Author Archive | Dean Mullaney

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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Once in a while we receive an email from a reader that — all on its own — makes every effort we make worthwhile. A long-time comics reader recently discovered our LOAC ESSENTIALS series and wrote:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for publishing Dan Dunn: Secret Operative 48. I was thrilled more than you can ever imagine to accidentally find that you had done the book on Dan. I ordered it from Amazon immediately and couldn’t wait for it to arrive. I am in my late 80’s and my two favorite comic strips as a child were Alley Oop and Dan Dunn.”

Here are links to both books: Dan Dunn and Alley Oop.

If you would like to share your thoughts on any over our books, please email us ( or go to our Facebook page. THANK YOU!

Claudette Colbert, Percy Crosby, and the Bride of Frankenstein

One of the more tedious and time-consuming jobs here at the Library is scanning, especially for a book like Skippy vol. 4 that contains three years of dailies (1934-1936). For those of you who are counting, that’s more than 900 scans. It’s also a very rewarding task in that we know that our efforts are digitally preserving those 900-plus strips of rotting newsprint.

As we place each daily face down on the scanner, we can’t help but look on the back. More often than not, it’s the classified section or an ad for a local department store (“Chic New Spring Hats, only 69 cents!”)…but certain newspapers would run dailies on the verso of the local entertainment listings, and that can be fun—and instructive.

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A Big Welcome from Dean Mullaney

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that there has been a ramped-up LOAC presence online, including daily posts, previews, regular blog entries, and the launch of our newsletter. The whole idea is to bring you more information on upcoming releases, as well as more background details on those releases.

The kudos go to Kurtis Findlay, who is the new Online Communications Coordinator for our Eisner Award-winning imprint. Kurtis has a diploma in Entertainment Business and Management and brings with him a broad knowledge of comics history. We first met in 2010 when he and I co-edited a book about Chuck Jones—The Dream That Never Was.

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Our Very Own Super-Duper Man!

Everyone knows that Clark Kent is Superman’s alter ego, but around here we have another fine fellow who fits that bill — Super-Duper artist Pete Poplaski, who creates the amazing covers for all of our Superman newspaper strip collections (and the Batman and Wonder Woman collections to boot)!

While everyone who has these books knows what the final colored versions look like when printed, very few people see the various stages Pete goes through to create these masterworks.

For the upcoming Superman Golden Age Dailies 1944-1947 back cover, here are an interim penciled and partially inked version, the final inked rendition, and the color guide Pete submits for LOAC’s digital colorists.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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