Robin Olsen:

I just can't help thinking that Kirby's sales figures didn't help his cause any, either, and maybe not enough READERS were "accepting" Kirby's more ambitious stuff"

Okay, folks. Let's focus. I wanna hear what DC comics WERE "successes" in the early 70's. I wanna know whose books WEREN'T getting cancelled left-right-and-center.  Because it sure as HELL wasn't GREEN LANTERN-GREEN ARROW, or DEADMAN, or AQUAMAN, or HAWKMAN, and frankly, most of the DCs from the early 70's were books I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot-pole, so I'm a bit in the dark as to exactly what they were publishing.

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I don't have every title but when I started reading comics in 1972/73 there was:

SUPERMAN

ACTION (with the Atom and Green Arrow/Black Canary backups[bu])

SUPERMAN FAMILY (bi-monthly with new Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane stories rotating)

WORLD'S FINEST (Superman/Batman teamups)

SUPERBOY starring the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

BATMAN

DETECTIVE

BRAVE & BOLD (Batman teamups)

ADVENTURE COMICS (starring the Spectre, then Aquaman)

THE FLASH (with Green Lantern bu)

WONDER WOMAN

SHAZAM!

SWAMP THING

PHANTOM STRANGER

TARZAN

KAMANDI

G.I. COMBAT (THE HAUNTED TANK)

OUR ARMY AT WAR (SGT. ROCK)

OUR FIGHTING FORCES (THE LOSERS)

STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES (THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER)

WEIRD WAR STORIES

GHOSTS

HOUSE OF MYSTERY

HOUSE OF SECRETS

THE UNEXPECTED

THE WITCHING HOUR

PLOP!

YOUNG LOVE

YOUNG ROMANCE

Here's a starting point.... http://www.dcindexes.com/timemachine/gallery.php?month=1&year=1...

 

I used it to go check on when Hawk and The Dove began,

as well as Beware the Creeper...

There's a problem here of what to use as a benchmark. Of the series that Kirby wrote, drew and edited OMAC, at 8 issues, had the shortest run (that is, leaving aside the B&W magazines). Kamandi's 59 issue run makes it one of the longer-running new features or titles DC introduced in the late 60s or early 70s. It was initially bimonthly but quickly went monthly and remained so until after Kirby left.

 

Kirby's first issue at DC in this period was Jimmy Olsen #133, which went on sale in Aug. 1970. His last was Kamandi #40, which went on sale in Jan. 1976. (The writing on his last three issues of Kamandi was credited to others.)

 

New Gods and Forever People were bimonthlies. Each lasted 11 issues, so they both ran just short of two years. Mister Miracle's first run lasted for 18 bimonthly issues, which is to say three years. I'll confine myself to titles and features that ran as long or longer than Mister Miracle.

 

Firstly, DC had a lot of success in this period with horror anthology titles. Some of these ran ongoing features, such as the "I...Vampire" series in House of Mystery, later in their runs.

-Tales of the Unexpected became The Unexpected with #105 in 1967, morphed fairly quickly into a horror anthology title, and continued under that name to #222 in 1982.

-House of Mystery became a horror title with #174 in 1968 and continued to #321 in 1983.

-Witching Hour ran for 85 issues from 1968-1978.

-House of Secrets, which had been cancelled, was revived as a horror title with #81 in 1969 and continued to #154 in 1978.

-Ghosts ran for 112 issues from 1971-1982.

-Weird War Tales, a horror/war hybrid, ran for 124 issues from 1971-1983.

-Weird Mystery Tales ran for 24 issues from 1972-1975.

-Secrets of Haunted House ran for 46 issues from 1975-1981.

-There were further horror anthology titles in the period, but they were less long-lived than my threshold. Giant issues of The Unexpected, Ghosts and Secrets of Haunted House appeared as part of the run of the comic DC Special Series. Reprint House of Mystery and Ghosts issues appeared in the run of the tabloid Limited Collectors' Edition.

 

Secondly, two long-running war features were introduced in the year before Kirby's DC arrival:

-"The Losers" started in Our Fighting Forces #123 in Nov. 1969 and continued there, always as the cover-feature, until the title ended with #181 in June 1978. (The characters were recycled from older features. The team was introduced in the "Haunted Tank" feature in G.I. Combat #138 in Aug. 1969.)

-"The Unknown Soldier" started in Star Spangled War Stories #151 in Apr. 1970 and was likewise cover-featured from the beginning; the comic's title was changed to The Unknown Soldier with #205 in Jan. 1977 and continued under that name to #268 in July 1982.

 

Thirdly, DC had success in the Western genre with "Jonah Hex" and Weird Western Tales:

-Jonah Hex debuted in All-Star Western (second series) #10 in Dec. 1971. The comic's title became Weird Western Tales with #12.

-Although Jonah was cover-featured for the final two issues of All-Star Western he was displaced from several of the early Weird Western Tales covers by El Diablo, who had been introduced in All-Star Western #2. However, before too long Jonah had the title to himself.

-Jonah appeared in the title up to #38 and then got his own title in Dec. 1976, which lasted to #92 in May 1985. (It was replaced the next month by Hex, in which Jonah was transported to the future, and which lasted 18 issues.) DC Special Series #16 (1978) was a "Jonah Hex Spectacular" .

-With #39 the new lead feature in Weird Western Tales became "Scalphunter". Since this feature debuted in Dec. 1976 it falls outside my range. Weird Western Tales continued to #70 in 1980. Scalphunter mostly had the title to himself but a back-up feature about a lady gunfighter called Cinnamon appeared in #48-49. The George Evans cover of #53 is worth checking out.

 

Fourthly, two horror-themed titles other than the anthologies had good runs:

-The Phantom Stranger (second series) started in Mar. 1968 and ran to #41 in Nov. 1975. It was preceded by a try-out in Showcase #80, Dec. 1968.

-Swamp Thing started in Aug. 1972 and lasted to #24 in May 1976. The Bernie Wrightson issues were subsequently reprinted in four issues of DC Special Series.

 

Fifthly, DC took over the Edgar Rice Burroughs characters from Gold Key in 1972:

-DC took over Tarzan with #207 from Feb. 1972, and published the title to #258 in Nov. 1976, after which the licenses to the Burroughs characters were taken over by Marvel. Marvel started its Tarzan series with a new #1.

-While it held the licences DC also continued Korak, Son of Tarzan for 14 issues, before converting the title into the giant Tarzan Family, with "Korak" as the lead feature, for a further 7. It also ran features based on Burroughs's other series in the backs of Tarzan and Korak, in Tarzan Family, and in the first 7 issues of Weird Worlds. Newspaper strip reprints appeared at various points in Tarzan, Korak, Tarzan Family, the sole issue of Tarzan Digest and 100-Page Super Spectacular #DC-19. There were also two Tarzan issues of the tabloid Limited Collectors' Edition, which reprinted DC's adaptations of the first two Tarzan novels.

 

Sixthly, DC revived the Marvel Family in Shazam!:

-The first issue went on sale Dec. 1972, and the comic lasted to #35 in Feb. 1978.

-The feature resumed its run in July 1978 in World's Finest Comics, where it appeared in ##253-270 and ##272-282, and concluded its run in Adventure Comics ##491-492, that title's first two issues as a digest, in June and July 1982.

-Along the way DC DC published three Shazam! issues of the tabloid Limited Collectors' Edition with Fawcett reprints (and a new "Superman vs Shazam!" story in All-New Collectors' Edition #C-58).

 

Seventhly, DC had a success in the barbarian genre with Warlord:

-The first issue went on sale in Oct. 1975, after a try-out in 1st Issue Special #8, Aug. 1975; it went on hiatus for over half a year after its second issue, but then ran to #133 in Sep. 1988, with 6 annuals during the 1980s.

 

Eighthly, the humour title Plop! started in June 1973 ran to #24 in Aug. 1976.

 

Finally, the following superhero features and titles deserve notes:

-After years of appearing in the back of Action Comics Supergirl was made the star of Adventure Comics with #381, Apr. 1969, and held that spot to #424, after which she got her own title which ran to #9 in Sep. 1973. A further issue, #10, followed in June 1974, but in between Supergirl's feature became one of the (initially rotating) features in The Superman Family. In 1982 Superman Family was cancelled and Supergirl was given a new title.

-When Supergirl's feature took over Adventure Comics "The Legion of Super-Heroes" was moved into the back of Action Comics, where it ceased to appear after Mort Weisinger's last issue (#393, in July 1970). It began to appear irregularly in new stories in the back of Superboy with #172 (Jan. 1971); from #198, on sale Jun. 1973, Legion stories with Superboy began to appear regularly in the lead slot and the Legion's name was added to the cover logo; with #231 (June 1977) the indicia title was changed and the comic officially became Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes; with #259 (Oct. 1979) it became The Legion of Super-Heroes and Superboy was written out of the regular cast. In one form and another the feature has stuck around since.

-All-Star Comics was revived as a vehicle for the revival of the Justice Society with #58, which went on sale in Oct. 1975; initially the comic flirted with rebadging the team as the Super Squad; the comic ran bimonthly to #74 (June 1978; the final issue was giant-sized) and the "Justice Society" feature continued in Adventure Comics, at the time a bimonthly giant, from ##461-466 (Oct. 1978-Aug. 1979). The combined length of the runs exceeds my threshold.

-Aquaman's feature, which had ceased to appear when the first version of his own title was cancelled with #56 in Jan. 1971, was revived as the new lead feature of Adventure Comics in #441 (Jun. 1975) and ran there until #452, at which point he graduated back to his own title. The new title ran from #57 (May 1977) to #63 (May 1878), and the combined Adventure/Aquaman run just exceeds my threshold. Along the way he had solo stories (along with other heroes) in DC Special Series #1 and DC Special #28.

-The Superman Family, which started in Jan. 1974 (and continued the numbering of Jimmy Olsen) ran 59 issues, to #222 in Sep. 1982. Batman Family, which started in June 1975, ran 20 before it was combined with Detective Comics with Detective Comics #481 in Sep. 1978. (Detective Comics became a giant, and the "Batman Family" logo appeared on the covers for three issues. It was then dropped, but Detective retained Batman Family's giant multi-feature format up to #495, July 1980).

 

All dates are on sale dates. My acknowledgements to DC Indexes and the GCD for the information.

 

(corrected)

Haven't read the thread yet, but would someone fix the headline? It should read "DC Comics in the early '70s"

The apostrophe indicates the missing numbers; you don't get to throw it in randomly. Thanks!

Done!

I used to get that one wrong all the time too until Cap taught me better.  Thanks, Cap.

Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter lasted 18 issues, from Jan. 1975 to Aug. 1977. Since it was monthly for part of its run it didn't run quite as long in terms of time as the original run of Mister Miracle, but it lasted as many issues. The opening issues adapted the novel Dragon's Fists by "Jim Dennis", who according to Wikipedia's article on Richard Dragon was Denny O'Neil and Jim Berry.

I'm with Henry here. I can't believe that The New Gods or Mister Miracle (or Green Lantern/Green Arrow and Aquaman) could have been selling less than Young Love, Ghosts, The Unexpected, Weird War Stories and Wonder Woman. There had to be some politics going on or something worse than a bad blizzard or a rise in price.

...What was the original header ?

Captain Comics said:

Haven't read the thread yet, but would someone fix the headline? It should read "DC Comics in the early '70s"

The apostrophe indicates the missing numbers; you don't get to throw it in randomly. Thanks!

...George P. got the point up about " other " genres before me , so...

  Another genre DC dealed with marginally then - if to shut it down , basically - was " traditional " humor . Sugar and Spike , Orlando's teen titles...

Walter/Emerkeith: I think the discussion was centered only on titles that launched around the same time as Kirby's Fourth world titles, which would eliminate both Sugar & Spike and Swing with Scooter from contention. So what humor titles would remain (besides Plop!, which was already mentioned)? Not very many, since most were gone or about to be canceled by the time all of the King's new titles were launched:

 

Leave it to Binky was revived in 1968, so that's a little too early to be considered a contemporary of Kirby's Fourth World titles. It had a decent run, though, of 20 issues in between 1968 and 1971 (the title along the way being shortened to just plain Binky), plus a one-shot revival in 1977.

 

Binky was successful enough that it earned a spinoff, Binky's Buddies, which ran for an even dozen issues between 1969 and 1970. It was basically gone by the time the Fourth World was launched in earnest.

 

Windy & Willy, 4 issues published in 1969 (following a one-issue tryout in Showcase). This was an outstanding humor comic book, featuring Hall of Fame caliber artwork by Bob Oksner. Only problem: It featured doctored-up reprints from DC's Many Loves of Dobie Gillis title from the early 1960s, with hippie garb redrawn over the beatnik outfits that Maynard/Windy wore. I don't know that I've ever seen a single house ad promoting this title.

 

Date with Debbi launched in 1969 and ran until Sep-Oct. 1971, with a one-shot revival in 1972. All told, 18 issues were published. It was apparently successful enough to earn a spin-off, Debbi's Dates, which started its 11-issue run in 1969 and ran until Jan. 1971.

 

Three Mouseketeers, a brief revival of a 1950s funny animal comic from the 1950s. The revival only lasted 7 issues between 1970-1971, although the last three were giant-sized editions.

So there really weren't any humor comics that ran contemporaneously with Kirby's Fourth World stuff; not for very long, anyways.

 

To include all genres, there was also Hot Wheels, a short-lived title based on a toy and a TV cartoon, but the last of its 6 issues came out the month before Forever People started.

...Dave/my brother's actual name is David:

  Yes , the humor titles continued past the beginning of the Fourth World titles , and we were , seemingly , speaking of EVERYTHING DC put out during this time .

  I believe the Orlando teenies basically continued til' ABOUT the beginning of the Bigger & Better period , then they...came out fitfully , yes...and groaned/squeaked to their conclusion . Their last few issues before Bigger & Better had been 64-pagers , just as those later Three Mousketeers were...and exactly one issue of Sugar & Spike , before the B&B conversion .

  I presume that all of those 64-page humors had 50% or more reprints , no new material beyond the standard 22 ?

  S&S lasted slightly into the 48-page era...Then , Sheldon Mayer's ( then- ) vision problems took him out of being able to draw regularly , to a deadline ( Later , he got transplants . ) .

  DC also , in 1972 , issued EXACTLY ONE 32-page issue of LARRY HARMON'S LAUREL AND HARDY , to give it its full title...Stan & Babe funnies apparently done in Britain originally (Though possible more , even then , for the more culturally isolated audiences of the like of Warsaw Pact and Franco dictator-dominated nations ?) , DC also advertised but did not issue a digest of more L&H , presumably they had a large backlog of this material to draw on .

  The one issue received a use ad...Did DC initially decide to give it a bigger push , then change their minds too late to not publish the first issue , anyway ???

  I have actually thought that DC may have decided that Joe Orlando's time was more financially useful to htheputting out more mystery titles , so out with the Archie-likes , already...Plus , the project originally titled " Weird Humor " that got renamed PLOP!...........

  I have seen a repro of the art for the intended second issue of LHL&H's cover --- A John Constanza?? " Stan and Ollie meet a wimpy guy in glasses and challenge him...but he's Clark Kent !!!!!!! " gag .

  There were apparently other examples of the Orlando teenies running re-lettered reprints in their Giant-formatted isses , apparently some Mort Drucker A DATE WITH JUDY stories saw reprinting that way .

  David Cassidy and good ol' Frank's Sweet Pain were not the only musical artists to receive cover-spotlight blurbs in the Orlandos !!!!! James Taylor was was once shown on a Debbi , IIRC , cover !!!!!!!!!

Dave Blanchard said:

Walter/Emerkeith: I think the discussion was centered only on titles that launched around the same time as Kirby's Fourth world titles, which would eliminate both Sugar & Spike and Swing with Scooter from contention. So what humor titles would remain (besides Plop!, which was already mentioned)? Not very many, since most were gone or about to be canceled by the time all of the King's new titles were launched:

 

Leave it to Binky was revived in 1968, so that's a little too early to be considered a contemporary of Kirby's Fourth World titles. It had a decent run, though, of 20 issues in between 1968 and 1971 (the title along the way being shortened to just plain Binky), plus a one-shot revival in 1977.

 

Binky was successful enough that it earned a spinoff, Binky's Buddies, which ran for an even dozen issues between 1969 and 1970. It was basically gone by the time the Fourth World was launched in earnest.

 

Windy & Willy, 4 issues published in 1969 (following a one-issue tryout in Showcase). This was an outstanding humor comic book, featuring Hall of Fame caliber artwork by Bob Oksner. Only problem: It featured doctored-up reprints from DC's Many Loves of Dobie Gillis title from the early 1960s, with hippie garb redrawn over the beatnik outfits that Maynard/Windy wore. I don't know that I've ever seen a single house ad promoting this title.

 

Date with Debbi launched in 1969 and ran until Sep-Oct. 1971, with a one-shot revival in 1972. All told, 18 issues were published. It was apparently successful enough to earn a spin-off, Debbi's Dates, which started its 11-issue run in 1969 and ran until Jan. 1971.

 

Three Mouseketeers, a brief revival of a 1950s funny animal comic from the 1950s. The revival only lasted 7 issues between 1970-1971, although the last three were giant-sized editions.

So there really weren't any humor comics that ran contemporaneously with Kirby's Fourth World stuff; not for very long, anyways.

 

To include all genres, there was also Hot Wheels, a short-lived title based on a toy and a TV cartoon, but the last of its 6 issues came out the month before Forever People started.

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