Last time we gathered in this space I shared a 2013 visual I crafted, depicting The Library of American Comics output circa 2013, based on when the comic strips that we reprinted had originally appeared in newspapers. (It looked like this — That was Then … — in case you’re the forgetful type.)
Now it’s 2021, LOAC has published over two hundred volumes of material, and the ol’ timeline looks noticeably more robust than it did eight years ago! Again, the timeline takes up so much space, it’s best presented and viewed in two parts; click each portion below to see it in our version of “widescreen:”
As was the case in 2013, this can’t be done to scale — some listings that span a single year need more than one year’s “real estate” on the page, just so we can read the entry. But the whole picture gives a relative view of “the LOAC timeline” in what I think is an easy-to-digest format.
Doing this update, I was struck by how much the LOAC line has grown in the past near-decade, and where it has grown. Many ongoing strips have significantly extended the amount of material we’ve reprinted: twenty years of Steve Canyon; nearly a quarter-century of Superman comic strips; just over thirty years of Little Orphan Annie and almost three decades of Rip Kirby; more than a ten years of Percy Crosby’s amazing Skippy; and, as of this winter, with the publication of Volume 29, the complete run of Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy. It’s been mighty gratifying to help make so much material available once again, and we thank every reader who has supported these efforts, year after year!
Also great fun to see the projects that were scarcely a glimmer in 2013 that now have their own places on this timeline: the Disney, superhero, and science fiction presence; Bobby London’s winsome Popeye; seventeen years (and counting!) of the wonderful For Better or For Worse. Mix in the strips for which we used our Essentials line to offer a one-year sample — Tim Tyler’s Luck, 1934’s Krazy Kat dailies, Dan Dunn, “Cap” Stubbs and Tippie, Charlie Chan, and others — as they’d say in our 200th release, Barney Google, there’s a lot of reading here that’s “O-K-M-N-X!”
And before all is said and done we’ll add more books to the LOAC lineup, and more blocks to an exhibit like this one, while also extending some of our long-running series even further than is shown here.
More entertaining projects are in the pipeline — keep watching for new announcements!