Monday, April 22, 2013

New York World's Fair Comics 1939 (# 1)

I've always been fascinated by the 1939 New York World's fair. If I could time travel to any point in history, it would actually be on my list! And I can imagine, as a kid, running across this souvenir book at the Fair with more comics than you'd ever seen before! Even if you'd never seen or heard of mist of them. Superman was so new that he was mis-colored here on the cover to the point he looks more like Flash Gordon! For a book whose eventual "spin-off" would be known for the appearances, separately and later jointly, of Superman and Batman, it's interesting to note that this cover features Joe Shuster's   Man of Steel vignette but also Bob Kane's Ginger Snap. According to GCD, all of the vignettes were drawn by Fred Gaurdineer, also the artist on the ZATARA feature herein.

Much of the filler art in this issue is provided by the prolific Sheldon Moldoff, later a prominent Bob Kane ghost.

A lot of the features herein were filler in various DC titles, all with the requisite World's Fair connection here.

Fred Schwab, below, was one of the most accomplished of the early DC artists.

GINGER SNAP was one of several features that the teenage Bob Kane had been doing for the company prior to his creation, with Bill Finger, of Batman. 

Fans of DAYS OF ADVENTURE may recall that Creig Flessel was the cover artist on many of the early, generic covers. He worked right up until near his death, even doing a strip for PLAYBOY in the 1980's.

If I'm right, SLAM BRADLEY, a fairly blatant imitation of Roy Crane's WASH TUBBS (whose Captain Easy also inspired the early look of Superman) was the second most successful Siegel/Shuster strip.

Due to the vagaries of scheduling, the appearance of THE SANDMAN here (by Gardner Fox and Bert Christman in spite of that "Larry Dean" name) is said to have actually pre-dated his ADVENTURE COMICS debut!

The issue was popular enough that they did another for the Fair's second "season." Come back tomorrow to see issue two. 



  1. Fascinating! Thank you very much Mr. T for this blog. I'm curious, do you actually own a complete run of all these UBER-rare comics, or did you get to read and scan them in some other way?

  2. Sadly, no. But one HAS to love the Internet for the chance to read all of these comics worth perhaps a million dollars as back issues!

  3. Yes but to do that one first has to know of their existence, which you have helpfully called to one's attention, so thank you very much for putting together this blog.