Marvel's "Publishing Companies", Early Silver Age and Before

Awhile back I brought up this question in another thread, to no reaction. I remembered being puzzled by this when the comics were new. In the indicia of all the Marvel books up until 1968 various publishing companies were listed instead of a single one. I was able to find the indicia info on the Grand Comics Database. Does anyone know the reasons for this?
Atlas Publishing: Amazing Adventures(1-6), Amazing( Adult) Fantasy(7-15) , Journey into Mystery(and Thor)(1958-on), Rawhide Kid(1960-on), Iron Man(1968), Sub-Mariner(1968)
Bard Publishing: Sgt Fury, Patsy Walker
Canam Publishing: X-Men, Fantastic Four, Journey into Mystery(1952-1957)
Chipiden Publishing: Strange Tales(1951-1958)
Cornell Publishing: Rawhide Kid(1955-1957)
Gem Publishing: Patsy and Hedy(1952-1958)
Hercules Publishing: Two Gun Kid(1953-1960)
Leading Publishing: Captain America(1968), Kid Colt Outlaw
Male Publishing: Tales of Suspense(1959-1960), Patsy and Hedy(1959-on), Millie the Model(1959-1961), Modeling with Millie
Non-Pareil Publishing: Amazing Spider-Man, Two-Gun Kid(1964-1968)
Sphere Publishing : Millie the Model(1945-1958)
Vista Publishing: Avengers, Tales of Suspense(1961-on), Tales to Astonish(1961-on), Strange Tales(1961-on), Millie the Model(1961-on)
Zenith Publishing: Incredible Hulk(1-6), Strange Tales(1959-1960), Tales to Astonish(1959-1960)

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That's a great cover, George!

I love the fact that the fleeing young lady (amazingly clothed!) is being chased by fully clothed, uniformed German soldiers, yet she is looking so leery at the mostly naked Alied agent who is hiding, waiting to assault her.   If you've ever read any of these, the desires burning in the heart of the hero are projected onto the villain  and when they have been beaten/bested, the hero then gives into his desires and gets the same sexual favors that he was just rescuing the girl from! What a formula!!

I wonder, if they hadn't have chosen Marvel, which name they would have gone with? Vista has a ring to it.


Dandy Forsdyke said:

I wonder, if they hadn't have chosen Marvel, which name they would have gone with? Vista has a ring to it.

Well, Amazon UK have just delivered this book. It's a sizeable tome and cost me just £10. I look forward to getting some bedside reading in tonight. Hope I don't have nightmares! ;-)

George Poague said:

"Marvel: The Untold Story," by Sean Howe.

Reading the history of the publishers (not just Goodman), when they were printing and distributing "spicy" pulp titles in the days when comics were just starting, one "publishing company" would catch a lot of heat from the public and law enforcement. It would be "shut down" and other existing publishing names or new ones would be used. The ownership wouldn't change. I think the multiple "publishers" in early Marvel were hold-overs from that mindset.

Reading this thread on the many publishers that Marvel created in the '60s reminds me of two more great books that give real insight into the background of the silver-age and beyond.

the first is "The Comic Book Heroes (The First History of modern Comic books from the Silver Age to the Present)" co written by Gerard Jones (he of "Men of Tomorrow" fame) and Will Jacobs. A fascinating book - densely packed with facts but presented in a way that makes them interesting.

The second is "Understanding Comics - The Invisible Art" by Scott McCloud. This is written in graphic novel form and is non the worse for that. It explains the whole concept of how comic books work, including, for example, why 'word balloons' differ from 'thought balloons' and how the construction of panels assist the reader in navigating the page in a sensible, controlled manner. A truly interesting and inspiring book.

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