Welcome back to our curtain call for 2010. While the weather outside is frightful (a blizzard is pounding New England as I type), in this feature it’s so delightful, with summer in full swing as we look at…
LOAC was in attendance at the San Diego Comic-Con and was humbled (but mightily pleased) to receive the Eisner Award for “Best Archival Project—Newspaper Strips” for Bloom County, Volume One. Bloom prevailed over another LOAC project, Bringing Up Father: From Sea to Shining Sea, which I edited—but a win for one is a win for all, so I was cheering Bloom wildly through my tears.
LOAC Assembled celebrates the 2010 Eisner win: Dean Mullaney, Lorraine Turner, Berkeley Breathed, and Bloom County editor Scott Dunbier, displaying the award. Alas, I was back East, on monitor duty.
Hardly willing to rest on our laurels, as the month waned, our collection of Bob Montana’s Archie dailies hit the shelves.
We caught our collective breath in August, even as the rest of the world caught up to us, just a bit. It was highly gratifying to have noted reviewer Charles de Lint praise our inaugural volume ofKing Aroo in the pages of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; scroll to the bottom of his “Books to Look For” column and there they are. The San Diego Tribune also gave LOAC front page coverage as an outgrowth of Comic-Con.
Things were popping on several front in LOAC-land during this month. Here’s the rundown:
Beau Smith joined the LOAC family circus as our very own Director of Marketing. One of Beau’s missions is to increase LOAC’s visibility in school libraries and university bookstores.
Bill Griffith dropped a mention of King Aroo into the September 10th installment of his own strip, the immortal Zippy. Thanks, Bill!
Dean appeared as Chris Marshall’s guest on a Collected Comics Library podcast. Through the magic of the Internet, you can listen to the entire program.
X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan Volume 1 went on sale.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, things really got busy in…
How to follow up the release of our first collection of Blondie, running from Blondie Boopadoop’s very first strip to the wedding (and subsequent disinheritance) of Dagwood Bumstead?
Dean and I swooped in on the New York Comic Con (NYCC) for three days, from October 8 – 10.
Move over, Laurel & Hardy! The LOAC editorial braintrust were on hand to hawk their wares and steer hopeful artists to the IDW portfolio reviews at NYCC.
Our feet grew heavy, standing on a thinly-carpeted concrete floor for nine hours each day, but our spirits were light as we talked to hundreds of fans about comics in general and classic comic strips in particular.
And when the fans weren’t visiting with us, we were chatting with the pros. Melissa Singer of Tor Books shared her childhood memories of the great comic strips. James Robinson, Ken Steacy, Glenn Whitmore, Andrew Farago of San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum, David Armstrong, Ryder Windham, and the one-and-only Don McGregor were some of our other visitors. Dean and I both took time to break away long enough to exchange pleasantries with the ever-amazing Jim Steranko. I was also lucky enough to catch Joe Kubert for a chat, and to meet irrepressible Nicky Brown (you can read her words of wisdom at her blog. My most devilish fun: stepping in amidst some of the IDW staff early Sunday morning to introduce myself to Darwyn Cooke after he arrived carrying a distinctive green briefcase bearing the shamrock logo of the NBA’s most storied franchise. “Celtics, bay-bee!” was all I had to say to earn a grin from Darwyn.
Dean and I showed off several of the wonders we’ve accumulated as we prepare our Alex Toth biography, but few knew that we were also grabbing moments throughout the weekend to have serious discussions about the growth of the project, and the ultimate shape it might take…
Bloom County was one of the most popular items at NYCC—more than one fan was disappointed to learn Berkeley Breathed would not be at the show—but in the wake of the convention, BloomVolume 3 went on sale.
Across the Atlantic, Bdartist(e) was releasing its French edition of Terry and the Pirates, Volume 1
Finally, not to be outdone by Dean’s September podcast, near the end of the month I was delighted to appear as a guest on Scott Katz’s Internet radio program at US Townhall. Yes, Virginia, you can still listen to the interview.
Berkeley Breathed joined the interview Parade with a Q&A conducted by Mike Russell at Ain’t It Cool.
Meanwhile, we took a second trip to Dogpatch to learn the origin of Sadie Hawkins Day in Li’l Abner Volume 2:
For days, Dean and I tossed e-mails back and forth using the language of the Mukoy! Yeh, ti desuma su…
Around Thanksgiving, Dean and Lorraine embarked on a junket that included visits with Beau and Beth Smith, as well as the hard-working caretakers of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at The Ohio State University and Randy Scott at Michigan State University, plus Dana Palmer (Alex Toth’s eldest daughter) and Eric Toth (Alex’s eldest son).
Beau Smith displays his Svengali-like charm over women, to Dean’s bemusement.
The Great LOAC Road Trip paved the way for a pair of major announcements on our website. The visit to OSU was in preparation of 2011’s Caniff, a visual biography of the creator of Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon.
With the endorsement of the Toth family, we also gave readers bad news and good news. The bad news: our original late-2010 solicitation for Genius, Isolated: The Life & Art of Alex Toth was pushed back to the first quarter of 2011. The good news: because we have gathered so much excellent material, the Toth project has expanded to fill three books! Genius, Isolated will be part one of our retrospective on Toth, to be concluded in the follow-up volume, Genius, Illustrated. A third book (plus slipcase for the entire set) will follow, with Genius, Animated focusing on Toth’s brilliant career in TV cartoons.
Not only did we release information about some of our 2011 plans—yes, only some. We need to save a few tidbits for the new year, after all!—we stuffed readers’ Christmas stockings with a fine pair of new releases: the third, penultimate volume in our reprinting of Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby…
…And the wonderful, must-be-seen-to-be-believed oversize Polly and Her Pals, Volume 1. My heart skips a beat every time I take down a copy of this beautiful collection and start turning the pages. Author Paul Di Filippo calls it: “A monumental object of comic strip bookmaking glory. Phenomenal!” Over at Newsarama, J. Caleb Mozzocco cracked us up in his review of Polly when he dubbed it, “…a perfect coffee table book—not one that you would put on your coffee table…but one big enough to be used as a coffee table.”
And that’s the way it was—fourteen books, a Free Comic Book Day special, appearances at major conventions on both coasts, a passel of interviews, a truckload of work—and several truckloads of fun.
If you enjoyed this website and the LOAC line of books in 2010, keep watching. We think you’ll like what lies ahead in 2011!