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.