Comic Book Stuff – News About the Old

We don’t feature a lot of comic book news here –
mostly because there are so many comic book news sites available.

But for some reason I have some comic book links bookmarked.
Figure I’ll share them with you before they get deleted.
Unsurprisingly the links are mostly about the history of the modern comic book.


The Comics Directory


John Jackson Miller’s Comichron, in a partnership with Bob Beerbohm, puts up years of Newsdealers’ Comics Directory pages.

The Comics Directory pages give ship dates for comics by almost everyone — including copyright-avoiders like Charlton.

Scroll past the 1955 – 1970 dates for a guide and Mike Tiefenbacher‘s list of curiosities.


An Accountant’s Account of the Early Years of the Modern Comic Book 

[I]n 1946, [young accountant Charles Cridland] took on oversight of the comics business at McKay in addition to his regular position as treasurer. Sometime around 1947 when Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) launched a part-time evening program leading to a Master of Business Administration, Cridland enrolled. He deposited an original 115-page typewritten thesis titled An Analysis of Comic Magazine Sales in the United States from 1935 to 1949 in December 1949.


Cridland also outlines the pricing structure. For a 10-cent comic, wholesalers paid 6-cents, which he says had just been negotiated to 5 ¾-cents for the majority of them, which some urban wholesalers were already paying. Wholesalers charged retailers 7 ½-cents per issue. For each issue sold, wholesalers kept a brokerage fee of ½-cent. Thus publishers grossed 5 ¼-cents for each sale, retailers 2 ½-cents, and wholesalers 2 ¼-cents. Unsold issues might be resold as premiums (e.g. 25 for $1) for use at movie theaters and similar businesses.

Carol L. Tilley presents a rare look behind the scenes.


Pulp Penciller: The Noir Comics of Marshall Rogers

Earlier this month saw what would have been Marshall Rogers‘ 72nd birthday.

While Marshall Rogers would go on to draw many other characters, he revisited Batman often, even drawing a regular newspaper strip of the character in 1989 written by Max Allan Collins. “I appreciate that I got the opportunity to work on one of my first and favorite superheroes,” Rogers said in 1989. “I’m a dark child; I like dark, moody places. That is what Batman is all about. His whole essence works into one single purpose—to instill fear in criminals.”

Among the tributes was this Michael Gonzales appreciation.



Who Wants Yesterday’s Cornpone?

Occasionally, I feel like casting a spotlight on comics long forgotten… assuming that there was some memory to be forgotten in the first place, which is often not even the case. American comics artist and illustrator Cathy Hill set loose seven issues of her charming series Mad Raccoons between 1991 and 1997, but how many have made friends with these raccoons? Her absence on Wikipedia (surely today’s litmus test for fame?) underlines the obscurity of her work.

redscraper at Who’s Out There reviews Cathy Hill’s Mad Racoons comic series.

More recent Cathy Hill can be read at Mark Kausler’s CatBlog.


Archie Comics Goes Big with “Little Archie” and “Bite Sized Archie”


The Fun With Little Archie and Friends one-shot anthology features … a wild fantasy story that dives into the world of video games and table top adventures. Beyond the usual fan-favorites like Little Archie, Little Jughead, Little Betty & Veronica, and Little Sabrina, an assortment of beloved characters will be making their “Little” debuts including Cheryl Blossom, Toni Topaz, Harper Lodge, and more!

The collection of Archie Comics’ first-ever webcomic series is here! Bite Sized Archie features all your pals and gals from Riverdale (and beyond) while covering everything from video games to pop culture to embarrassing group chats! Complete with exclusive bonus features, character sketches and behind-the-scenes conversations from the creative team, you’ll be absolutely thrilled as we take a deeper look at the comic that’s been delighting Archie fans on social media every week! 

The all-new (no Bob Bolling) Little Archie returns and a Bite Sized Archie collection.

Read the Bite Sized Archie webcomic here.


The Comics Cavalcade – The rise of a medium


Blame the comic book. Cheap and transportable, a trove of infantile fantasy and psychosexual Pop Art, often spiced with egregious stereotypes and nativist aggression, this humble medium was for a time the United States’ most ubiquitous cultural ambassador. Such is the thesis of Paul S. Hirsch’s Pulp Empire: The Secret History of Comic Book Imperialism, an engaging account of the ways in which comics variously served or confounded official interests.

J. Hoberman reviews Pulp Empire: The Secret History of Comic Book Imperialism for The Nation.