Quality Comics Timeline
1890-1958

Updated 4/12/2012

   
1890
 
May

May 20  Everett M. Arnold born in Providence RI

1904
Walter Koessler founds Greater Buffalo Press, printer of weekly newspapers.
1921
June Graduates from Brown University with a degree in economics. Becomes sales representative for R Hoe and company selling printing presses.
   

1920

 
   

Works for Goss Printing Press Co of Chicago

 
1926
  Apr Amazing Stories, the first science fiction pulp magazine begins from Hugo Gernsback.
1928
Aug Buck Rogers debuts in Amazing Stories.
1929
Jan 1/7/29- Hal Foster's Tarzan and Dick Calkin's Buck Rogers debut in the comics pages on the same day.  The newspaper pages, previously a home for "gag a  day" features, soon are bursting with adventure continuities.
May
Aug
1930
Feb Dell and Eastern co-publish The Funnies, a weekly tabloid size comic book featuring all new material. It ran for 36 issues.
1931
Apr
Aug Street and Smith launches The Shadow pulp magazine based loosely on their hit radio program.  Walter Gibson writes as Maxwel Grant.
   
1933
 
Printing press salesman Everett Arnold convinces Walter Kessler to buy a color press and print Sunday comics pages for newspapers.  Arnold becomes vice president of Greater Buffalo Press.
 Spr Harry Wildenberg of Eastern Color Printing determines folding the tabloid size used in Gulf Comic Weekly in half produces a useful easy to carry page size on which a full color Sunday funnies page can fit proportionally.  Charlie Gaines begins selling these custom comic books to companies like Proctor and Gamble to use as premiums.  P&G ordered a million copies of Funnies on Parade!
Oct
   
1934
 
Jan
Win Charlie Gaines puts $.10 stickers on Famous Funnies a Carnival of Comics (originally a Wheetena promotional comic) and sells them out at New York newstands.
 
 

 

 
Spr Eastern and George Delacourte (Dell) put out Famous Funnies Series One and sell out 40,000 copies in 30 days, but Delacourte pulls out because he can't sell any advertising.
  Apr
Jul Eastern launches Famous Funnies as a series by themselves.  200,000 copies are distributed by American News.
Fal Gaines moves to McClure and puts out Skippy, a premium for Phillips Dental Magnesia.
Nov
   
1935
 
 
Feb Pulp writer Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson starts National Allied Magazines and puts out Fun Comics #1 (New Fun with #2).  An oversized mostly black and white collection of mostly original comic strips.  Edited by Lloyd Jacquet.  Issues 1-6 are tab sized- 10X15.  All issues are 36 pages except 6 which is 44. All have newsprint covers.  Each  feature is one page or less, so there are 20 features in the first issue. including Sandra of the Secret Service, Don Drake on the Planet Saro, and Barry O'Neil. Distributed by McCall's. (SM)
Jun
Aug
Oct
Dec Nicholson expands, adding New Comics. begins,  This book is done in the new, smaller Famous Funnies size (7 1/2 X 10 1/2), which was becoming the standard for all comic books.  The early issues (1-5) were  80 pages long, but still sold  for $.10 due to the smaller size.  Still  no glossy cover stock.  Issues 1-4 feature Mr. Weed and J Worthington Blimp by Sheldon Mayer before he leaves because he doesn't get paid.  Edited by William Cook and John Mahon; Vin Sullivan Asst ed.  Although some stories are up to 4 pages long, the first issue still features 23 separate strips.

   
1936
 
May Former National editors William Cook and John Mahon strike out on their own and publish Comics Magazine.

Comics Magazine Co. Editorial: 11 W 42 St, NY, NY. Printer:1723 W 74th ST Chicago, IL
 

  July Will Eisner and S. M. "Jerry" Iger meet while producing material for Wow! What a Magazine, a very short lived comic.  They agree to go into business together producing and packaging comic strips for various publishers.  

Sep Eisner's first comics cover appears on Wow, What A Magazine! #3.  
  Nov Funny Picture Stories #1 from Cook and Mahon features the first appearance of George Brenner's The Clock.  First Eisner/Iger shop material to appear in Cook/Mahon books.  
Dec Busy Arnold uses his contacts to arrange a contract for the Comics Magazine books to be printed by the Cleveland News. 1213 W 3rd St Cleveland, OH

Comics Magazine Inc. publishes Detective Picture Stories #1

   
1937
 

 

Jan 1/1/37 Wags Magazine appears in Great Britain using material produced in America by Joshua B. Powers.
Feb First Eisner stories appear in Funny Picture Stories and Western Picture Stories

Apr

4/16/37 Eisner and Iger material begins to appear in Wags beginning with issue 16.  Eisner/Iger material in Wags eventually included Bob Kane's Peter Pupp, George Brenner's Clock, Sheena, Yarko the Great, and Vern Henkel's Gallant Knight.

June
Oct When Cook and Mahon go under,  Arnold decides to start his own comics line. Unlike his friends , he decides to go with tried and true syndicated material.  Comic Favorites Inc is co-owned by the McNaught Syndicate, the Frank J Markey Syndicate and the Register and Tribune Syndicate.  Listed owners in the ownership statements: Everett M. Arnold; Frank J. Markey;  Frank J. Murphy and Henry P. Martin, Jr.  Martin represented the Register and Tribune Syndicate which was owned by Mike and John Cowles.

The first issues are edited by Rube Goldberg (actually his assistant John Devlin) and feature his creation Lala Palooza.

Contents are primarily newpaper strip reprints:

Joe Palooka-McNaught Syndicate

Dixie Dugan-McNaught

Bungle Family

Flossie

Toddy

Mickey Finn

Ned Brant-Register and Tribune

Jane Arden

Slim and Tubby

Lala Palooza-Frank Jay Markey Syndicate

Big Top

Distributed by S*M. Comic Favorites uses the same  Cleveland News to print its books that Cook and Mahon did.  1213 W 3rd ST Cleveland , OH. Editorial offices: 369 Lexington Ave, NY, NY.

Arnold names his first title Feature Funnies. Dell files suit, claiming ownership of the word "Funnies", but ultimate loses in court.

Meanwhile, Cook and Mahon sell Funny Pages to Ultem (Harry Chesler) who moves the printing  to 404 N. Wesley Ave, Mount Morris Ill. Ed office 11 W 42nd ST NY, NY. None of the previous contents continue.

Dec The first Eisner/Iger material appears in Arnold's books: Hawks of the Sea by Eisner and George  Brenner's The Clock.  Feature Funnies #3. Both are reprints from Wags.
   
1938
 
Jan Cocomalt Big Book of Comics is published by Chesler. Often mistakenly listed as a Quality Comic.

January 14, 1938 Sheena debuts in Wags #46.

Mar
Apr Vern Henkel's Gallant Knight begins in Feature 7 (another Wags reprint)
May
 
Jun
Action Comics #1.
Sep Eisner/Iger take Hawks of the Seas and other Wags features to Fiction House to make up Jumbo Comics.  First 8 issues are oversized reprints.

Oct Espionage starring Black X by Will Eisner (another Wags strip) begins in Feature Funnies #13

Ed Cronin is listed as editor. .

   
1939
 
Jan
Apr
 
May  
Jun Feature Funnies is renamed Feature Comics to make Dell happy.  

Aug Smash #1  published by Busy Arnold (not Comic Favorites).  A number of features move over from Feature including Espionage starring Black Ace and Archie O'Toole.  Bozo the Robot debuts. 
Sum Superman #1  
  Nov  

Dec

Eisner/ Iger is dissolved. Iger bought out Eisner, but Eisner took Viscardi, Fine, Bob Powell and Chuck Cuidera with him.  Eisner enters a new deal with Busy Arnold which includes Eisner producing a comic book newspaper supplement for the Register and Tribune Syndicate.
   
1940
 
Jan Black Ace becomes Black X in Smash #6. Statement of ownership lists Everett Arnold as Editor.
Feb
Quality's offices move to the Gurley Bldg in Stamford Ct (the Quality City).
Mar
Apr
 

May  

Crack #1 pub by Comic Magazines Inc. features the Clock, the Black Condor, Alias the Spider, and Madame Fatal.

All McNaught reprints dropped from Quality titles (Dixie Dugan, Mickey Finn, Charlie Chan, Bungle Family, Joe Palooka).  Some moved to Big Shot Comics published by Columbia.

Jun 6/2/40 The Spirit Section premieres in newspapers, featuring the Spirit, Lady Luck and Mr. Mystic.

Jul Hit Comics #1, (Comic Magazines, Inc), National Comics #1 (Comic Magazines Inc). National was produced and packaged by Will Eisner.  Hit was produced and packaged by his former partner, Jerry Iger.

Aug
Sep  

Crack Comics #5 is the first comic with the Quality Comics logo on it.

The Ray debuts in Smash #14.

Oct  
Nov Quicksilver National 5
   
1941
 
 
Jan Smash 18 statement of ownership lists Ed Cronin as editor. Midnight by Jack Cole debuts in Smash 18.
Feb    
Mar  
Apr  
May 5/18/41 Lady Luck by Nick Cardy begins in the Spirit section.

 

Jun Arnold switches printers to Greater Buffalo Press- 8 Lord St, Buffalo, NY.
Jul

Aug Quality Comics debuts Chuck Cuidera's Blackhawk in Military Comics #1 and Jack Cole's Plastic Man in Police Comics #1.  Military is packaged and co-published by Will Eisner, who also supplies most of the features for Police.

Wildfire and Rookie Rankin begin in Smash 25.
 

Sep
The Jester begins in Smash 26.

Oct Doll Man #1- first Eisner characters to be awarded their own comic books? pub by Comic Favorites.

Uncle Sam #1 (Comic Magazines)

Nov
Dec Stormy Foster Hit 18

Dec 26, 1941- Arnold cancels his profit sharing deal with Iger on Hit and National and cuts his page rates on all Iger shop features.  Letter lists Iger shop features as:

Kid Patrol, Sally O'Neil, Prop Powers,  Wonder Boy, Kid Dixon (National)

Betty Bates, Red Bee, Strange Twins, Don Glory, Bob and Swab, Stormy Foster (Hit)

Rookie Rankin, Purple Trio (Smash)

Phantom Lady, Eagle Evans, Steele Kerrigan (Police)

Zero, Samar, Spin Shaw (Feature)

   
1942
 
   
  Jan Red Torpedo ends in Crack 20
Feb
Mar Madam Fatal ends in Crack 22
Apr  
  May Crack becomes bi-monthly with 23. Pen Miller begins.

5/42 Eisner inducted into the Army.  Duties on the Spirit gradually transferred to Lou Fine (art), Many Wade Wellman (script) and Bill Woolfolk (script), with occasional stories by Jack Cole.

 
  Jun  
Jul  
Sep  
  Oct Ed Cronin leaves to be come editor of Hillman Comics.

Gilbert Fox becomes editor of Smash #36.

Jerry Iger's Strange Twins ends in Hit 24.

  Nov Jerry Iger's Wonder Boy ends National 26

Jerry Iger's Purple Trio ends in Smash 37

Jerry Iger's Firebrand ends in Police 13

Editorial offices move to 370 Lexington Ave. NYC.

 

Dec Kid Eternity begins Hit 25. John Beardsley editor. (instead of S. M. Iger) Beardsley is brought in from Fawcett to help rescue unprofitable titles, especially Hit and Crack. He brings a coterie of new writers with him, including William Woolfolk, Manly Wade Wellman, Joe Millard and Harry Stein. Prior to this, most strips were written by their artists.
   
1943
 
 
Jan Captain Triumph begins Crack 27 John Beardsley editor

Feb  
Mar Al Stahl's Inkie begins in Crack 28

Jun Plastic Man #1 Summer 1943- Published by surrogate Vital Books due to WWII paper rationing.
Jul  
Aug Alias the Spider ends in Crack 30
  Sep Arnold fires Beardsley. George Brenner becomes editor.  
Oct 10/101/43 Fred Guardineer Mr. Mystic in the Spirit Section

Black Condor ends in Crack 31

Phantom Lady ends in Police 23

Spider Widow ends in Feature 72

Doll Man suspended with #7 due to paper restrictions

  Nov Hit 30 is 60 pages
Dec Crack 32 is 60 pages. Beezy Bumble begins.
  Unk Eisner sells his titles to Arnold due to conflicts about wartime paper allocation. (Quality Companion).  
   
1944
 
  Jan  Martin De Muth edits Smash 49-70
Feb
Apr Crack 33 is quarterly

Hit 31 is quarterly

Jerry Iger brings his former Quality properties to Elliot Comics, publishers of Bomber. Iger also takes over as packager for Classics Illustrated.

May 5/14/44 Last Mr. Mystic in Spirit Section. Replaced by Andre LeBlanc's Intellectual Amos.
Jun  

Jul  Spirit (nn) A Vital Book- surrogate publisher due to WWII paper rationing.

Gwen Hansen, editor Feature 79-117, Doll Man 10-13

 
Aug  Plastic Man #2 (Vital)

 

  Sept The Clock ends in Crack 35  
  Oct Arnold buys out Markey and McNaught from Comics Favorites, Inc. (Statement of ownership Feature Comics 86)

George Brenner editor of Hit 33

 
       
       

Dec George Brenner editor. 

Uncle Sam becomes Blackhawk with issue 9.

Comic Magazines 8 Lord St, Buffalo NY

Floogy the Fiji begins in Crack 36

Harry Sahle's Candy begins in Police 37

 
   
1945
 
Jan   
Feb  
 
Apr Harry Sahle's Ezra begins in Military 37 as the trend turns away from adventure towards comedy strips.

Ernie Hart's Marmaduke Mouse and Egbert and the Count begin in Hit 35.

  May  Joe Millard and Jack Cole introduce the Barker who soon kicks all the superheroes out of National Comics.

 

Jun  Young Life- 2 issues Covers by Floot.
Aug Bernard Dibble's Lassie begins in National 49.  (Not a dog)  
Sep  
Fall  
Nov Military becomes Modern Comics
  Dec Young Life becomes Teen Life- 3 issues. Covers by Floot.

       
1946
 
  Jan   
Feb  
  Mar 3/3/46 Lady Luck by Klaus Nordling ends in the Spirit section.

3/10/46- 4/28/46 Wendy the Waitress by Robert Jenney replaces Lady Luck

 
Apr War time paper restrictions begin to be lifted allowing expansion of the line.

Blackhawk #10 published 18 months after #9.

Kid Eternity #1 (Comic Favorites)

Marmaduke Mouse #1- Quality's third longest running magazine. (65 issues)

(Arnold Publications- George Delaney, Editor)

Doll Man returns with #8

Torchy begins-Doll Man #8

Egbert begins (Arnold Publications)

All Humor begins (Comic Favorites)

 

 

May Crack becomes bi-monthly with #42.

Hit becomes bi-monthly with #40.

5/5/46 Lady Luck returns to the Spirit section by Fred Schwab
 

 
Jun Intellectual Amos replaced by Al Stahl's Flatfoot Burns in the Spirit Section
  Jul     
Aug   
  Sep Bart Tumey's Kelly Poole becomes cover feature of All Humor #3

  Oct    
  Nov 11/3/46 Lady Luck ends. Spirit Section becomes 8 pages.  
Dec 12/23/46 Eisner returns to the Spirit after the war.

Cole returns to  writing and drawing Midnight in Smash with issue 68.  His interest in Plastic Man is clearly waning by this point and ghost artists such as Bart Tumey and John Spranger and Alex Kotzky take over most of the stories.

 
   
1947
 
  unk Al Bryant suffers a 2nd nervous breakdown and ends up in the hospital for several years. He never returns to comics. (Alter Ego #34)  Kid Eternity is taken over by Pete Riss.  
Jan   
Feb  
 
Apr Jack Cole takes a job with Magazine Village to edit and draw True Crime Comics.  The book lasts six issues but Cole doesn't.
  May   
Jun  Nancy Smith edits Smash 71-85
  Jul Crack #49 and Hit 47 are 52 pages  
Aug Jerry Iger brings former Quality feature Phantom Lady to Fox, beginning in Phantom Lady #13.  
Sep Harry Sahle's Candy #1 (64 issues)

Fall  
Nov Ann Meredith becomes editor of Feature 116-121, Doll Man 14-15
Dec  
       
   
1948
 
  Jan   
Feb  
Mar Jesse Rogers Jr becomes editor Feature 122-136, Doll Man 16-26
May  
Jun  
  Jul     
Aug  Quality switches distributors from SM to ICC
Dec    
   
1949
 
Jan   
Feb  
 

Apr Eisner tries to launch his own comics line with Kewpies and Baseball, both one shots.  Other proposed titles such as Nubbin and John Law are eventually incorporated into the Spirit.

  May  Crack #60 and Hit 58 are 36 pages

Jules Feiffer begins scripting most Spirit episodes

Jun   
Aug Harry Stein becomes editor

Heart Throbs 1

Elaine Allen becomes editor of Feature 137-144 and several other titles.

8/14/49 Jules Feiffer begins drawing his own 1 page strip in the Spirit section, Clifford.

Marmaduke Mouse 13- Jean Brundage, editor.

Sep Love Diary (1 issue-becomes Diary Loves)

Kid Eternity ends in Hit 60

Oct Hickory (Comic Favorites) Elaine Allen editor

Smash becomes Lady Luck.  By this time Jack Cole's primary interest is selling cartoons to upscale magazines.  His work for Quality becomes minimal.

Nov Crack Western 63

Kid Eternity ends

Torchy #1 (Comic Magazines)- Bill Ward's blonde bombshell graduates to her own magazine right when Arnold wants him to do covers and lead stories for all the new romance comics.  Gil Fox takes over drawing most of the Torchy stories, written by Gwen Hansen. (Alter Ego #?)

Love Letters (31 issues)

Diary Loves (30 issues)

Hollywood Secrets (6 issues)

Hollywood Diary (5 issues)

Secret Loves (6 issues)

Stuntman Stetson replaces Doll Man in Feature 140

Jeb Rivers begins in Hit 61

Dec National ends (75 issues)

All Humor ends (17 issues)

Range Romances (5 issues)

Flaming Love (6 issues- Comic Magazines)

Campus Loves (5 issues)

   
1950
 

Jan  .

 

Harry Stein becomes editor of Feature 142

 

 

Buccaneers 19 (formerly Kid Eternity)

Broadway Romances (5 issues- Comic Magazines)

Untamed Love (5 issues- Comic Magazines)

Feb Love Scandals (5 issues)
  Mar Forbidden Love (4 issues)

Apr  
May Feature Comics ends
Jun  
  Jul  Hit Comics ends  
Aug  Al Grenet becomes Editor

Last Eisner Spirit section

Egbert ends

  Sep 9/13/50 Blackhawk radio program begins starring Michael Fitzmaurice. It ran weekly through December on the ABC network.  Blackhawk only had one companion per episode, always the same actor regardless of which Blackhawk it was (per Jim Harmon).

last Torchy

Arnold buys out Henry P. Martin's share of Comic Favorites (acc to ownership statement in Doll Man #32).  Martin was the representative of the Cowles Bros. Reportedly Arnold pays $140,000.  The Cowles Bros are never listed in any statements of ownership

 

 
  Oct Modern Comics ends  
       
       

Dec Police Comics drops superheroes and becomes an actual comic about Police.

Blackhawk 35 printed in Meriden CT 163 Pratt St.

 
   
1951
 
Jan   
Feb Blackhawk 37- Dick Dillin begins penciling Blackhawk- a feature he will not leave until 1968.
 
Mar Jules Feiffer is drafted and stops writing the Spirit for four months while in boot camp.  Scripts by Klaus Nordling during this period?
  May   
Jun   
Jul Feiffer begins to contribute scripts to the Spirit again.  
  Aug Doll Man 35 published Meriden CT  
Sep T-Man (38 issues) (Comic Magazines-Meriden CT) Al Grenet Ed

 

Oct Ken Shannon (10 issues)(Comic Magazines-Meriden CT)
Nov  
Dec  
   
 
 
   
1952
 
  Jan   
Feb  
  Mar Blackhawk meets Killer Shark

Spr Will Eisner brings the Spirit to Fiction House.  Five issues of reprints with new modern covers.
Jun 7/27/52- Spirit in Outer Space begins with some art by Wally Wood

 

Jul  7/24/52 Blackhawk movie serial released. Starring Kirk Alyn. From Columbia.  Made with apparently only one airplane.
Sep Blackhawk battles the War Wheel

 

Oct GI Combat #1 (Comic Magazines- Brooklyn, NY) Alfred Grenet Ed.  
  Nov Web of Evil (21 issues) (Comic Magazines 347 Madison
Ave NY NY) Alfred Grenet Ed. Executive Offices 578 Summer St Stamford Ct
Dec 10/5/52 Spirit newspaper section ends  
   
1953
 
Jan   
Feb  
 
Apr Diary Loves ends (#31)
  May  Candy ends

Crack Western ends

Jun  GI Sweethearts #32 (formerly Diary Loves)
  Jul Gabby (Comic Favorites-Meriden Ct) (#11, followed by #2) (9 issues)  
Aug Jonesy (Comic Favorites-Meriden Ct) (#85 followed by #2) (8 issues)

Love Secrets

 
Sep  
Oct Police Comics ends with 127

Doll Man ends with 47

Nov Brides Romances
Dec Buster Bear (Arnold Publications- South Justison Street Wilmington Delaware)
   
1954
 
  Jan  Quality switches to American News (ANC) from ICD (Hearst)
Feb  
Apr  
May  
Jun  
  Jul     
Aug  Blackhawk 79 first issue printed in Sparta, Ill.
Dec last Web of Evil  
   
1955
 
Jan  Intrigue- one issue (Comic Magazines Wilmington Del)

Web of Evil reprints

Feb  
 
Mar Jerry Iger brings former Quality feature Wonder Boy to Ajax/Farrel: Terrific Comics 16.
  May  G.I. Sweethearts ends
Jun  Quality joins the Comics Code Authority

Buster Bear ends

Aug    
Sep Girls In Love- (formerly GI Romances)
Oct Exotic Romances (formerly True War Romances)
Nov Exploits of Daniel Boone (Comic Magazines, Sparta Illinois) Al Grenet ed.-6 issues
Dec  
   

1956

 
  Jan    
  Feb Robin Hood Tales (Comic Magazines-Sparta Illinois)
       
  Apr

Statement of Ownership: (RH2) Everett M. Arnold 3235 Gordon Dr Naples Fl

Richard E. Arnold, business manager

 
       
       
       
       
Sep Yanks In Battle (4 issues)

Arnold enters the pulp digest market:

Homicide Detective Story Magazine

Blazing Guns Western Story Magazine

       
  Nov last Plastic Man

Exotic Romances ends (#31)

 
Dec Love Secrets ends (# 56)

Brides Romances ends (#23)

T-Man ends (#38)

Girls in Love ends (#57)

Marmaduke Mouse ends

Last Blackhawk- Arnold sells selected magazines to National Comics, including  Plastic Man, G. I Combat, Robin Hood Tales and Heart Throbs.   National originally leases Blackhawk on a royalty basis.

 
   

1957

 
Spr starts Arnold Magazines

Homicide Detective Story Magazine 9/56, Justice Detective story,

Terror Detective Story (2-12/56),

Killers Mystery Story (2-11/56),

Blazing Guns 1-4 Oct 56-Apr 57,

Classic Photography 1-4- shut down by Post Office

Jun Man's Exploits #1  
  Oct American News goes bankrupt- National's Independent News begins distributing Mad with issue 35.  Independent News also takes over the distribution of Martin Goodman's Marvel Comics , restricting them to eight titles a month.  Arnold's magazine line tries to distribute through Charlton.
    Arnold publishes Courage, Rage, Man's Exploits, Gusto. Gusto was denied a 2nd class mailing permit by the post office in Nov 1957 and was cancelled with the third issue.

   

1958

 
  Apr Arnold tries distributing through Charlton for a short time, with his last books dated April according to Alter Ego 34.  Other sources indicate he continued publishing through the 1960's, including cartoon and crossword puzzle magazines.  He sold the men's magazines to Charles Sultan, who published them under Natlus, Inc. which may have lead to this confusion.

Man's Peril . Wild for Men (Natlus, Inc)

 
   

1974

 
    Everett Arnold dies.  
 
 Bibliography

Alter Ego #34

Alter Ego #67

Will Eisner's Quarterly #5

http://thecomicsdetective.blogspot.com/2010/04/return-to-wonderful-wags-of-oz.html

www.menspulpmags.com

http://www.biographicon.com/view/43mdx

 

 

All characters and artwork copyright by Quality Comics Group