Archive | LOAC Essentials

JUST ANNOUNCED: LOAC Essentials, Vol. 12: Baron Bean, 1918

We know you’ve been waiting, but the wait is over! Coming November 2018, The Library of American Comics proudly presents THE LIBRARY OF AMERICAN COMICS ESSENTIALS, VOL. 12: BARON BEAN, 1918, the concluding volume of George Herriman’s hilarious daily strip starring the self-appointed Baron Bean. Now the complete Baron Bean will be reprinted for the first time ever—three volumes that will be a must-have for fans of century-old comics!

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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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A Fantasy Comics Page for The Holiday That Gets No Respect

Comics creators sometimes gave nods to the calendar in their ongoing newspaper strips. Year-in and year-out, many comics did special installments of their features to commemorate Christmas and, a week later, the farewell to the old year and the welcoming of its successor. Comics with a strong streak of patriotism saluted holidays like Independence Day, Armed Forces Day, and for a time, V-E and V-J Days.

But Groundhog Day? Fuhgedaboudit. The comics trade showed no love to that special early February day when millions of hearty northerners, fatigued by battling weeks of the subzero cold, ice, and snow that Ole Man Winter loves to dish out, looked to the humble groundhog for a sign that spring might soon be on its way. An event that has its roots in the 19th Century and is worthy of being marked on each year’s new calendars never seemed to excite the cartoonists who offered readers their daily dose of excitement and humor.

What did comic strips offer their audiences on that day when the woodchuck was acclaimed for something other than chucking wood? We thought you’d never ask — so, just for you, we prepared this fantasy comics page from February 2, 1935 …

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Episode 004 with special guest Caitlin McGurk

Dean Mullaney and Kurtis Findlay are back with another episode of the Library of American Comics & EuroComics Podcast!

In this episode, Dean and Kurtis discuss Steve Canyon Vol. 8, Star Wars Vol. 2 and Corto Maltese: Golden House of Samarkand. Plus, learn about Edwina Dumm, “Cap” Stubbs and Tippie, with Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum Associate Curator Caitlin McGurk!

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2017: The LOAC Year in Review

The Library of American Comics marked its tenth year of publication this summer, and using this milestone as a launching point, 2017 was the year LOAC took the comics world by storm. The familiar “word balloon” logo was emblazoned on a wide range of products including t-shirts, coffee mugs, towels, baseball caps, and even lace doilies to drape over the back of sofas or love-seats. There were the LOAC events at major conventions on both coasts. The article on us (with the biographical sidebar about Dean) in that July issue of Entertainment Weekly. And how about …

Wait. None of that really occurred. Sorry — sorry!

Instead, what happened during 2017 was that LOAC continued its mission to collect a wide range of entertaining and significant newspaper comics in permanent hardcover editions, helping to preserve the “strips” portion of comics, one of the handful of truly native American artforms.

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Santa Shows Up Early at My Home

We’ve discussed previously in this space that I try to get a representative example of artwork from some of my favorite LOAC books so they can be displayed in my home (On My Walls). I’ve added to my modest collection this year, and recently I visited my old pals Brian and Sally at Rainbow Art and Framing and asked them to put together a couple new pieces for me. They recently called and had things ready for me.

Obviously I wasn’t going to be able to snag an Alex Raymond Flash Gordon original, but my introduction to our fourth and final Flash/Jungle Jim volume touched upon the appearances of those characters in the post-Raymond years, and I was able to snag this cel from the late-1970s Filmation Flash cartoon. Here’s how it looks now that it’s hanging on one of my living room wall:

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Episode 001 with special guest Bruce Canwell

Welcome to the very first episode of the Library of American Comics & EuroComics Podcast, hosted by Dean Mullaney and Kurtis Findlay!

In this episode, Dean and Kurtis discuss Disney’s Christmas Classics, Silly Symphonies Vol. 3, and The Man from the Great North. Plus, get to know LOAC Associate Editor Bruce Canwell!

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In the Spirit (Heh-Heh) of the Season

My wife and I bought our first bags of Hallowe’en candy today, gearing up for the hordes of ghoulies and ghosties who’ll be shouting, “Trick or treat!” at our front door at the end of the month. It’s easy to get in the swing of All Hallows around here — I don’t even need to see Hallowe’en-themed comic strips, like this 1980 grin from Tom Batiuk, to get me ready for this most innocently-fun of all holidays:

No, it’s easy for us to get in the Hallowe’en spirit because our neighbors down the street annually decorate their lawn in all manners of the macabre — inflatables (some of them over seven feet tall!), motion-activated exhibits, fog machines — you name it, they’ve probably done it during one Hallowe’en season or another.

Here’s a taste of how it looks in my neighborhood once the sun goes down …

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