Author Archive | Dean Mullaney

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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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 (info@loacomics.com) 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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