International Book of Comics

série: Etude Comics
dessinateur / scénariste: Gifford Denis
éditeur: Hamlyn 1990 (1984)
genre: Etude
classement: biblio1
date: 1990
format: broché
état: TBE
valeur: 10 €
critère: **
remarques: the International Book of Comics
by Denis Gifford, comics' collector
revised and reprinted 1990 from the 1984 original

1) introduction by D. Gifford
- 1990 = one hundredth anniversary of comics,
n.b. comics are not yet recognised and registered
by the British Library

2) first comic magazines
- was the Comick Magazine published 1796 and enriched
with William Hogarth's graphics,
then appeared the Caricature Magazine in 1808
with the first continuing cartoon hero dr. Syntax
drawn by Thomas Rowlandson

- Punch was the longest-lived comic magazine, started in 1841,
another comic hero appeared 1849: Mr. Briggs
- the magazine Judy started in 1867 and introduced
the greatest comic strip hero of that time: Alley Sloper
- further magazines were:
in the UK: Fun, in the USA: Puck, Judge and Life
and in Germany: die Fliegenden Blätter of Wilhelm Busch (1845)

3) Caricature Magazines
- one of the most famous was "Every Body's Album" in 1835
inspired of the Images d'Epinal and using first
the new technique of lithography,
preceded in 1831 by the Glasgow Looking Glass with Mr. McLean's
- the first comic sheets were published in Pellerin's
Imagerie d'Epinal in 1796 on a tradition of Imagerie Populaire
and in 1849 in the Münchner Bilderbogen of Wilhelm Busch

4) the first comic "Funny Folks (1874)
- was the first home comic, followed by Scraps and Snap-Shots
- Ally Sloper became 1884 the first regular British comic
strip hero appearing in Ally Sloper's Half Holiday,
first drawn by Marie Duval, then mostly by Charles Ross

- another comic that was published with success in 1890
was Comic Cuts, it was the first cheap comic,
half the cost of its competitors = one halfpenny,
however it was copying some previous comics and was soon faced
with a legal action, it lasted nevertheless until 1953

- some others followed such as Funny Cuts, then Illustrated Chips
with the heroes Weary Willie and Tired Tim,
the world famous tramps drawn by Tom Browne
- 1892 and 1893 did see the start of the Sunday Funnies in the USA,
mainly published in Pulitzer's Sunday World
and in Hearst's New York Journal with the Yellow Kid
- the first coloured comics appeared
1896 with Comic Cuts and 1904 with Puck

5) Comic Kids

- Max and Moritz (the Katzenjammer Kids) became the oldest
and most famous comic kids drawn by Rudolphe Dirks
to counter the Yellow Kid,
they were written in broke English to mark the German accent,
when Dirks left his editor, he continued the series
with the title Hans and Fritz, then the captain and the kids

further kid heroes were:
- the Ball's Pond Banditti published in Larks (1893),
- Lord Snooty and his Pals in the Beano (1938)
- the Bunsey Boys in Jester (1902), then
- Billy Bunter and Dennis the Menace

6) the first American comic books

were published 1902 with 5 comic books starring
- Happy Hooligan by Fred Opper
- Alphonse and Gaston by Fred Opper
- the Katzenjammer Kids by Rudolphe Dirks
- the Tigers by Jimmy Swinnerton
- on and off Mount Ararat by Jimmy Swinnerton
a new art was also born: the striptology,
then appeared also some further comic heroes such as
- Buster Brown by Outcault (1903)
- Adventures of Foxy Grandpa by Bunny
being the pen name of Carl Schultze (1904)
- Willie Westinghouse Edison Smith by Frank Crane (1906)
- Maud by Frederick Opper (1906)
- Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay (1909)
- Mutt and Jeff by Bud Fisher (1910)
- the Gumps by Sidney Smith (1918)
- bringing up father by Geo McManus (1919)
- little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray (1926)
- Smitty by Walter Berndt (1928)
- Harold Teen by Carl Ed (1929)
- Moon Mullins by Frank Willard (1933)
- Popeye by Elzie Crisler Segar (1935)

- they all appeared in Popular Comics and Famous Funnies
with the slogan "a million laughs in a carload"

in the UK, the first British comic strip heroes were
- Mr. Green (1850), Mr. Simkins on his holidays (1908) and
- the Japhet (1924) as well as Dot and Carrie (1923)

further UK twenties' heroes were mainly published
in the Daily Mirror:
- Tiger Tim (1904)
- Pip Squeak and Wilfred (1919), Jane (1932)

counterpart of the US heroes
- 1935, Belinda Blue-Eyes (Little Orphan Annie)
- 1937, Buck Ryan (Dick Tracy)
- 1937, Beelzebub Jones (Popeye)
- 1938, Just Jake (Li'l Abner)
- 1935, the Rugglers (Casey Ruggles)
- 1943, Garth (Superman)
- Jimpy

- in January 1929, the first Funny Comics are published in the USA
but it was not until 1936 that they would really succeed
- the US comic book was mostly a product of the Great Depression,
some of these first comic books are now worth a fortune for a mint copy,
the first genuine comic book was born in 1934
with the title Famous Funnies, made of reprint strips
from the supplements of the Sunday Pages

most famous and favorite Funnies titles were:
- 1929, the Funnies
- 1933, Famous Funnies and Funnies on Parade
- 1934, Century of Comics
- 1936, King Comics and Tip Top Comics
- 1936-1942 Popular Comics
- 1937, Ace Comics and the Comics
- 1938, Super Comics, Comics on Parade and Crackajack Funnies
-1939, Magic Comics

7) Nursery and Cartoon Comics
- the first UK comics really designed for children started 1914
in "the Rainbow" with the Bruin Boys and Tiger Tim's Tales
- a new hy-phen-ated style appeared for the very young kids
with the purpose of preparing them for reading,
other nursery characters were:
- the Brownies (1948) - Tiny Tots Comics (1943) -
- the Teenie Weenies (1950) - Fairy Tale Parade (1942) -
- Mother Goose (1944) -
drawn by good artists such as Walt Kelly, George Carlson
and William Donahey

- the famous cartoon hero "Felix the Cat" appeared for the first time
in 1919 with "Feline Follies" to the Paramount Magazine
drawn by Pat Sullivan,
Felix' great success consisted in its own personality and character
which was only to be overmatched by Mickey Mouse,
Felix got its own magazine in 1949 with Felix Funnies

- after some advertising publications in 1933, Mickey Mouse Magazine
was first published 1935, however by 1940 the dominant force
of Walt Disney Comics became Donald duck
>> p. 53 cover of first issue of Mickey Mouse Weekly
- Mickey Mouse's first name was Mortimer, he was renamed by Walt Disney
after losing the original cartoon character "Oswald, the lucky rabbit"
- the first foreign Mickey Mouse was Topolino (1932),
then Journal de Mickey (1934) by Winkler in Paris
and Micky Maus Zeitung published 1937 in Zurich

the rivals of Mickey Mouse:
- Porky Pig (1940) by Leon Schlesinger
- Bugs Bunny (1940) by Ben Hardaway+Tex Avery
- Mighty Mouse (1945) = parody of Superman
- Tom and Jerry (1945)
as well as Andy Panda (1943), Oswald the rabbit (1947),
Woody Woodpecker (1952) by Walter Lanz,
the Fox and the Crow (1945) and Tweety+Sylvester (1953),
another funny animal was Pogo, the possum

8) Comics and the Cinema

- Charlie Chaplin had also his comic strip in the Funny Wonder (1915)
drawn by Bertie Brown in the UK,
in Charlie Chaplin's Comic Capers in the USA
and as Charlot in France's Cri Cri drawn by Thomen

- further film stories were published in Film Fun in 1920
(with Harold Lloyd, Baby Mary Osborne, Mark Swain)
as well as in Kinema Comic and Film Picture Stories
- Laurel and Hardy was also a famous title in film comic strips
appearing 1930 in Film Fun, Bombolo and Cri Cri drawn by Mat

9) Adventure Comics

- the first adventure hero appeared 1920 in Rob the Rover, followed
by Phil Hardy, Frankie Doodle and Tim Tyler's Luck
as well as Dickie Dare, first hero drawn by Milton Caniff
who created later on Terry and the Pirates with a new style
breaking completely away from the funny style

- further adventure comic books were created with New Comics (1935),
Adventure Comics (1938), Funny Picture Stories (1936)
and Star Comics (1937)

- Detective Comics (D.C.), together with Detective Picture Stories,
was however the most famous edition in 1937 with heroes such as:
- the Clock and the Phantom Killer (1937) by George Brenner
- Dick Tracy (1948) by Chester Gould
- secret Agent X-9 (1934) and Rip Kirby (1948) by Alex Raymond
- Kerry Drake (1944) and Charlie Chan (1948) by Alfred Andriola
- Perry Mason (1935) by Vernon Greene
- Ellery Queen (1949) and Mike Shayn, Private Eye (1961)
- the Saint and Edgar Wallace (1949)
- Sherlock Holmes was also a famous detective hero,
first published in the Funny Wonder (1897), he then appeared
in many other magazines such as "Classic Illustrated" (1947)

10) Family Comics

- first family strip in the US was bringing up father (1913)
making the strip an internationally recognized symbol of family life
- the Gumps (1917) was the typical American middle-class family
drawn by Sidney Smith (note a gump = an idiot)

- Gasoline Alley (1918) by Frank King,
was the first strip to reflect real life
- Moon Mullins (1923) by Dan Gordon
- the Nebbs (1927) by Wallace Carlson
who was one of the pioneers for animated cartoon films
- Blondie (1930) by Chic Young = the most amusing family strip

- the Crackers (1936) by Reg Parlett
- the Jingles (1937) by Roy Wilson
- Hi and Lois (1956) by Mort Walker
- Jiggs and Maggie (1949) by Frank Petcher

family kids:
- Reg'lar Fellers (1918) by Gene Byrnes = the suburban kids
- Skippy Skinner (1925) by Percy Crosby = boyhood street life
- Tippie and Cap Stubbs (1921) by the lady cartoonist Edwina Dumm
- Henry (1932) by Carl Anderson = the first modern comic kid
- little Lulu (1945) by Marjorie Henderson Buell
- Nancy (1940) by Ernie Bushmiller
- Charlie Brown and his dog Snoopy (the Peanuts)
in 1950 by Charles Schulz
- Dennis the Menace (1951) by Hank Ketcham
as well as Little Dot (1953) and Richie Rich (1960)

11) Comics for all seasons

- original thought of special comics being purely published
for holiday sales (the one-shot comic)
- Seaside Comic (1930) was the first of this kind,
sales being concentrated at seaside resorts,
then were published Holiday Comic (1931),
Christmas Comic as well as Spring and Summer Comics

Christmas Funnies
- this first special Xmas comic was published 1935,
Xmas comics were often used as Xmas presents
- the first specially drawn Xmas Comic book was
"Santa Claus Funnies (1942) by Walt Kelly,
it remains the finest ever comic book for the young
- Uncle Scrooge was created in a Walt Disney Christmas Parade
annual special in 1947 by Carl Barks

Comic Celebrations, issued on special occasions like
- Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee (1887)
- Coronation of Kings (U.K.)
- VE-Day = victory in Europe (1945)
- New York World's Fair Comics (1964)
- USA Bicentennial of 1976

celebrations of Comics' Birthday such as
- Comic Cuts No. 3000 (1953 = a 63 year caree)
- Dandy No. 2000 (1980)
- Detective Comics (Batman) No. 500 (1979)
- Journal de Spirou No. 2097 (1978 = 40th birthday)
- Beano No. 1000 (1961)

12) Comics go West

- Star Rangers was the first comic-book devoted 100%
to the American West (1937) drawn by Fred Schwab,
further western comic-books were:
- Western Picture Stories (1937)
- Western Action Thrillers (1937 with strips of Buffalo Bill
- Little Joe (1942)
- King of the Royal Mounted (1940) by Allen Dean
- Red Ryder Comics (1940) by Fred Harman,
one of the most popular, authentic and best-drawn westerns
- Comics on Parade (Broncho Bill) in 1948 by Harry O'Neill
- Lone Rangers (1938) by Ed Kressy, then Charles Flanders
- Casey Ruggles (1940) by Warren Tufts

- all these comic stories used a tough lingo (= contemptuous language)
but were well accepted by the young readers,
from 1945 on, the trend was really towards western comics,
- it was a boom and all western heroes
(previously published in pulp magazines) made a come back
and set in tailor-made comic books such as
- Buffalo Bill (1949)
- Pawnie Bill, Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett (1950)
- Johnny Thunder (1949) by Graham Ingels
- Saddle Justice (1949), a true and terrific western
- the Grinning Gun Girl (a sex western)
- Tex Granger (1949) and Cisko Kid (1957)

- western film heroes (movie cowboys) also received their comic books
(so called B-western comic book style) such as
- Tom Mix Comics (1940) and Hopalong Cassidy (1946)
- Roy Rogers, king of the cowboys (1957)
- Rocky Lane and Lash Larue (1949)
- Buck Jones (1951)
- Rod Cameron, Durango Kid and Bob Colt

Indians ( = Injuns) had also their place in comic books such as
- Tonto (1953) = friend of Lone Ranger
- Little Beaver = companion of Red Ryder
- Straight Arrow with his horse Fury (= Flèche Loyale)
published by National Biscuits, drawn by Fred Meagher
- Young Eagle (1950)
- Long Bow, the Blackfoot boy published in Indians (1950)

the Western World
- the popularity of the cowboys became universal,
espc. the French have loved this western fiction
Australia: Action Comic (1950) with the Lone Ranger
France: Zorro (1946) by Oulié,
famous with the Z trademark and the whip)
+ OK Texas (Rodeo Kid) 1949 by Brantonne
- Pecos Bill, the cowboy with the lasso (1950)
- the Little Sheriff by Tristano Torelli (+ Zuffi) in 1950
further titles in the western boom:
- Tex Morton by Dan Russell (1950)
- Lone Star Magazine by Ron Embleton (1954)
- Smoky Dawson by Andrea Bresciani (1960)

the Funny West (cartoon cowboys)
- Texas Slim and Dirty Dalton (1944) by Fred Johnson
- Lucky Luke (1947) by Morris in Spirou
= an affectionate burlesque western story
- Cocco Bill (1957) and Zorry Kid (1968) by Benito Jacovitti
- Chicos (1948, Spain) by Moro
- Short Shiner as well as Mick and Muff

13) Tarzan of the Comics

- the editor Neebe and artist Foster published 1928 first in UK,
the comic strips of Tarzan in Tit Bits (small pieces),
then the strips appeared in American newspapers in 1929 only,
1931 in the Sunday Pages by Maxon, then by Foster
who was even to be transcended by Hogarth in 1937

- later on, Tarzan strips continued drawn by various artists
such as Jesse Marsh, Joe Kubert, Russ Manning,
John Buscema and many others

Jungle Kings and Jungle Queens
a new generation of jungle heroes were born in
- Jungle Comics with Kaänga in 1940
- Sheena, queen of the jungle (1938) by Zolne Rowich
- Jungle Girl (1942)
- Rulah, the jungle goddess (1948) by Matt Baker
- Zago the jungle prince (1949)
- Jo-Jo the Congo King (1949)
- Zegra, the jungle empress (1949) by Matt Baker
- Jungle Jo (1950)
- Tiger Girl (1951) by Bob Lubbers
- Jungle Tales with Marvel hero Kazar (1954) by Mike Royer
- Shanna, the She-Devil by George Tuska

14) the Flying Comics

they reflected America's excited interest in aviation starting with
- Tailspin Tommy (1928) by Hal Forest in Popular comics, then
- Skyroads (1929) by Dick Calkins
- Scorchy Smith (1930) by John Terry
- Smilin' Jack (1933) by Zack Mosley
- Barney Baxter (1935) by Frank Miller

the first all-air-oriented comic book appeared 1940 with
- Wings Comics drawn by Bob Lubbers glorifying the Yank Aces,
- Air Fighters Comics (1941 drawn by Fred Kida with the hero Airboy
and his opponent Valkyrie, the Third Reich's lady pilot
- Sky Blazers (1940) by Tom Hickey
- Sky Sheriff (1948) by Edmond Good

- Biggles was the famous British Airman (1932)
drawn by Albert Devine from the stories of W.E. Johns
- Air Hawk and the flying Doctors was however
one of the best drawn flying strips by John Dixon

15) Songs in the Comics

- songs in comics do usually not travel very well,
an exception was however with Barney Google,
other famous songs in comics:
- Popeye the sailor man sung by Billy Costello
- where is Bonzo and Alley Sloper

16) the Golden Age of UK Comics: the Thirties

- while developing their unique style of humorous
and adventure strips, the comics fell into two distinct types:
the penny blacks and the twopenny coloureds

- it was however the comic character who were considered important,
not the men who drew them, only some few famous UK artists
were allowed to sign their strips, one of them being:
Roy Wilson with Happy Days (1938) and the Dandy (1937)
published by Amalgamated Press

- then came the Yank invasion by William Randolph Hearts
introducing the first British Sunday newspaper to be converted
in the American style: the Weekly Budget (1937), then followed:
- the Wags published by Joshua Powers
- Okay Comics Weekly, partly drawn by Will Eisner

- small-format comic books were introduced in the Forties
by Alfred Harvey with "Pocket Comics" (1941)
but the small-pocket format comic book did not enjoy much success,
except for Jumbo Comics published by Fiction House
and drawn again by Will Eisner

17) the Super Heroes

a) Superman
- created June 1938 by Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster
in No. 1 of Action Comics, Superman was also the creator
of the real comic book that becomes soon very popular
- it was the concept of futuristic supermen and the success was immediate,
a mint copy of No. 1, then worth 10 cents, is now listed $ 25'000.-!

b) Batman
- appeared in No. 27 of Detective Comics, May 1939, by Bob Kane
for a follow-up to Superman, Bob Kane added soon
Robin, Batman's assistant called the Baby Wonder
and his main opponent, the Joker

then followed a succession of super heroes such as:
- Ultraman - the Flash - Johnny Thunderbolt - Dr. Fate -
- Hour Man - Green Lantern - the Atom - Hawkman -
- Sandman - the Spectre

which finally formed the Justice Society of America,
the super heroes were by now well established,
further next super heroes:
- Speed Centaur by Malcolm Kildale
- Amazing Man by Bill Everett
- Cat Man by Charles Quinlan
- Iron Skull by Carl Burgos
- the Arrow by Paul Gustavson
- the Blue Beetle by Lou Fine
- the Green Mask by Walter Friehm
- the Doll Man by Will Eisner
- the Shield by Irving Novick
- the Human Dynamo by Maurice Scott
as well as the Hyper and the Black Terror

1939 began the Marvel Age with the Marvel Super Heroes
being among others:
- Submariner by Bill Everett
- Human Torch by CArl Burgos
those two being Marvel's top heroes (or perhaps anti-heroes)
- Plastic Man by Jack Cole
- Blue Bolt by Joe Simon
- Man of Steel by Charles Biro
and also the Scarlet Avenger and Neon the Unknown

and then appeared the most famous Marvel super hero:
- captain Marvel in February 1940 by Clarence Beck,
(the counterpart of Superman, captain Marvel fought
also against Superman, however only in court battles
that however would last for a decade)
- captain Marvel was to be called in affection as the Big Red Cheese,
he was however quite a different concept with the magic word "Shazam",
he was an inhabitant of the earth while Superman was an alien
- further characters of the Marvel family: captain Marvel Junior,
Mary Marvel, Uncle Marvel

Wonder women and Supergirls:
- Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics,
December 1941 drawn by Harry Peter
other super heroines were:
- Miss Fury (1941) by Tarpé Mills (a woman)
- Black Cat (1941) by Lee Elias
- Phantom Lady (1941) by Matt Baker
(she was giving nightmares to dr Wertham with her breasts
losely covered by a backless halter)
- Moon Girl (1947) by Johnny Craig (not a great success)
- Supergirl (1959) by Vince Coletta
- miss Marvel (1977) by John Buscema
- Spider Woman (1978 by Joe Sinnott
- Tiger Girl (1968)

some Super Heroes worldwide:
a) in Australia
- Dr. Mensana (1941), captain Atom (1950), captain Power (1949),
- Crimson Comet and Catman (1948) by John Dixon - Jet Fury (1950)

b) in Canada
Anglophile families preferred however their offsprings to read
the mother language rather than the imported Americanism
- Active Jim, a sports hero (1942) - the Wolf (1942) -
- Freelance (1946) by Ed Furness - Solar Star (1943) -
- Speed Savage (1946) - captain Canuck (1975)

c) in Europe
- 1939 Superman first edition in UK with Triumph
- Italy and Holland were the countries where
the US super heroes mostly appeared

d) other countries
- Superman was also published in Japan and the Middle East
- Powerman was an African hero published in Nigeria
- Kalima, a Mexican super hero
but none had the impact of their American counterparts

e) animal super heroes
- Super Mouse (1942) - Hoppy, the Marvel Bunny (1946) -
- Superkatt (1944) was the funniest one -
- Wiggles, the wonder worm (1944) - the Cosmo Cat (1946)

f) Super heroes at war
- a typical war and patriotic superhero was Captain America
(nearly selected by president Roosevelt to fight the spies in the USA),
drawn 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
- captain America had his own club: the Sentinels of Liberty
who invited young readers to help rid the USA of the traitors
- other war super heroes appeared consequently such as
Daredevil (1941) with spikes on his belt and Major Victory (1944)

g) the British Supermen
- Len Manners was the first one to appear 1944 in the Dandy,
others were:
- Mr. Muscle (1945) - captain Crash (1948) - Masterman (1952) -
- Electro Man (1951) - captain Miracle (1960) -
- Marvelman (1954) with the magic word Kimota (Atomik)
instead of Shazam, however curiously it had not the same
impact on British readers as on American ones

h) the Marvel Aage of Comics
new superheroes were re-created (mostly by Stan Lee)
under the Comics Code Authority, the main ones being:
- the Fantastic Four (mr. Fantastic, the Thing, the Invisible Girl
and the Human Torch) in 1962 by Jack Kirby
- the Incredible Hulk (1962)
- the Amazing Spiderman(1971) by Gil kane
- the Avengers (1963) by Jack Kirby
( = Thor, Antman, Ironman and Hulk)
- the X-Men (1963) by Jack Kirby
- Iron Man (1968) by Gene Colan
- Sub-Mariner (1968) by John Buscema
- Nick Fury, the Shield (1968) by James Steranko
- Daredevil (1964) by Bill Everett
- dr Strange, master of the mystic arts (1968) by Don Adkins
- the Silver Surfer (1968) by John Buscema
being the sentinel of the spaceways (= Stan Lee's vision of Christ!)

18) British Comic Books

- it was not until 1982 that full-colour comics were introduced
in the UK, principally for cost reasons,
the history of the development of comics in the UK was:
- Tip Top Comics (1940) with the Katzenjammer Kids
- Blackhawk and the Spirit (1949)

- Feature Comcis and Smash Comics (1940)
- Super Funnies and Mystery Comics (1940)
- Family Favourites and King Comic (1954)

- Gerald George Swan was the respected authority on comics history
and developed comic books in UK with the slogan
"the laughs of the nation", main titles being in 1940:
- New Funnies - Topical Funnies - War Comics - Thrill Comics

- these comics developed during world war II into typical war comics
caricaturing the German Nazi and Italian dictator,
British comics had gone to war and had developed their own war heroes:
such as captain Hurricane and the most famous one:
- Battler Britton, the fighting ace, drawn by Geoff Campion

after the war, some specialized all war comic books
continued to develop:
- Ace Malley (1951) - Sun Weekly (1958) with Battler Britton -
- Commando (1961) - Valiant (1962) and Warlord (1974)

in Military Comics (1941) appeared in the USA
the most famous war team of comics:
- the Blackhawk drawn by Charles Cuidera and Will Eisner,
there were two parts: military action on land and navy actions,
other famous war bunches were:
- the Death Patrol drawn by Jack Cole
- the Boys Commandos (1942) drawn by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
in Detective Comics

- Group Action seems to have been a favourite theme
of comic book warfare and one of the most famous was
- War Victory Comics (1942) published by the US Treasury Department
in which every comic artist in America contributed to the war efforts
with a special adventure of his characters

a) Air War Comics
most famous comics in respect of air war were
- Wings Comics and captain Flight (1944)
- Skyrocket Comics and Spitfire Comcis (1944)
- War Birds (1952)
- captain Steve Savage and his Jet Fighters (1955)
- War Wings (1968)
- Aces High (1955) in respect of world war I drawn by George Evans
lasted only a short time but was of high art and writing standard

b) Funny War Comics
- first intended for the G.I., these comics ultimately developed
quite well with funny war heroes like
- Sad Sack (1957) drawn by George Baker
being pure pantomines of army humour
- Beetle Bailey (1950) drawn by Mort Walker = a classic
stumblebum soldier who becomes the second most popular
comic strip in the States
- Canteen Kate (1952) by Matt Baker

19) Atomic Comics

- influenced by the atom bomb, comics entered the Atomic Age
with Science Comics (1946) and Atom Age Combat (1958)
as well as Atomic Comics (1946), with the super heroes:
- Atoman (1946) - the Atomic Thunderbolt (1946)
and captain Atom (1965)
and also with some funny atomic heroes such as
- Atomic Mouse (1953) - Atomic Rabbit (1958) -
- Atom the Cat (1958) and Atom Ant (1965)

20) Comics in Comics

there were comic books folded as a comic supplement
(the Spirit Section, Fun Book) in newspapers such as
in the Sunday Pages, in Sunday Bulletin or even
in Family Radio and TV magazines

21) Giveaway Comics

- the American comic book was born out of the commercial connection,
some comic books were therefore published for the giveaway trade
- a famous one was the "Gulf Comic Weekly" from 1933 to 1941,
with original strips (no reprint) published by Gulf Oil
- many other giveaway comics were published as a main
advertising medium and were packaged in "wheaties"
(breakfast meals) such as:
- Whiz Comics and Tastee-Freez Comics
given away by commercial companies such as Kelloggs,
Sears Roebuck Stores, Quaker, Campbell soup, Buster Brown shoes
as well as icecream products, drinks, bakeries, etc

most famous comics for promotional purposes were
- Ovaltiney's Own Comics (1935) published by Wander
- Fun Fare (1934) with the heroine Monika,
the Merry Milkmaid by U.K. Dairies
- Happy Families (1938) by Birds Custard
- Scotty Comics (1963) by Scotch Tape
- captain Krunch (1977) by KP Foods
- the Muncher (1978) by Wimpy Hamburgers
- the Menu (1978) by Rock Garden Restaurants
most of them being issued in the post-war period

a) Commercial Comics
further magazines tying-in with commercial products
or civic-minded services were issued such as
- Elsie, the cow comics (1949) for milky products
- Pioneer Western (1950) for toys products
- Smokey Bear (1970) for forest fire prevention
- Ronald MacDonald (1971) for McDonald hamburgers
- Atari Force (1984) for Atari computer products

some comic books sprang also from music sources
- Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer (1952)
- Frosty the snowman (1952)
- the Three Chipmunks (1959) by Monarch Music

b) Promo Comics
designed to illustrate ideas and concepts rather
than commercial products:
- Traffic Light (1946) by the Royal Society
for prevention of accidents
- Money Fun (1981) by National Savings
- Young Soldier (1981) by the Salvation Army
- Form (1959) by the Conservative Party
- Man of Steel (1979) by British Steel
- Superman (1980), used as an advertiser
by the Health Department!

22) Classic Comics

- the first title of these series launched 1941
by the Gilberton Company New York and drawn
by Malcolm Kildale was the Three Musketeers,
each title was one of the world's immortal authors
- Classic Comics became Classic Illustrated with issue No. 35,
Gilberton's 28 year-run with 169 titles was a record
nowhere matched by their emulators, main titles:
- Famous Stories (1942) - American Library (1944) -
- Ideal (1948) - World's Greatest Stories (1949) -
- Fast Fiction (1950) - King Classics (1977)

- a British edition started 1951 by Strato Publication
with a final number of 164 titles, later the series was given
a new name "Famous Stories in Pictures",
the author of this book has even drawn a title in this series:
Adventures of Baron Munchhausen

- Look and Learn was an educational weekly
influenced by the Classic Comics

a) True Comics
- historical stories were published by True Comics (1941)
as a quality non-fiction comic book but it had not the success hoped for,
some other publications of this kind were:
- Real Heroes (1941) advertising that there is a new magazine,
not about impossible supermen, but about real heroes,
the Editor Board included Handrik Willem Van Loon,
author of the Story of Mankind
- Real Life Comics (1941)
- Real Fact Comics (1946)
mixed past and present personalities
- Marvels of Science and Future World (1946)
- Science Comics (1951) concentrated on scientific matters
- Picture News (1946) was a special attempt to produce a comic book
newspaper that lasted only 9 issues

b) Religous Comics
- with Picture Stories from the Bible (1942)
first published by E.C. (Educational Comics)
which would represent later on a different kind of comics,
some others were
- Timeless Topix (1942) and Catholic Comics (1946)
- Sunday Pix (1949) and the Crusaders (1974)

c) Educational Comics
- mostly used by publishers to convey educational messages
on energy, road, safety, army nature, health, history, etc

23) Crime Comics
- the first issue of this kind was "Crime does not pay" (1942)
which was soon to be followed by less honourable
publications such as
- True Crime Comics (1947) which did show the vilest violence
ever committed to comic books (drawn by Jack Cole)
- Crime Patrol (1948) by Johnny Craig
- Crime Fighters (1948)
- Murder Incorporated (1950) and Crime Mysteries (1952)
- Crime Suspenstories (1950) E.C. by Johnny Craig
- Wanted (1951) by Mort Lawrence
- Fugitives from Justice

24) Horror Comics

a) the classic monsters

the first ones were published by Classic Comics with
the Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1944), drawn by Allen Simon, then
- Dracula
- Frankenstein (1945) drawn by Robert Hayward Webb
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide
- the Invisible Man (1959) by Norman Nodel and Biggs
more horror comics were to come with a harder content such as
- Suspense Comics (1944) with E.C.'s terrible trio:
the Crypt Keeper, the Vault Keeper and the Old Witch
- Adventures into the Unknown (1950)
was the most succesful one of this style
- Black Magic (1950) by Jack Kirby
- Blue Bolt Weird Tales (1953) by L. Cole
- Sensation Comics (1952) by Alex Toth
- Worlds Beyond (195), Terror Tales (1952), Unknown World (1952),
- Monster (1953), the Thing (1952), the Tormented (1954),
- Out of the Night (1952), Witches Tales (1951), Witchcraft (1952)

- however the rising tide of illustrated evil reached
unspeakable peaks and it was soon the beginning of the end
- Educational Comics (E.C.) started by Max Gaines in 1942
(with story of the Bible), converted into Entertaining Comics
at his death in 1945, his son William Gaines kept the logo
but changed the meaning
- in 1949, the first horror issue started with the Crypt of Terror
(the Crypt Keeper) created by Al Feldstein,
the success was extraordinary and in 1950 appeared
the Vault of Horror (the Vault Keeper)
and the Haunt of Fear (the Old Witch)
by Feldstein and drawn by Johnny Craig
- all magazines carried the same splash on the covers
"illustrated Suspenstories we dare you to read"

- after some complaints from parents and teachers,
Crypt of Terror changed 1950 into Tales from the Crypt,
but the US Senate introduced 1954 the Comics Code Authority
and this was the end of Gaine's horror shock suspenstories

a) British Horror Comics
first published by Gerald Swan in 1940 with Thrill Comics
followed by horror strips in the Sunday Dispatch (1949)
and by American reprints such as
- Black Magic Comics (1952), Eerie Comics (1951)
- Ghostly Weird Stories and Startling Terror Tales (1953)
- Tales from the Crypt (1954)
with some original UK horror comics in 1952:
Spellbound Magazine, the Bat Magazine and Suspense Magazine
- the Children and Young Persons Act of 1955
ended the series of UK horror comics

b) a World of Horror
the E.C. school spread over the world and especially in Japan
whith a weeping of blood,
German comics were also exciting with
- Gespenster Geschichten and Geister Geschichten (1982)
- Spuk Geschichten (1981) und Vanessa, Freundin der Geister (1983)

c) Funny Horror Comics
the horror character switched to comedy with
- Spooky Mysteries (1946)
- the Little Monsters and the Munsters (1964)
- Milton the Monster (1966), Melvin Monster (1967)
- the Addams Family (1971), Monster Fun Comic (1975)
- Whoopee Frankie Stein (1977)

25) Teenage Comics
- the first one of this type started 1941 in Pep Comics
with "Archie Andrews, America's Top Teenager"
created by Bob Montana and drawn by Al Fagaly,
Archie got his own magazine "Archie Comics" in 1946
to become the third longest-lived comic book hero
during 45 years (after Superman and Batman)
- together with Katy Keene, the pin-up queen,
Archie had launched the teenage revolution
- Archie was soon given company with among others
Archie's girl Betty and Veronika as well
as the boy Reggie, rival of Archie
other Teenagers were:
- Harold Teen (1949) by Carl Ed with his girl Lillums Lovewell
- Buzzy Brown (1943) by George Storm
- Dudley
as well as the Teenage girl comics (bobby-soxers):
- Judy (1947), Junior Miss (1948) and Ginger (1953)

26) Pop Comics with
- Juxe Box Comics (1948)
- Pat Boone (1959)
- Summer Love (1966) about the Beatles
- Rock Comics (1979) drawn by Neal Adams

27) Girls and Romance Comics
- first girl comics Bécassine created by the French Pinchon
in "Semaine de Suzette" (1905)
and Primarosa (1933) in Italy by Roy Wilson,
further girl comics:
- the Playbox (1925), USA
- Girl (1951) counterpart of Eagle, the comic for boys in the UK
- Polly Pigtails (1947), in UK
- Sissi (1964) and Lily (1971) in Spain
- Bunty (1981) in UK

- romance comics were aimed at the maturing female giving
sometimes one of the best artwork in the comics business,
romance comics made first use of colour photographs
for their covers, they were:
- Young Romance (1947), Lovers Lane (1949)
- Sweetheart Secrets (1950) and War Romances (1954)

28) Fantastic Comics
- the comic strip being the perfect medium for fantasy
(the artist's imagination was the only limit),
fantasy comic books soon developed to a great extent
- the first artist to enter this sphere was of course
Winsor Mac Cay with "Tales of the Jungle Imps" (1903),
then followed: Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend,
but the best was to be seen in
- Little Nemo in Slumberland (1905)
- with this artwork, McCay was recognized as an instant classic,
perhaps the first in comic-strip art,
other comic books could never match with Winsor McCay,
few were however of some quality such as
- Sparks (1919), Wonderland Comics (1945)
- Toyland Comics (1947) by Bob Lubbers
- Uncle Charlie's Fables (1952) and Stumbo Tinytown (1963)

a) Funny Ghosts and Witches
this psychic subject developed quite afew interesting titles such as
- Casper, the friendly ghost (1950) by Otto Messmer
the story of this little ghost in search of friendship was a best-seller
- Homer, the happy ghost (1957)
- Li'l Ghost (1958) drawn by Al Fago
- Spunky, the smiling spook (1958)
- Hot Stuff, the little devil (1959)
- Wendy, the good little witch (1960)
- Spooky Spooktown (1961)

29) Science Fiction Comics

- the first spaceman Buck Rogers conquered America 1929
in Amazing Stories by Philip Nowlan, drawn by Dick Calkins,
Nowlan had already made 1928 a first science-fiction story:
- Armageddon 2419 AD
- Buck Rogers, although today outmoded, has still a certain charm

- Flash Gordon appeared 1934 with Dale Arden and dr. Zarkov
against Prince Ming and a catalogue of extra-terrestrial oddities
- Brick Bradford was the third pre-war spaceman
drawn 1934 by Clarence Gray

- these adventures were published in Europe in Hurrah (France 1937),
l'Avventura (Italy 1947) and Leyendas (Spain 1945)
- further magazines to publish science-fiction strips were
New Fun (1935) and Star Comics (1937), drawn by Clemens Gretter
with the heroes "Don Drake on the planet Saro"
and Dan Hastings, futuristic hero

- the first science-fiction comic book arrived 1938 bearing
the title Amazing Mystery Funnies drawn by Bill Everett,
further science-fiction comic books were:
- Planet Comics and Superworld Comics (1940)
- Science Comics and Weird Comics (1940) drawn by Lou Fine
- Miracle Comics (1941)

- in 1950, E.C. launched a series of science fiction comics
that were of better standard than their horror comics
(which were anyway more aimed at adult readers)
drawn by Albert Feldstein:
- Weird Science and Weird Fantasy that merged 1954
into Weird Science-Fantasy drawn by Wallace Wood,
1955 the title changed again into
- Incredible Science Fiction drawn by Jack Davis

further titles published by other editors:
- Hi-Spot Comics (1940), Strange Adventures
and Mystery in Space (1950) published by National Comics (D.C.)

- John Carter of Mars (1952) drawn by Jesse Marsh

- an Earthman of Venus and Flying Saucers (1950),
drawn by Gene Fawcett
- Space Detective (1951) and Space Western Comics (1953)
drawn by Wallace Wood

a) Dan Dare
- the famous British spaceman, proud bearer of he OUN
(Order of the United Nations) and pilot of the future,
appeared 1950 in Eagle drawn by Frank Hampson
and created by a cleric enraged by the import of American horror,
Eagle soon became a knockout inspired both by Christian
and Commercial policy and well advertised

- Hampson was the first to apply studio techniques
and to research detailed current space technology,
Hampson was awarded the Yellow Kid for his recognized artwork,
he also started 1977 the comic "2000 AD" which did however
not match the quality of old Dan Dare,
Eagle had a rebirth in 1982

further post-war science-fiction comics (mostly UK):
- Swift Morgan (1948)
- Space Comics/captain Valiant and Space Commander Kerry
as well as Space Commando Comics (1953) all drawn by Mike Angelo
- Strange Worlds, Super Sonic and Spaceman (1953)
- Rocket (1956) and Space Ace (1960)
- Trigan Empire (1973) by Don Lawrence
- Judge Dredd (1983) which was a great success
as UK comic in the USA, drawn by Brian Bolland

30) Sport Comics
historically sport and comics seldom mix
but some strips had occasionally good success such as
- Joe Palooka (1928) by Ham Fisher = boxing in USA
was the most successful sporting strip of all time
- Roy of the Rovers (1976) = football in the UK
other titles were
- Sports Fun (1922) and Sport Stars (1949) by Marvel Comics
- Sport Thrills and Hot Rod Comics (1951)
- Cotton Woods (1957)
- Sport Billy (1982) in Germany

31) Local Comics
- Oor Wullie (1940) = Scottish Comics
- the Broons, a Scottish family strip
- Sradag (1960) = Gaelic comics
- Tir Na Nos (our boys) in 1947 = Irish comics
- Hwyl (1949) = Welsh comics
- Sboncyn (the grasshopper) in 1980 = Welsh comics

32) Black Comics
comics written first about the Southern negro in the USA,
some titles among others:
- Jackie Robinson, baseball player (1950)
- Friday Foster, the first black heroine (1972)
- Lobo, the black cowboy (1965)
- Golden Legacy (1966)
- Black Goliath, the black superman (1976) by Marvel Comics

33) Radio Comics
the first strip series to have a radio origin was Radio Fun (1939),
further titles were
- Gang Busters (1938) by Carmine Infantino
- Green Hornet (1940) and captain Midnight (1942)
- Shadow Comics (1949) the mysterious traveller (1948)
- Suspense (1949), Sparkie (1951) and my friend Irma (1950)

a) Starring the Stars
the music hall drawn in strips with a rush of comedians into comics:
- miss Melody (1950), our gang comics (1942) drawn by Walt Kelly
- the three stooges (1949)
- Abbott and Costello Comics (1948)

b) Cinema Comics
- comics in the USA had flirted with film from the first years,
the first comic book related to movies was "Movie Comics" (1939),
the following movie comics had a mitigated success switching
finally more to comic book adaptations,
the more interesting publications:
- Movie Thrillers (1949) and Movie Love (1951)
- King Kong (1968)
- Star Wars (1978) and James Bond (1981)

c) TV Comics
- starting with Television Comics in 1950 which had
no connection at all with television!,
most issues were in fact mainly featuring TV stars:
- Super Circus (1951) and TV Fun (1953)
- Six Gun heroes/Kit Carson (1958) and TV Tornado
- TV Century 21 (1965 but dated 23.1.2065!) with the Thunderbirds
- Super Car (1963) and Lady Penelope (1966)
- Star Trek (1967), the Bionic Woman (1977) and doctor Who (1979)

- further comics were issued from TV animated cartoon series,
one of the most succesful cartoon comics was
from the Hanna-Barbera production and read Hanna-Barbera Comics
- Beany (1952) and Crusader Rabbit (1956)
- Huckleberry Hound (1961), the Flintstones (1962)
and Underdog (1970)
- Hanna-Barbera Comics (1972) with Yogi the bear

d) Stereo and 3-D Comics
- these comics started to appear in 1953 created by Joe Kubert
and were mostly three times the price of other comics, readers had
sometimes also to wear some special polaroid spectacles for reading,
however these issues had a certain success with young readers
but in less than six months, the 3-D boom was over
- Whack and Harvey 3-D (1953) with Mighty Mouse
- Funny 3-D and Captain 3-D (1953)

34) Mad Comics

- the new comic book that made fun of comic books
based on the short story type of wild adventures
(a mixture of crime, horror, science fiction and humour)
- Mad No. 1 appeared October 1952 by Harvey Kurtzman,
published by E.C. Comics, it was a self-parody of comic heroes with
- Superduperman and Captain Marbles
- Mad comics were drawn by some famous artists like
Jack Davis, Wallace Wood, Bill Elder, Jack Kirby and Al Feldstein
some titles among the best:
- Panic (1954) by Al Feldstein and Flip (1954)
- Get Lost and Wild+Riot (1954)
- Yak Yak (1961) by Jack Davis
- Brand Echh (1967) by Jack Kirby
- Crazy (1973) and Arrgh (1974) by Marvel Comics

35) Sword and Sorcery
- based on legend, Marvel started he cult of the sword
and sorcery (science-fiction), the term being attributed
to the novelist Fritz Lieber, most of them were however
qualified by their high-quality artwork but low-quality dialogue,
- the most famous comic book was of course Conan the Barbarian
that started 1970 by Marvel Comics from the stories
of Robert Howard, created by Stan Lee, written by Roy Thomas
and first drawn by Barry Smith,
further titles of Marvel Comcis were:
- Tales of Asgard (1968) by Jack Kirby,
(first magazine of this kind with the mighty Thor)
- Kull the Conqueror (1971) by Ross Andru
- Red Sonja (1975) by Dick Giordano

other titles were
- Sword of Sorcery (1973)
- Claw the Unconquered (1975) = a new Conan
- Arak, son of Thunder (1981)
all three published by D.C. Comics
- Hercules (1967), Wulf the Barbarian and Ironjaw (1975)
- Groo the wanderer (1982) = a humorous strip

36) Adult Comics
- it was not before 1940 that the real adult comic book developed,
mostly aimed at G.I.s, it was called Picto-Fiction, i.e. a combination
of two arts: the art of writing and the art of illustration,
first magazines were:
- Shock Illustrated and Crime Illustrated (1955)
= psychoanalytical tales by E.C. comcis
- Blazing Combat (1955) by Joe Orlando
- Creepy (1964) by Jack Davis
- Eerie (1966) and Vampirella (1969) by Frank Frazetta
- his name is Savage (1968) by Gil Kane
- Spirit World (1971) by Jack Kirby

Marvel Comics started their own issues with:
- the Spectacular Spiderman (1968)
- Haunt of Horror (1974) and Legion of Monsters (1975)
- Unknown Worlds (1975) and Tomb of Dracula (1979)
- Comix Book (1974) with a humourous style in the underground
comics and bringing the underground to the overground
- Howard the Duck (1979) by Gary Hallgren
= an animal trapped in a world he never made
- Heavy Metal (1977) inspired by Métal Hurlant, drawn by Nicollet
- Epic Illustrated (1980) by Frank Frazetta

37) Underground Comics
- provocative, irreverent and audacious comic books created
by Robert Crumb to say something personal about the world:
- Mr. Natural (1970) by R. Crumb
- Zap Comix (1968) by Clay Wilson, the first issue was numbered "0"
- the best of Wonder Wart-Hog (1963),
- the fabulous Furry Freak Brothers (1971), both by Gilbert Shelton

however the first underground artist to truly shock with his images
was Clay Wilson with
- Captain Pissgums and his pervert pirates

further underground comics were:
- It Ain't Me Babe (1970) by Trina Robbins (a female artist)
- Junkwaffel (1971) by Vaughn Bodé (another female artist)
- Bijou Funnies (1973) by Harvey Kurtzman
(the precursor of underground comics with Mad)
- Snarf (1972) by Will Eisner
- Air Pirate Funnies (1971) by Dan O'Neill
(a parody of Walt Disney heroes)

U.K. underground comics:
- Brain Storm Comix (1978) by Bryan Talbot
- Thunderdogs (1981 by Hunt Emerson and Near Myths (1978)

a) Underground to Overground
- Viz Comics (1979) was the most extraordinary publishing success
since Reader's Digest (USA) and Radio Times (U.K.),
although it was the rudest, crudest, nastiest, filthiest,
dirtiest and funniest comic in the world

other overground comics:
- Oink (1986) and Smut (1989)
- Brain Damage and the Bag Paper (1989),
the last one being the magazine with the biggest lapse of taste
ever to mar Marvel Comics
n.b. to mar = to ruin or diminish the perfection

- Comics began with only one purpose: to make their readers laugh,
today the best-sellers are still the funny comics and the funny
characters who live longest are Katzenjammer Kids and Peanuts

- American characters (like Popeye) remain supreme,
but Andy Capp (the chauvinist layabout) 1957 by Reg Smythe
developed also a succesful character

- each country developed their own comic heroes
(such as Ginger in Australia created 1921 by Jimmy Baucks),
however one of the big successes in comics remain Asterix
published in several languages (but only the French language
gives to the Asterix stories their real taste)

>> a relatively good book about comics, especially rich
in illustrations and a wide range of comic subjects (38 chapters),
with many details, sometimes novel, with a tendency to enhance
U.K. comics, a lot of details about comics and funnies,
abit mixed together but an interesting work written
by a comic collector and specialist (Dennis Gifford)
- the best subjects being perhaps:
>> p. 31 US comic books >> p. 72 Detective Comics
>> p. 114 Superman and Batman >> p. 138 the Marvel Age of Comics
>> p. 170 Classic Illustrated >> p. 179 Crime Comics
>> p. 180 Horror Comics >> p. 206 Science Fiction Comics
and p. 240 Sword and Sorcery

in any case one of the best summaries for the comics history

- front and back cover of the book
- various covers of comic books and magazines

Copyright 2008 - 2023 G. Rudolf