Newspapers across the country delivered coverage of Man’s first steps on the Moon to Americans eager to read every word on the morning of Monday, July 21, 1969. As this breakout box shows, the quotes of astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin were forever preserved for posterity:
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> …
Welcome to the 1950s, Annie! We hope you can stay out of trouble! Who are we kidding? Annie faces more challenges than ever as she reaches the mid-century mark in LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE, VOL. 16: HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW! All of your favorite characters are back in November!
Early in each new year we look back at the prior twelve months in LOAC-Land. It provides our readers with a handy one-stop checklist of our most recent books — and it helps remind us of what we were up to all those months ago!
As we tallied 2018’s Library of American Comics output, we were surprised to see we had both begun and ended the year with a book of never-before-repeated Steve Canyon comics. We kicked off January, 2018 with the release of Volume 8 …
By the end of 2019, The Library of American Comics will have 200 books under its belt! If you have been following us on social media, we have started a retrospective of all 200 of our books, starting with our premiere effort—Terry and the Pirates, Vol. 1. Every day or so, we will post a new image online, but we will also be collecting them here in small installments.
I could think of no better strip to launch the Library of American Comics than Milton Caniff’s masterpiece. Terry is the most influential strip in the history of the medium and, needless to say, my personal favorite. And to win the Eisner Award for our first release — it doesn’t really get any better than that! —Dean
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
The holiday hustle and bustle is affecting a lot of us (and a lot of you, too, I bet!), but though 2018 still has nineteen days left as I pen these words, it’s not too early to be looking forward to 2019. The year ahead will offer the next chapters in such long-running series as For Better of For Worse, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, and Superman (among others), plus some surprising new releases. It will all be building up to an extra-special milestone that, in this day of social media and minimalist message content, might be designated “D4200.”
More on exactly what that means coming in January, when we inaugurate a new monthly feature in this space: The LOAC Wheel of Fortune!
Sure, it may not look like much now, but when we load it with content and give it a whirl next month and in the months thereafter, we think you’ll enjoy the results. What we can tell you right now is that this LOAC Wheel of Fortune has nothing to do with the TV Wheel of Fortune, on which my wife was a contestant earlier this year (discussed as the lead item in this May posting).
For now, however, here’s wishing all visitors to this space a happy last few weeks of 2018!
Bruce Canwell and Kurtis Findlay are back for another episode of the Library of American Comics & EuroComics Podcast!
Bruce and Kurtis talk about the newly released Little Orphan Annie, Vol. 15: 1950-1951, take a look back at Jack Kent’s King Aroo, Vol. 1, and recall the secret origins of the Library of American Comics!