Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Detcetive December: Early History


Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson had started a company called National Allied Publications and put out their first publication on February of 1935, according to the cover date on the publication called New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 and it was tabloid sized. This would be the start of what would be come DC many years later.  The company's second title, New Comics #1 which came out in December of 1935 was very close to what would be the size that the standard comic book would become later and this helped lead to the Golden Age of Comic Books and had slightly larger dimension then today's.  New Comics evolved into Adventure Comics which kept going until issue #503 in 1983 making it one of the longest running comic book series ever.  In a nod to its history, DC revived Adventure Comics in 2009 with its original numbering.
All the FUN you can handle

Old time racism...
Under the Wheeler-Nicholson rule they had a third and final called Detective Comics that was advertised as a cover illustration that is dated December 1936 but didn't premier until March 1937 and this was a themed anthology series and was the one that introduced Batman in issue 27, that came out in May 1939 but by then Wheeler-Nicholson had left.


Turns out that in 1937, he was in debt to printing plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld, who also published pulp magazines and was the principal in the distributorship of Independent News. Wheeler-Nicholson had to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to even publish Detective Comics #1 and this was done by Detective Comics, Inc. with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz(Donenfeld's Accountant) were both listed as owners but sadly this only lased the rest of the year and Major Wheeler-Nicholson had to bow out which allowed Detective Comics Inc to purchase the remains of National Allied aka Nicholson Publishing at a bankruptcy auction and used the platform to launch a fourth tile called Action Comics which introduced the world to SUPERMAN in June of 1938 and helped bring about the archetype known as Superheros.
While awesome, it does lead to Superman 4.

The company very quickly introduced other heroes such as Sandman and Bat. As for that ACTION COMICS #1 that introduced Superman, on February 22, 2010 a copy sold at an action from an anonymous seller to an anonymous buyer for $1 million.

This was the start of what would become Detective Comics, not a lot of very early history but as it launched the Golden Age and introduced some of the most Iconic characters in comic book and movie history, part two will cover that Golden Age.

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