November 1961

By | Monday, November 20, 2006 2 comments
November is the month that is traditionally celebrated as the birthday of Marvel Comics because Fantastic Four #1 is cover-dated November 1961. Never mind that most comics and magazines with a November cover date actually came out in August or September back then! In any event, I thought I'd try another type of covers post to tie in with Marvel's anniversary. Today, though, it's a more historical perspective as we look at what would have shared space on the newsstands alongside FF #1. How would (or wouldn't) the comic stand out to a child viewing the assortment of periodicals that s/he could spend a dime on?

Now, odds are, these didn't all actually share the same newsstand space at the exact same time, but I think it is fairly indicative of what a child would've seen in August/September 1961. I've pulled a number of covers from that time period, but I'm sure I've missed quite a few that also came out at that time.

Looking at this grouping in hindsight, I think it's phenomenal that Fantastic Four sold at all. I count no less than 14 covers that feature some kind of giant monster theme. Even Pep here features some space aliens! Granted, Jack Kirby's cover to FF #1 seems to be the most inspired of the monster covers, but even then he's competing with himself on the various monster books that he also drew at the same time: Tales to Astonish, Amazing Adventures, etc.
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I was every bit of one year old when these came out!

That Astonish cover is especially amusing to me because "Kroger" ("Krogarr") is a big supermarket chain where I live...!

I wasn't even born when these books were all on the racks!

I actually discovered Krogarr in some reprint book shortly after I finished college in Cincinnati. In fact, I briefly interned IN the Kroger Building where the company has their headquarters, so I was quite amused when I found a giant monster rampaging around called Krogarr!