September 1947 Redux

By | Thursday, April 16, 2020 Leave a Comment
Waaaay back when I first started blogging, one of my semi-recurring themes was just sharing the covers of all the comics I could find that came out in a given month. Rather than just choose any ol' month at random, though, I tried to pick months that were significant for some reason. The debut of what would become a historical issue or creator or something. The idea was to provide a measure of context to illustrate what was going on in the industry more broadly when a particular event happened. I think September 1947 is particularly interesting, as you might see when you begin scanning the covers below...

Today, we're looking at the spinner rack of September 1947. The date is significant because it marks the debut of Joe Simon's and Jack Kirby's Young Romance -- the first comic book in the romance genre.

It strikes me that, generally speaking, the comic selection of the time looks rather similar to the offerings we have today. There's a domination of superhero titles with a few "name" heroes -- namely Superman and Captain Marvel -- being cross-sold through multiple titles. There are a variety of other genres available, but not in particularly large quantities. Some of the books, like Green Hornet Fights Crime and Shadow Comics, are based on licensed properties that originated in other media. There are even some books that cross multiple genres such as Terry-Toons which features Mighty Mouse, a funny animal with super powers.

Westerns, by and large, are not around. They really wouldn't become popular until 1948, and then the market was flooded with Western titles. Naturally, romance flourished at that time as well, with the success of the aforementioned Young Romance.

I might remind readers as well that, in 1947, some characters that are now associated with DC and Marvel were owned by companies other than those two. Captain Marvel was from Fawcett, Plastic Man from Quality, and Daredevil (admittedly, a wholly different DD than the one we know today) from Gleason. Further, the creators typically associated with some of the big name characters have already stopped working on them.

Trivia: Action Comics #112 is the first cover featuring Superman with a chess-based theme. All-Star #36 (whose cover you might recognize) features the first time Superman and Batman are actually shown to fight alongside the JSA. The "Dick Tracy" and "Bugs Bunny" comics are actually two issues of a Dell series entitled Four Color which had a rotating line-up, which also included the Lone Ranger, Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Woody Woodpecker, Tarzan, Charlie McCarthy, and Roy Rogers. Archie Andrews is billed as "America's Top Teen-Ager" on the cover of Laugh, but it's Buzzy Brown who's billed as "America's Favorite Teen-Ager" on the cover of Buzzy.
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