we last saw Tom Carr, Mary’s betrothed, on May 3, 1929, he was alone, adrift…mourning the loss of his beloved Mary Gold. Although Sidney Smith naturally turned his attention to new storylines involving Andy Gump and family, the cartoonist periodically kept readers apprised of Tom’s life post-Mary. Through November of that year, Smith dedicated twenty-five dailies to our old friend Tom Carr. Part way through, he re-introduces the gold-digging Widow Zander, who first appeared in 1921(Watch out, Tom!).

Click “Continue reading” to see the first eight (from May 4 to May 26). Look for a second group of eight in a few days, followed by the final nine.

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