DC Comics Republish Their First Comic, New Fun Comics #1, in Hardcover For 85th Anniversary

More Fun Comics, originally titled New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine, or New Fun Comics, was an American comic book anthology that ran from 1935–1947, introduced several major superhero characters and was the first American comic-book series to feature solely original material rather than reprints of newspaper comic strips. It was also the first publication of the company that would become DC Comics.

And in 2020, for its 85th anniversary, the debut issue New Fun Comics #1 it will be reprinted by DC Comics for the very first time, as a hardcover.

In the latter half of 1934, having seen the emergence of Famous Funnies and other oversize magazines reprinting comic strips, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications and published New Fun #1, in February. 1935.

A tabloid-sized, 10-inch by 15-inch, 36-page magazine with a card-stock, non-glossy cover, it was an anthology of humor features, such as the funny animal comic “Pelion and Ossa” and the college-set “Jigger and Ginger”, mixed with the Western strip “Jack Woods” and the “yellow peril” adventure “Barry O’Neill”, featuring a Fu Manchu-styled villain, Fang Gow.

Most significantly, however, whereas some of the existing publications had eventually included a small amount of original material, generally as filler, New Fun #1 was the first comic book containing all-original material. Additionally, it carried advertising, whereas previous comic books were sponsored by corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Kinney Shoes, and Canada Dry beverages, and ad-free.

Issue #6 in 1935 brought the comic-book debuts of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the future creators of Superman, who began their careers with the musketeer swashbuckler “Henri Duval” nd under the pseudonyms “Leger and Reuths”, the supernatural adventurer Doctor Occult.

Future issues would include the debut of The Spectre (#52), Doctor Fate (#55), Congo Bill (#56), Johnny Quick (#71), Green Arrow (#73) and Aquaman (#73)

In issue #101 in 1945, Siegel and Shuster introduced Superboy, a teenage version of Superman, in a new feature chronicling the adventures of the Man of Steel when he was a boy growing up in the rural Midwestern United States.

And now, a  celebration of the publisher’s very first issue of its very first comic in hardcover form…

Originally published at the start of 1935, NEW FUN COMICS #1 made history as the first comic book made up of new stories instead of reprints of newspaper comic strips. Cowboys, gunfighters, adventurers and soldiers of fortune populated these pages, each of which is a separate story in the style of Sunday newspaper comic strips of the 1930s, including some written by Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, the founder of the company that would become DC Comics. This tabloid-sized, black and white comic book is reprinted as a commemorative hardcover and will include historical essays and other special features.

 

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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