Author Archive | Dean Mullaney

Yesterdays and Tomorrows

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In a sign of changing times and technologies, it was announced today that Little Orphan Annie will end it run in newspapers next month. We all know that newspapers are going through tough times and are losing print readership; and that daily and Sunday comics have long since been reduced and shrunken and diminished so that they are but shells of their former glorious selves. So, this announcement is not unexpected, and I’m sure we’ll see similar ones about other long-running strips in the future. But the fact remains that it’s always sad to witness the end of an era.

We raise our glasses with a toast to the current creative team of Jay Maeder and Ted Slampyak, and to Leonard Starr and the other writers and artists who contributed to the strip’s history in the past forty years.

And in salute to Harold Gray—who created and directed Annie’s adventures for forty-four years—there’s no better way for us to celebrate his achievement than by bringing his work back into print for all to read…on paper.

Al Williamson and Archie Goodwin’s SECRET AGENT CORRIGAN!

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In case anyone out there thought the 1930s and 1940s had exclusive domain over the best adventure strips of all time, we offer for your consideration one of the greatest of them all…from the 1960s to 1980s!

In 1967, famed EC artist Al Williamson teamed with Archie Goodwin, the greatly admired writer and Editor-in-Chief at Warren magazines, to take over the long-running and somewhat tired X-9 series. It was a team that was made in sequential art heaven: Archie and Al had a magnificent 13-year run on the strip, and they teamed again later for wonderful work on Star Wars.

In July, we’ll begin reprinting their entire X-9 run in five volumes under the title X9: Secret Agent Corrigan. It’s the first comprehensive collection of the strip and will be printed from Al Williamson’s personal proofs in an oversized format that matches our Rip Kirby series by Alex Raymond.

“Al Williamson’s delicate line-work, coupled with a style that’s both realistic and atmospheric, enhances the no-nonsense story of Phil Corrigan,” says IDW’s Scott Dunbier, who’s editing the series. And I would add that Archie Goodwin’s unerring sense of pacing, which he developed in comic books, is even more noticeable in the daily strip format. Man, the guy could write!

Secret Agent Corrigan updates the character created in 1934 by Dashiell Hammett and Alex Raymond. X-9 was originally an agent known only by his code name, who worked for an unknown government agency. Over the years, the series benefited from the individual styles of many writers and artists—including Leslie Charteris (author of The Saint novels), Charles Flanders, Mel Graff, Bob Lubbers, and George Evans—but it is the Goodwin/Williamson tenure that is best-loved by today’s comics fans. It was during their run that X-9 received the name of Phil Corrigan.

The first volume also features an introduction by Mark Schultz, and a essay on X-9’s long history by Bruce Canwell.

Two Twos on sale today!

If it were a Rip Kirby mystery, we might call it “The Case of the Tandem Twos,” but it’s even better news than that: two different Volume Twos go officially on sale today. We invite you to consider Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby vol. 2 and Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County vol. 2, and then check out the online IDW store, your local comics shop, favorite brick-and-morter bookstore, or an omnipresent online bookseller. Between Alex Raymond and Berkeley Breathed, there’s some enjoyable comic strip reading for everyone.

“If it’s Free, it’s for me.”

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It’s the first Saturday in May and that means “Free Comic Book Day” is here! Don’t forget to head down to your local comics shop and pick up the exclusive Library of American Comics #1.

This free comic book is a little different from the usual fare. You won’t find holographic variant covers or even superheroes in the 32 pages. Instead, we feature 30-year-old penguins and octogenarian flappers, 60-year-old “teenagers” and 40-something secret agents. What they all have in common is that, regardless of age, they are timeless and classic.

It’s 32 pages of previews for some of our upcoming books, so check it out. If it’s free, it’s for me…and you!

The Errata Bug Bites LOAC

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Due to printing errors, two daily strips in Dick Tracy Volume Nine were duplicated, and two are missing; in King Aroo Volume One, one strip was similarly duplicated, while one is missing. We apologize for the mix-up. In order to keep both series truly “complete,” the missing strips will be printed in the succeeding volumes. For those who can’t wait, we reproduce them here.

The top strip is the Dick Tracy from June 24, 1944 (page 67); the middle strip is from May 24, 1945 (page 211). Below them is the correct April 4, 1952 strip from King Aroo (page 173).

It’s amoozin’ but not confoozin’—it’s THE COMPLETE LI’L ABNER!

Head for the hills—or your nearest comics shop, bookstore, or online seller—because the first volume of Li’l Abner is now on sale! The book contains the daily and never-before reprinted color Sundays from the beginning in 1934 through December 1936.

Al Capp’s comedy masterpiece introduced Sadie Hawkins, Lower Slobbovia, the double whammy, Lena the Hyena, and The Shmoos to over 60 million laughing readers. In Volume 1, 19-year-old Li’l Abner Yokum travels between sleepy Dogpatch, Kentucky and New York City. Will he marry socialite Mimi Van Pett, or will Marrying Sam hitch Abner to beautiful Daisy Mae in a dee-luxe six dollar wedding? Can Abner outwit both kidnappers and the fightin’, feudin’ Skragg family? And trouble brews when Abner’s evil lookalike, gangster Gat Garson, arrives on the scene!

Bruce Canwell has researched and written a fantastic all-new essay on Capp that utilizes a newly-discovered manuscript by Capp’s father! Yours truly, Dean Mullaney, is responsible for the design. For the introduction, we called on our old pal Denis Kitchen, who was more than happy to return to his Dogpatch roots. Long-time readers may remember the series of Abner dailies that Denis published way back when. Denis also supplied all the color Sundays used in the book’s production. The dailies are reproduced from the Capp family proofbooks.

We think you’ll enjoy this oversized, 9.25″ x 12″ book. Let us know.

Welcome to the Digital Library!

Welcome to the official launch of our website! We appreciate your stopping by.

This is the place for information about all new and upcoming releases. We’ll also use our blog to offer behind the scenes production notes, links to reviews and interviews, plus plenty of web exclusives. We often come across backstory items in our research that don’t necessarily make it into the books. We’ll post them here so this website becomes an ephemeral addendum to the Library’s releases, in addition to being a central location where you can buy all of our books.

We invite you to check in regularly. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Two More Eisner Nominations for LOAC!

If we weren’t Red Sox fans, we might say this is a “three-peat.” In our first three years, the Library of American Comics has been nominated six times for Eisner awards. Our initial release—Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates—won as Best Archival Project.

This year, Bloom County and Bringing Up Father have each been nominated for Best Archival Project.

Bringing Up Father collects the most famous of George McManus’s storylines: the cross-country tour of 1939-1940. The book was edited by Bruce Canwell.

Bloom County Volume One begins the first comprehensive reprinting of Berkeley Breathed’s 1980s classic. The series is edited by Scott Dunbier.

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