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Rue (Thomas Bentley) Platinum and Golden Age Comic Book and Adventure Strips Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Separated Materials
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement
  • Biography of Thomas Bentley Rue
  • Scope and Contents

  • Contributing Institution: Historic Collections, J. Paul Leonard Library
    Title: Thomas Bentley Rue Platinum and Golden Age Comic Book and Adventure Strips Collection
    Source: Rue, Thomas Bentley, 1937-2016
    Accession number: asc.2018.001
    Extent: 18 Cubic Feet (17 boxes, 1 oversize box)
    Date (inclusive): 1938-1956
    Abstract: The Thomas Bentley Rue Platinum and Golden Age Comic Book and Adventure Strips Collection features comics and adventure strips ranging from the 1930s to the 1950s.
    Language of Material: English

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Title], Thomas Bentley Rue Platinum and Golden Age Comic Book and Adventure Strips Archive, Historic Collections, J. Paul Leonard Library.

    Separated Materials

    A number of comic book reprints and compilations have been added to the J. Paul Leonard Library's general collection. A collection of Big Little Books are housed in Historic Collections within Special Collections.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Virginia D.H. Rue In Memory of Thomas Bentley Rue, Accession number 2018/001.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyrighted. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Ann Galvan in 2018.


    Arranged as received by title.

    Biography of Thomas Bentley Rue

    Thomas (Tom) Bentley Rue was born to Loring and Lorene (Land) Rue on March 13, 1937 in Norfolk, Virginia. During World War II Tom’s family moved to Long Beach, California, where his father, a commercial artist, worked for the U. S. Navy creating maps for the war effort. Tom enlisted in the army as soon as he graduated from Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia in 1956. He served at several U.S. Army posts in the United States and spent over two years in what was then the Panama Canal Zone, serving as a radar operator and technician for the last Anti-Aircraft Battalion in the U. S. Army.
    Following his discharge from the army in 1959, Tom enrolled at the Norfolk College of William and Mary, now Old Dominion University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in history. It was there that he met his future wife, Virginia Dare Hardee of Hampton, Virginia. Following her Peace Corps service in Colombia, S.A., they were married in the chapel at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota.
    In 1963, Staff Sergeant Rue was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force and served with the Strategic Air Command. During the Viet Nam war, he served in South Korea with the 6246th Air Force Advisory Group and was promoted to Captain. Upon returning to the U.S., he served as a division chief with the U. S. Air Force Office of Special Investigation in New York. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. He was a member of the American Legion, the Commemorative Air Force, and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In retirement, his interests centered on preserving the historical artifacts of WWII. He was a founding member of the American Air Museum in Britain and a contributing member of the Women’s Air Service Pilots’ Museum in Sweetwater, Texas.
    Tom and Virginia moved in 1972 to Napa, California, where he worked for several business interests in San Francisco and taught at St. John’s Catholic School in Napa. Thomas Bentley Rue died on November 27, 2016.

    Scope and Contents

    Donated by the collector Thomas Bentley Rue, this collection features comics and adventure strips ranging from the 1930s to the 1950s. Early American comics were collections of re-published newsprint cartoons, and this collection has several prominent Platinum Age (1897-1937) collected titles, including Popular Comics, Tip Top Comics, and Famous Funnies, the latter considered by some historians to be the first true American comic book. Noteworthy strips include Joe Palooka, Smilin’ Jack, Nancy, and Li’l Abner. This collection also contains Golden Age comics (1938-1955), with a particular focus on wartime heroes and their combat adventures during World War II, including Boy Commandos, Blackhawk, and Terry and the Pirates. Additional prominent comics during this period are Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, heavily featuring the Donald Duck stories of 1943-1948 written by Carl Barks, and the Four Color series. Other titles of interest include Captain Marvel Adventures (now known as Shazam), Plastic Man, and an original copy of Superman, No. 1, although superhero comics are not majorly represented in this collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Comic books, strips, etc -- United States.
    Comic books.
    Adventure comics.