Friday, August 19, 2011

More Old Disneys

I added a few new books to my collection, all WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES. I bought a #63, #72, and #77. The main appeal to me are the Carl Barks stories, but there's plenty more to see in these great old comic books. I look at this material and mourn for what American kids are missing in these modern times.

WDC &S #64 I wonder about the editorial process for the covers.

Each month the artists had to come up with something relatively original and funny enough to amuse the editor. Knowing Disney's detail-oriented approach to business, I wonder if he ever had a say in any of these. I do know that he hand-picked some of the artists who created the comic books based on his characters.

You can see changes in style and material as the years progressed. This issue was published in 1947 and still had an old-fashioned feel to it. Within a couple of more years the cover art began to change.

One thing about these old comics is that there was almost no need to advertise. The publisher made money just from the sales of the books alone. Of course comics in those days were selling many times more than comics today. Some publishers (such as Quality Comics) even had a policy of royalty bonuses for creators of high-selling comics. For instance, Jack Cole routinely earned sizable bonus checks for his brilliant PLASTIC MAN comic. This issue had a full back cover advertisement for the then-upcoming SONG OF THE SOUTH film.

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