October 1958

By | Tuesday, November 28, 2006 2 comments
Last week, I got some good feedback on my covers post looking at what a comic rack might've looked like in November 1961, so I thought I'd take a look a few years earlier. Today, we're looking at October 1958, which is often heralded as the beginnning of the Silver Age because Showcase #4 debuted and featured the first appearance of the modern age Flash. What's also interesting/significant, but rarely mentioned is that it's also the debut of the Smurfs in France's Le Journal de Spirou and Bizarro in Superboy.

Romance books seem to be on the decline by this point while monsters and science fiction hadn't quite struck a chord yet. Probably in large part due to the still relatively recent Keafauver hearings and the creation of the Comics Code Authority. And, naturally, superheroes hadn't quite caught on yet, and the JLA was still a little while off.

But, without further ado, let me present the spinner rack of October 1958...

Personally, I think what's collectively note-worthy here is how bad everything looks. Sure, the industry was still trying to figure out what was and wasn't allowable under the Comics Code, but many of these covers are just plain poorly designed. Lots of visually uncomfortable dead spaces, especially between the main artwork and the logo. Somewhat indicative of the industry at the time, I suppose.

And, say, what do you suppose Fred Wertham would've said to that Wonder Woman cover?
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, I've been trying to figure out my earliest comics purchase that I can definitely remember. I've been pushing backwards through the Showcase Presents series. The JImmy Olsen material in the Superman Family volume was too early. I'd identified A Feb '59 Superman (#127) from the Titano story as the earliest so far. Now I recognize the Superboy and Bizarro issue as one I definitely had as a kid. I know that I read Disney, Looney Tunes, Tarzan etc. prior to this date, but the generic covers make them hard to identify as "I had that!" Thanks for the post.

Glad I could help, Anon!

Personally, I just thought it was cool from a historical perspective to see all of the covers from the same month at once, but you've brought up a great use for these posts.

Another reason for me to keep doing them and, hey, it might even become a schtick for me! :)