Continuing our review of the first two hundred LOAC books, which began here, take a look at our fifty-first to one hundredth releases …
With a brand-new year and LOAC Essentials Volume 14: Barney Google available on sale, we’ve now successfully traveled The Library of American Comics Road to 200. Each month during 2019 in this space we paused to feature one of our books via the trusty ol’ LOAC Wheel of Fortune, but now seems like an opportune time to show everyone our full list of publications, from Number One to Number Two Hundred.
Of course, a list this big is best absorbed in bite-sized pieces, so we’ll offer it to you in four separate postings, with a few of my personal recollections and observations along the way.
Here is our list of LOAC titles, # 1 – 50 …
We’re quickly closing in on the 50th anniversary of The Landing of the Eagle, as the Apollo 11 mission brought Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin safely to the surface of the Moon and back. Surely the media coverage of this golden anniversary is difficult to escape, and that’s as it should be — those of us who were alive to follow the voyage of Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins (who remained in orbit, piloting the Command Module Columbia as his fellow astronauts trod the Lunar surface) remember it as one of those rare moments when much of the entire planet was united to celebrate an amazing accomplishment.
Being born in mid-July, I was nine years old when Apollo 11 blasted off for its date with destiny, but ten years old when Armstrong made his “one small step for a man.” Headlines across the country mirrored this one, from the Boston Globe, as Columbia roared skyward from Kennedy Space Center atop a Saturn V rocket on July 16, 1969:
Deadlines, family commitments, and some technical difficulties have delayed our May dip into the LOAC Wheel of Fortune, but it’s not like we forgot or anything, believe me!
Since May is the fifth month of the year,. we opted to look at all our releases to-date that have a “5” in their volume number — that encompasses “Volume 5s,” “Volume 15s,” and in the case of Dick Tracy, even a Volume 25! For the first time, if memory serves, we’re also including a pair of 2019 releases in a Wheel of Fortune population, since both Spider-Man and Donald Duck celebrated their fifth volumes (in Donald’s case, his fifth volume of dailies).
So here’s the population, eleven titles strong:
Looking at the list, I found a few surprises in it — I didn’t realize we finished the Al Williamson run on Corrigan before our seventy-fifth release, or that Bungle Family (which is still fresh in my mind, a testament to the quality of the strip) fell into our first hundred books. Anyway, here it is, loaded into the Wheel and ready for a big spin:
And this month’s featured title is <insert drum roll and dramatic pause here> …
We’re Cadillacin’ toward our 200th release, and we thank you for riding along with us! It’s time once again to spin the LOAC Wheel of Fortune to see which past release gets spotlighted for the month of April.
Before we continue our focus on the year 2014, begun last month, a tip of the Dick Tracy fedora to those readers (you know who you are) who corrected us after last month’s “LOAC Wheel” feature appeared. In March we truthfully mentioned that 2014 was our busiest year ever. We went on to point out that we released twenty-three books that year.
“Nay, nay,” said those Ol’ Eagle Eyes who visit this space, “your list is one short! Wonder Woman also appeared in 2014, and it’s not on the list you presented!” What can I say? They were right, and we had fat-fingered the year-of-release for Princess Diana as 2015, not 2014. Here’s a corrected list of our 2014 releases:
We continue our look at comics-related ads that appeared in Life Magazine, previously begun here. This time, just for fun, we’ll go in reverse-chronological order and start at the tag-end of the 1950s. I was but a wee bairn of two months and twenty-five days old (and Stevenson B. Canyon was once again crossing paths and trading barbs with “The Copperhead,” Copper Calhoon) when this ad for Teacher’s Scotch, starring the one-and-only Milton Caniff, appeared in Life‘s October 12, 1959 issue:
We could think of no better way to wish all our readers Happy Holidays than to share the Christmas offerings from a half-dozen strips, each representing a decade of newspaper comics.
Leading off, from the tag-end of 1939, our favorite of favorites, Terry and the Pirates, with this Yuletide entry from the story in which Pat, April, and Captain Blaze first meet Singh-Singh.
Representing the 1940s, from 1948, Little Orphan Annie spends yet another Christmas away from her beloved “Daddy.”
And the young married Yokums get the hint of bad news, as only Al Capp can deliver it, in this December 25th 1952 installment of Li’l Abner:
A run of Christmas strips wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Peanuts gang. Here’s everyone’s favorite beagle, in a wryly charming 1962 outing from Sparky Schulz:
Here’s a more acerbic take on the season from Johnny Hart in this 1973 B.C. daily:
And we close in the 1980s, with one of our more contemporary favorites: here’s Lynn Johnston, clucking up a storm in For Better or For Worse from Christmas Day, 1985:
And if these strips alone don’t put you in the holiday mood, we’ll close with this old favorite from postings past, brought back by popular demand:
Best wishes, one and all, ’til we meet again in 2019!
–Dean, Lorraine, Kurtis, and Bruce
Fifty-four years ago, on September 15, 1964, the New York World’s Fair marked “Steve Canyon Day” and honored the picaresque hero’s creator, Milton Caniff.
And why not? Caniff had spent most of that summer weaving a tale set at the Fair involving both Canyons, Steve and his collegiate cousin, Poteet. The World’s Fair, being staged in New York, was heavily covered by all major forms of media, and a Canyon storyline set at the huge exhibition was a promotional boon to several subscriber newspapers, as this ad from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch indicates: