Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Good Grief!  Children and Comics is a new exhibit at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.  It opened on June 3rd and has a large selection of tearsheets and original art from kid-centric strips.  From the kid who started it all, the Yellow Kid, to modern strips as well as some comic books.  Memorabilia is also featured, including some of the coveted Peanuts vinyl figures by Hungerford from 1958.

For you Caniffites, they have the original of the second "Dickie Dare" strip from August 1, 1933.  How much was riding on those early Dickie strips.  If it had failed, we would never have "Terry & the Pirates" and then no "Steve Canyon."  The mind reels.  Speaking of sturdy Steve, the teenage section of the exhibit has a Sunday from Marth 17, 1957 featuring Poteet.

As a companion exhibit, the adjoining hall has Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream.  This exhibit has the original art to the graphic album of the same name, which served as a tribute to cartoonist Winsor McCay and his Little Nemo strip of a century ago.  Both exhibits run through October 4th.

This is really October 2015 news (bit of a backlog here), but I wanted to make sure all rabid Caniffites know about Cartoons for Victory by Warren Bernard.  WWII was a fertile period for cartoonists, both in creativity and popularity.  Of course, Milton Caniff is well represented.  Not only was this the peak of "Terry and the Pirates", he was also doing the weekly "Male Call" strip for military newspapers, as well as whatever else he could think of to aid our fighting men.  The cover comics from Caniff as well, merging two spot illustrations he did for the homefront pamphlet entitled "What To Do in an Air Raid."

Also from October was the first ever complete collection of Beyond Mars.  From our pals at the Library of American Comics (LOAC), "Beyond Mars" was a Sunday-only strip that only ran in one newspaper!  It was written by popular science fiction author Jack Williamson and drawn by Lee Elias.   Elias was an artist out of the Caniff school, which I wrote about here.   So, it's kind of like 'Steve Canyon in Space.'

Like the Terry and Canyon series from the LOAC, this collection was edited by Dean Mullaney with an introductory essay by Bruce Canwell.

Comics Revue #361-362 was released in June.  It reprints the "Steve Canyon" strips from January 20th to February 16th, 1974, with the Sundays in color.  This issue begins "The Heiress" storyline, in which Summer finds herself the recipient of a mysterious fortune.

This issue also features Tarzan by John Celardo, Flash Gordon by Mac Raboy, and Tarzan by Russ Manning.  Steve Roper was added to the book last issue, and part two continues in this one.  Ask your comics dealer!

Getting up to date now, the Washington Post featured an article on Ohio cartoonists on July 19th.  It appeared in their Comic Riffs feature, written by Michael Cavna.    The article tries to answer the riddle of why Ohio spawned so many of the greats, like Caniff, Bill Watterson and Noel Sickles (though Sickles isn't mentioned).  You can read it here.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


VOLUME 3 IS HERE!!!  The big Caniff news of 2015 was the release of "The Complete Steve Canyon on DVD" Volume 3.  After years of setbacks, the project John Ellis began in 2006 has been completed.  This volume contains the final ten episodes of the series (episodes 25-34), each with commentary and each digitally remastered to the same high standards of the first two volumes.  Also included is the original, unaired pilot for the series!  Volume 3 can be ordered separately or as part of the complete series box set.

Volume 6 of "The Complete Steve Canyon" was released by the Library of American Comics on December 1st.  This book reprints all of the daily and Sunday strips from 1957 and 1958, with the Sundays in brilliant color.  Steve ran into a lot of old friends in these two years - Miss Mizzou, Princess Snowflower, Savannah Gay and Col. Index.  Plus, Btuce Canwell puts it all into historical context with his introductory essay.  Order your to-day!

The latest issue of Comics Revue (February 2016) reprints the Steve Canyon strips from 11/25/73 to 11/22/73, with Sundays in color.  This is part one of "Morale Booster", a solo adventure for Summer Canyon in Africa.  
This issue features a Tarzan/Phantom cover by Thomas Yeates.  Yeates is the current artist of the "Prince Valiant" strip.  He also has a current Tarzan story being serialized in "Dark Horse Presents."  

If the folks at Hermes Press were worried about low interest in George Wunder's "Terry and the Pirates", they should be feeling pretty good.  Volume One sold out and Volume Two is on it's way.  Volume Three is set for release on June 20th along with a second edition of Volume One.  I didn't know what I would think of Wunder's take on Caniff's classic, but I've really enjoyed the first two volumes.  Wunder pens a clever yarn and the art is often sublime.

I have a display at my local library of items related to the "Steve Canyon" TV series.  I call it "Steve Canyon: Lost and Found."  What you see is all there is, so don't book your plane tickets.  BUT, if you happen to be on the west side of Cincinnati, mosey on out to the Green Township branch library.  The exhibit only runs through April hurry!!