Thursday, February 2, 2012


It's here! Steve Canyon Vol 1: 1947-1948 by Milton Caniff was released by the Library of American Comics this week. The book is in the same format as the Complete Terry & the Pirates series and begins a wonderful extension into the second half of Caniff's life and work. Bruce Canwell gives context in his essay on what this transtion from 'Terry' to 'Steve' meant not only to Caniff professionally but the country culturally. While the early years of "Canyon" have been reprinted several times in the past 60 years, this is the best they've ever looked. Kudos to the team of Canwell, Lorraine Turner and Dean Mullaney.

Volume 3 of the "Steve Canyon" TV show is almost here. John Ellis of the Caniff Estate had hoped for a Christmas miracle, but sadly it wasn't to be. The good news is, the slipcases that will ship with preorders of volume 3 which hold all 3 volumes are in John's hands. You can read his latest update on the Steve Canyon DVD blog.

In celebration of Steve Canyon's 65th anniversary, Caniffite extraordinaire Russ Maheras posted this tribute on his comics blog at

OK, let's just call it a Canyon lollapalooza edition of Caniff News. Hermes Press has announced Volume 2 of "Steve Canyon: The Complete Comics Series". Volume 1, released last year, reprinted all seven Canyon issues of Dell Comics "Four Color" series. This volume will reprint the Harvey Comics "Steve Canyon" series #1-6, the previously unpublished issue #7, as well as the rare one shots "Secret Missions", "Strictly for the Smart Birds" and "Harvey Hits #52".

In related news, Hermes also announced Volume 2 of Johnny Hazard by Frank Robbins. Robbins was an artist of the Caniff school, with a little more cartoon exaggeration. These "Hazard" strips haven't been reprinted since the 1986 series done by Tony Raiola and Ken Pierce. This was solicited in the last Previews, but according to Amazon isn't due until August.

Lucy Caswell, the founder of what is now the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, was honored last year by National Cartoonists Society. She was awarded the prestigious Silver T-Square, which, according to the NCS, is given "to persons who have demonstrated outstanding dedication or service to the Society or the profession." Past recipients have primarily been cartoonists like Milton Caniff, who won in 1957. Other recipients have been industry types, such as publishers and editors, as well as two U.S. Presidents.

I caught up with Caswell and asked her about the experience: "It was a special time. As I said in my acceptance remarks, because I was privileged to know and work with Milton Caniff, one of the NCS founders, and because Billy Ireland was his mentor, I feel like things have come full circle with our naming the library after Ireland [thanks to a major gift from Ireland’s granddaughter]."

Although she has passed the torch of leadership of the library on to Jenny Robb, Caswell is still very much involved. "I am working on aspects of our new facility," she told me, "the renovation of historic Sullivant hall, exhibitions, collections and development."

Caswell also wrote the introduction to last year's "Caniff: A Visual Biography", which can be purchased here.

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