Sunday, July 13, 2014

Comic Cuts in America

Issue #9, the last issue.

Comic Cuts is a well-known title here in the U.K, as it ran for over 60 years and produced over 3,000 issues, but it seems widely unknown amongst British comic fans that there was also an American version published, the first issue of which was dated for May 19th 1934. It was published by H.L. Baker and Co (made up of H. Baker and Hake Geller), and they gained the rights to a number of comic strips published in Amalgamated Press’ comics. The U.S. version had a full-colour front cover and so looked much more modern that its British counterpart. Each issue was 24 pages and cost five cents, but “The National Comic Weekly” (as it was subtitled) failed to catch on and just nine issues were released, the last one dated 28th July 1934. 

Sadly, no library is known to have any issues in any collections, and the only reference found on the comic in any book is on page 11 in 'Of Comics and Men', and it states:

"...a five-cent tabloid weekly reprinting the contents of an eponymous British publication that appeared in nine issues between May and July 1934".

It is also listed in 'The Library of Congress Copyright Office, Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 2, Periodicals, January - December 1934'. It is mentioned three times in the list, here are all three:

As you may be able to see from the cover at the top of this post they didn't just reprint strips from Comic Cuts (in fact, I'm not sure if they reprinted anything from Comic Cuts), for the cover features The Bunty Boys, a strip illustrated by Herbert Foxwell in Bubbles from 1921 - 1941. The only other strip that I know appeared in the comic is Peter the Paleface Brave, also a reprint from Bubbles, this time illustrated by Anton Lock. It seems that this version of Comic Cuts was aimed at a much younger audience than the British version and therefore it reprints material from Amalgamated Press' younger comics.

Sadly information and issues on this comic are hard to come by but if you do know a little bit more about the contents of it, or even have an issue or two, please do get in touch.


Lew Stringer said...

A brilliant discovery, George! If you keep this up you'll be the new Denis Gifford by the time you're 25.

The irony of this comic is that the UK Comic Cuts was apparently comprised of reprints from American publications in its early issues. Without permission it seems, according to Denis Gifford (the forerunner to George Shiers :)).

George Shiers said...

Thanks Lew, but where would I store a collection that weighs 10 tonnes? I'd still like to use the oven!

As for Comic Cuts - even the name was stolen, taken from the subheading of James Henderson's Snaps. I think that Alfred Harmsworth actually took the images in Comic Cuts from Snaps as well, which in turn were taken from American magazines and newspapers.