(c) 2017, Arthur L. Lortie

Blog : Amazing Stories
[NOTE: If you find this or any of the strip collections I put together listed in the sidebar here or at my BookStork page to be useful, please consider making a donation of any amount to my PayPal account. It will help defray the cost of the many archival and library services I use for these and future projects. Please use the link and not my email address, which is not listed at PayPal. Strip collections are being added all the time -- and I even consider requests! :) ]

Buck Rogers6.jpgOne of the first strips put together as a digital collection was BUCK ROGERS, collated by Allen Lane back in 2009. The story indexes on Wikipedia were also put together by him.

I believe the first batch of scanned Sundays came from an Italian reprint series, 52 volumes in English, published by Club Anni Trenta from 1980 to 1992. These sold out long ago. According to an index I have from Bill Slankard, the last strip in this published set may have been Series II #24, which would of had a scheduled US publishing date of March 8, 1942 (though the actual date in newspapers would have varied widely). That's 630 Sunday strips!! (though another source says only 576 Sundays were included in this set).

Coincidentally, the end of that reprint series are also the last strips published in the FAMOUS FUNNIES comics from US publisher Eastern Color back in the 1940's.

Scans from original newspaper strips carried the digital collection through October 1, 1942, ending in the first third of story S-029, Planet of the Rising Sun. And that's where the scanners ran out of either energy or source material.

Hermes Press is currently reprinting the Sundays on a 2-3 year schedule. These are beautiful volumes in color and certainly worth the cost. Their first volume, covering 1930 to 1933 (published June 15, 2010), is sold out; volume 2 reprinted 1933 to 1937 was published July 3, 2012; and their latest, volume 3, covered 1937 to 1940 and was hot off the presses on June 23, 2015.

The first 28 Sunday stories can be found on the Russian site, LibGen, or at Steve Cottle's ILoveComics

I decided to continue on from where the original scanners left off using newspaper archives, including ProQuest, GeneologyBank, NewspaperArchive, Newspapers.com and others.
Buck Rogers2.jpg
I also decided to alter the naming convention established by Lane in the first 28 Sunday stories. He used the format
Buck Rogers S27-01 10-27-1940 SI-553 (with underscores)

which is Buck Rogers <story and strip number> <date> <strip number, eg, Series I #553>

Unfortunately half of this information is completely arbitrary, and of no use! The stories have no actual beginning nor end and there are two competing story lists that were included in The Collected Works of Buck Rogers (Chelsea House Publishers, 1969, 1977)! I chose to use the list at Wikipedia (and ignore the chapter titles).

The dates, likewise, are calculated and have little relationship with the actual newspaper published date, which, depending on the source, can vary as much as a month prior and two months later!

I therefore chose to "bundle" the strips by Wikipedia's story number and title, then sorting them by strip number, while adding the source and date, eg.,

Buck Rogers SII-024 (The Baltimore Sun 19420308)

The preferred Sunday format is the tab or half. Unfortunately, these become scarce after strip Series II #138. The 5 newspapers I used -- the Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Arizona Republic, Oakland Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer -- either dropped BUCK or switched to the third, which had just as many panels but shaved the bottoms of each tier!! Sacrilege!! (the last BUCK in the Inquirer was S11-054 on October 11, 1942)

Basically I had to collect the strips from all 5 papers and then select the best copy of the most complete version. <pant, pant> If anyone has better or color copies, please send them to my email at the top of this page and I'll update the archives.
Buck Rogers Pistol (Famous Funnies 012-02).jpg
My BUCK ROGERS story collections are here (and will continue) --

S29 Planet of the Rising Sun (02-15-1942 to 01-30-1944)
S30 Parchment of the Golden Crescent (02-06-1944 to 03-11-1945)
S31 Misadventures of Admiral Cornplaster (03-18-1945 270 12-01-1946)
S32 Battle on the Moon (12-08-1946 to 08-01-1948)
S33 Escape from the Martian Fortress (08-08-1948 to 02-20-1949)

NOTE: S029 has 2 additional strips that I marked SII-054a (it was actually unnumbered) and SII-110a (marked 10-1/2 on the strip) so that they sort correctly in the folder. These were intended by the syndicate to only run in newspapers printing strips ahead of the 'norm' and allow the others to catch up