Title and statement of responsibility area
Three aces comics
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v. : ill. ; 26 cm.
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Toronto: Anglo-American Publishing Company, 1941-
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Title varies. From 1945 onward, issued in colour. Among the recurring features in Three aces comics was "Men of the Mounted: True tales of the R.C.M.P."
Holdings: vol. 1, no. 1 (November-December 1941); vol. 1, no. 12 (January 1943); and vol., 2, no. 2 (March 1943)
The Lund Comics Collection holds two issues of Three aces comics containing "Men of the Mounted: True tales of the R.C.M.P." stories: vol. 1, no. 12 and vol., 2, no. 2. The Collection also holds a third issue of Three aces comics - vol. 1, no. 1 - featuring "Pat and the fire fiends." The title character, an air cadet, attempts to prevent foreign agents from burning down military facilities. Sergeant Coyne of the R.C.M.P. is also pursuing the gang.
"Men of the Mounted: True tales of the R.C.M.P." also appeared in Anglo-American Publishing Company's Robin Hood comics and Freelance-Robin Hood. The Lund Comics Collection holds several issues of these series, and they are described separately in the finding aid.
Men of the Mounted was created by Ted McCall and first appeared in the Toronto Telegram in 1933. The strip was eventually syndicated throughout Canada, but, having failed to receive international distribution, McCall stopped producing Men of the Mounted from 1935 until its reintroduction with Three aces comics.
The appearance of Three aces comics - and other series by Anglo-American - marked a significant milestone in the evolution of a Canadian comics industry. The development of Canadian comics had traditionally been inhibited by the domination of American products in the domestic marketplace. During the Second World War, this dynamic changed. The war effort placed pressure on the government to address the growing trade imbalance with the United States, and, in December 1940, restrictions were placed on the importation of non-essential American goods. Among the banned items were comic books, and Anglo-American - as well as several other companies - came forward to fill the void.
These competitors included Educational Projects and Bell Features and Publishing Company. The Lund Comics Collection holds issues of several of their publications - Action stories of the Mounties, Canadian heroes, Active comics, Comic crimes, and Crimefighters comics - and they are described separately in the finding aid.
In addition to Three aces comics, Anglo-American also introduced Robin Hood comics, Freelance, and Grand slam as well as repackaging some American series. In 1945, Anglo-American combined Robin Hood comics and Freelance into Freelance-Robin Hood. Similarly, Grand slam and Three aces comics were merged into Grand slam-Three aces. The next year, the two titles again split into independent publications. In 1946, as U.S. comics began to once again flow into the Canadian market, Anglo-American closed.
Information on the publishing history of Anglo-American and its features has been taken from John Bell, "A history: English Canadian comic books" and Robert MacMillan, "The War years: Anglo-American Publishing Ltd." in John Bell, ed., Canuck Comics, Montreal: Matrix Books, c1986.