Show us your IW Reprints!
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The label note is odd: "homage" to Parole Breakers 3? It's kind of like that cover, but I'll bet it's actually an exact reproduction of Kinstler's cover of some other comic. 

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Posted (edited)

Again with the "homage"! This isn't an homage to the cover of U.S. Tank Commandos 2, it is the cover of U.S. Tank Commandos 2. 

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Edited by Sqeggs
Typo

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Annother one I found in a box. Has an Avon Gangsters and Gunmolls interior.

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Great thread. Lots of lovely underappreciated comics here :)

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I Dream of Love...

 

Edited by Get Marwood & I
And still I dream...

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I always liked the look on her face here. As if something unexpected is happening, unseen by all (except maybe the chap on the train) :)

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On 6/30/2019 at 10:09 PM, 50YrsCollctngCmcs said:

I remember getting the Space Detective reprint at a flea market for some pocket change as a kid in the early seventies. I thought I had a real winner there but even then these got no love in the price guide. Still it was a great comic.

I recall reading the history of these (maybe Comic Book Marketplace) and as I recall the publisher somehow got hold of the original printer's plates or stats and decided to publish them himself with no notice or notification to the original copyright holders.  Eventually he was threatened with legal action and stopped as I recall.

An interesting side note in comics history. I also always got a kick out of the Top Comics reprints Western published; an odd list of books too.

Interesting read here (quite long though):

http://www.jonmcclurescomics.com/iw.html

 

The Strange Story of Israel Waldman and the I.W./Super Comics Mystery

by Jon Martin McClure with research assistant Jacob Balcom

I.W. Enterprises was founded in 1958 (named for the company's owner, Israel Waldman) and published comics from 1958-1959 and 1963-1964. As of 1963, the company used the name "Super Comics" and changed its cover logo to match. Replacing the usual Comics Code Authority seal of approval, a little box reads, "A Top Quality Comic," which appeared on all 1958-1959 I.W. reprints, while 1963-1964 issues have a "Super Comics" seal of quality. The 1958-1959 I.W. books reprinted original covers with minor art changes, and primarily with random contents. Covers were sometimes used multiple times on the same title, and many books have contents that do not match the original cover, Type 9a Variants. One title, Pee-Wee Pixies (1958-1959, 1963) has three total issues (#1, 8, 10), with the same cover. The 1963-1964 Super Comics have new covers.

Waldman's NewYork-based company allegedly acquired printing plates from Eastern Color, primarily from defunct publishers who owed Eastern money. Waldman approached Quality Publications, too: "Al Grenet (editor at Quality) remembers when (Everett Arnold, aka "Busy Arnold," publisher of Quality) sold what art had remained to a guy who was going into the comic book business. The guy took all the original artwork." (The Quality Companion, 2011, p. 31.) That "guy" was Israel Waldman. The Quality reprints from I.W./Super comics are Buccaneer #1, 8, Buccaneers #12, Candy #12, 16-17, Dollman #11, 15, 17, Hollywood Secrets of Romance #9, Intimate Confessions #12, Love and Marriage #17, Plastic Man #11, 16, 18, Spirit #11-12, Star Feature #9, Torchy #16, and Westerner #16. In 1974, DC comics had problems with copyrights on some Quality and Fawcett material "...as well as the problem of just physically laying our hands on some of it..." (Archie Goodwin, Detective Comics #440(4-5/74), p. 26.) As Waldman was in possession of most or all of the surviving Quality artwork, finding it would have been difficult indeed! "Busy Arnold" had the habit of destroying artwork, possibly for fear the artists might try to sell their own work, so Waldman could only have acquired what remained after the storm. "Creig Flessel... once visited Quality and witnessed "Busy Arnold" cutting up art and throwing it in a bin. Flessel looked to Jack Cole (creator of Plastic Man), who shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "Nothing I can do about it..." "There are no public records of DC renewing original Quality Publications. This is the reason why original printed Quality Comics have "lapsed" into the public domain and are sometimes retouched and repackaged by independent publishers." (The Quality Companion, 2011, pp. 18, 33.) Copyrights are public record, and DC didn't have one.

"Waldman probably never obtained the necessary copyrights for these reprintings, which included former Quality Comics titles such as Plastic Man or Doll Man that DC had acquired rights to as well as several issues of Will Eisner's The Spirit. It appears that he was rarely, if ever, challenged by the actual copyright holders. Perhaps this is because his titles never appeared on the newsstands or spinner racks..." (Horror Comics in Black and White, A History and Catalog, 1964-2004, 2013, p. 162.) There was no legitimate reason for issues of Plastic Man, Doll Man and The Spirit to have been published by Super Comics in 1963-1964... or was there? Plastic Man, Doll Man and The Spirit stories were in limbo at the time Waldman reprinted them, well before DC published Plastic Man #1(11-12/66). Waldman paid "Busy Arnold" to get the surviving artwork and plates; it's not like he climbed in a window at Quality at midnight with a flashlight and a Santa sack to obtain them. Having bought out Quality, he was within his rights to publish Plastic Man, Doll Man and The Spirit, or any of the other Quality books he obtained, since the only value he was purchasing was the ability to reprint old comic books.

Waldman's business strategy was direct and effective: he would buy out printing plates and original art from defunct comics publishers, sometimes gaining possession of material from companies still in business, probably by accident. "Israel and Sol [Brodsky] bought tons of original artwork from bankrupt companies-- some from Fawcett, some from Fiction House, wherever they found a warehouse of the stuff, and they'd buy it for a penny on the dollar, a penny a page, 20c a page..." (Mike Esposito, Alter Ego #54, 2005, pp. 17-18). Waldman successfully avoided one risk that every other publisher had to endure: he accepted no returns (Andru & Esposito, 2006, p. 74.) Unlike other I.W. issues, My Secret Marriage #9(1959) notes in the indicia, "Reprinted by Eastern Color." The indicia of all I.W. books reads, "Reproduction in part or whole is prohibited," which is ironic because Waldman was able to obtain and reprint material from 37 companies including Timely and EC, the latter two definitely without any legal right or permission. Waldman probably acquired such forbidden fruit along with legitimate books, all of which ended up getting reprinted; the swiped EC comic was Incredible Science Fiction #30(7-8/55), reprinted in I.W.'s Strange Planets #1(1958), including the letter column, a delightful accident.

 

Joe Simon paints a fascinating picture of the elusive Waldman and their meeting: "I took a quick turn in Waldman's building, then climbed the black iron steps to the third floor [and] found myself in a small, caged cubicle facing another door, this one huge, iron, intimidating. A very loud buzzer startled me. There was a bell which I rang. I could see the door snap from its lock. A tinny voice from an unseen sound system... requested that I state my name and business, [then] directed me to enter."

 

"Mr Waldman introduced himself. He leaned over a well scratched wooden desk with peeling varnish [that was] holding neat stacks of yellowing artwork that must have been recently retrieved from warehouses. More stacks of dusty art work and engravers' proofs lined the floors. There were love comics, superhero comics, even Will Eisner's wonderful Spirit. Mr. Waldman sat down and gestured at the other chair in the room. He smiled cordially, for the first and last time. A slim man in his early forties, he was tie-less, his shirtsleeves rolled up below the elbow, his hands smudged with the dust of the old artwork."

 

Joe Simon describes Israel Waldman as cordial but "...all business. He took the comic books out of the envelope I shoved at him: Bullseye, Foxhole, In Love, Police Trap. He rifled through a few pages of each, [and] set them down next to [his] checkbook. I was disappointed that he hadn't read a story or two." Simon told Waldman, "We need to keep the copyrights." Normally this sort of deal would include legal documents and agreements, "...but Waldman didn't have the time or the inclination to mess around with such trifles." Waldman reportedly said, "So keep them. What do I need with copyrights?" (The Comic Book Makers, 1990, p. 165.)

 

No I.W. or Super Comics were cover dated because they were designed to have an indefinite shelf life. Waldman was the first publisher to sell comics in plastic bags, in sets of two for fifteen cents, an innovation. The pair of 15 cent bagged sets I've seen contain Super Rabbit #1 with Wacky Woodpecker #1, and Billy and Buggy Bear #1 with Sharpy Fox #1. The bag says, "2 different top quality comics," and "selected subjects," so other categories such as superhero or horror would likely have been paired as well. One collector online claims to own two 2 packs and to have previously owned a 4 pack, which had the titles of the four comics inside printed on the header of the bag, and claims to have never seen a 3 pack. Some claim to remember seeing three packs of 12 cent books in the 1963-1964 Super Comics era, but I have found no evidence as of yet, no plastic bags. "They (Super Comics) often appeared in plastic bags at a cut rate (three for twenty-five cents) in places where comics were not usually sold-- variety stores, five-and-dime stores, small grocery stores, etc." (The Comic Book in America, 1989, page 129.) I'm inclined to believe that there are three and four packs out there and that surviving examples will eventually surface, although such pursuits are reminiscent of searching for Bigfoot. Major publishers like Charlton, D.C., Gold Key, Marvel and others would later follow the practice of selling bagged comics in the 1960s and 1970s, in discounted groups of two to four comics per bag, and in Gold Key's case, ten in a box. (For more information on bagged and boxed groups, check out my article "The Whitman Mystery" in Comic Book Marketplace #85-86, Gemstone Publications, 2001.) Wholesaling bagged comics to discount retail and grocery stores put Waldman's products in a different category, that of toys and novelties. Keeping I.W./Super Comics under the radar was a cunning strategy that kept Waldman out of the clutches of the Comics Code Authority, a problem that would have increased expenses, to say nothing of publishing delays and potential legal problems. Professionals including Abel, Andru, Colletta, Esposito, Severin, Simon and others, created covers for the reprints and the unpublished stories, including issues of Danger (1963-1964), Daring Adventures (1958, 1963-1964), and Fantastic Adventures (1963-1964).

 

"At the end of 1945, publisher C.H. Albrecht had an idea for Atlas Comics, featuring a superhero named after Charles Atlas, but Albrecht wasn't able to bring it to fruition. On the Pulp Artist website, historian David Saunders shows a striking Atlas Comics unpublished cover with its leopard skin-patterned logo to complement the body builder's briefs. The cover strongly resembles Action Comics #1(6/38), where Superman lifts a car. The inside cover proof, which has a March 1946 date, shows a letter from the "editor"-- Charles Atlas himself! "Welcome to ATLAS COMICS-- to a brand new, sparkling comic book that's DIFFERENT... I want you to feel that I'm YOUR friend-- that your problems are mine." The stories had been unearthed and printed in I.W. Publishing/Super Comics' Daring Adventures #18 (1964). In Daring Adventures #18, the scavenger publisher commissioned a new cover and dropped Charles Atlas' letter, which would have linked the body-builder to the comic book." (Super Weird Heroes, 2016, pp. 12-13.) Waldman's comic book business was a low budget act by design, and Daring Adventures #18 would not exist without Waldman's penchant for digging through dusty old printing plates-- it would be lost in time. The fact that Waldman published unseen stories and art in several issues brings collecting I.W./Super Comics to a higher level.

About 5% of I.W./Super Comics are rare, and possibly the rarest of all is Full of Fun #8(1959); about 10% are scarce, while roughly 25% are uncommon, and about 60% are easily obtained. Consider Human Fly #1(1958), a book with Blue Beetle and other reprints where the Human Fly never makes an appearance! Waldman preferred turning a profit to fruitless perfectionism; apparently he thought the book would sell better with the title Human Fly than Blue Beetle. The randomness of the issue numbers is in fact not; they are all numbered based on the sequence of the printings instead of by title. I.W. Enterprises issues #1-6 were printed in 1958, and issues #7-9 were printed in 1959. Super Comics issues #10-11 were published in 1963, and although some #12s are dated 1963, others are dated 1964, an error fixed part way through the printing process. Because print runs are the issue numbers, we know all #12s were printed in 1964. No #13 exists, possibly to evade the karmic fate inherent in many comic book horror stories. Issues #14-18 were published in 1964. Some of the I.W./Super Comics are type 9a variants, defined as Unlicensed after-market reprints that have the same title, cover and issue number with only minor cover changes and new ads, but with different contents, such as U.S. Paratroopers #1(1958). The following list of 332 I.W./Super Comics includes the original titles, issue numbers, dates of publication and publishers:

 

Algie (1964) #15; Algie #3(4/54)(Timor), Apache (1958) #1; Apache #1(1951)(Fiction House), Avenger (1959) #9, Avenger #1(2-3/55)(Magazine Ent., ME hereafter), Battle Stories (1963-1964) #10-12, 15-18; #10: US Tank Commandos #2(8/52)(Avon), #11: US Paratroops Behind Enemy lines #5(10/52)(Avon), #12: Tell it to the Marines #8(7/54)(Toby), #15: American Air Forces #7(8/52)(ME), #16: Men in Action #3(9/57)(Ajax/Farrell), #17: With the Marines on the Battlefronts of the World #2(3/54)(Toby), #18: US Fighting Air Force #28(9/56)(Superior), Billy and Buggy Bear (1958-1959, 1963) #1, 7, 10; #1: All Surprise #8(Fall 1945)(Timely), #7: All Surprise #8(Fall 1945)(Timely), #10: Monkeyshines Comic #27(7/49)(Ace), Black Knight (1963) #11; #Black Knight #1(5/53)(Toby), Blazing Six-Guns (1958-1959, 1963-1964) #1, 8-12, 15-18; #1: Western Killers #62(1/49)(Fox) with the cover of Blazing Sixguns #1(12/52)(Avon), #8: Blazing Western #4(7/54)(Timor) with the cover to Kit Carson #3(12/51)(Avon), #9: Blazing Western #1(1/54)(Timor) with the cover to Dalton Boys #1(1951)(Avon), #10: Rider #2(6/57)(Farrell), #11: Rider #1(3/57)(Farrell), #12: Bull's Eye #3(12-1/54-55)(Mainline), #15: Silver Kid Western #2(12/54)(Key), #16: Buffalo Bill #9(12/51)(Youthful), #17: Western True Crime #5(4/49)(Fox), #18: Straight Arrow #54(2/56)(ME), Brain (1958-1959, 1963-1964) #1-4 , 8-10, 14, 18; (all ME), #1: Brain #1(9/56) #2: Brain #2(4/57), #3: Brain #3(8/57), #4: Brain 4(10/57), #8: Brain #5(11/57), #9: Brain #7(3/58), #10: Brain #4(10/57), #14: Brain #3(8/57), Brain #18: Brain #1(9/56), Buccaneer (1958-1959, 1963) #1, 8; #1: Buccaneers #20(3/50)(Quality), #8: Buccaneers #23(9/50)(Quality), Buccaneers #12, Buccaneers #21(5/50)(Quality), Buster Bear (1959, 1963) #9-10, both Frisky Fables v3 #6(9/47)(Novelty), Candy (1964) #12, 16-17; #12: Candy #17(8/50)(Quality), #16: Candy #8(2/49)(Quality), #17: Candy #14(2/50)(Quality), Casper Cat (1958-1959, 1964) #1, 7, 14; all 3 reprint Dopey Duck #2(4/46)(Timely), Cosmo Cat (1958) #1, Cosmo Cat #7(7/47)(Fox), Cowboys'n'' Injuns (1958-1959, 1963) #1, 7, 10; all 3 reprint Tick Tock Tales #31(7-8/51)(ME), Danger (1963-1964) #10-12, 15-18; #10: Great Comics #1(Novak)(1945), #11: Johnny Danger #1(8/54)(Toby), #12: Red Seal #14(10/45)(Chesler), #15: Spy Cases #26(9/50)(Timely), #16: Yankee Comics #5(Chesler) contains material from an unpublished issue, #17: Scoop #8(1944)(Chesler), #18: Guns Against Gangsters #5(5-6/49)(Novelty), Danger is our Business (1958) #9, Danger is our Business #1(12/53)(Toby), Daring Adventures (1959, 1963-1964) #9-12, 15-18; #9: Blue Bolt #115(10/52)(Star), #10: Dynamic #24(3/48)(Superior), #11: Dynamic #16(10/45)(Chesler), #12: Phantom Lady #14(10/47)(Fox), #15: Hooded Menace #1(1951)(Avon), #16: Dynamic #1(12/41)(Chesler), Dynamic #3(2/42)(Chesler), Dynamic #12(11/44)(Chesler) and Punch Comics #1(11/41)(Chesler), #17: Green Lama #3(3/45)(Spark), #18: intended for Atlas Comics #1, an unpublished issue, Dr. Fu Manchu(1958) #1, Mask of Dr. Fu Manchu #1(1951)(Avon), Dogface Dooley (1958, 1964) #1, Dogface Dooley #2(1951)(ME), Doll Man (1963-1964) #11, 15, 17; #11: Doll Man #20(1/49)(Quality), #15: Doll Man #23(7/49)(Quality), #17: Doll Man #28(5/50)(Quality), Dream of Love (1958-1959) #1-2, 8-9; #1: Dream Book of Love #1(6-7/54)(ME), #2: Great Lover Romances #10(6/53)(Toby), #8: Great Lover Romances #2(1951)(Toby), #9: Great Lover Romances #3(3/52)(Toby), Dynamic Adventures (1959) #8-9; #8: Fight #53(12/47)(Fiction House), #9: Escape From Devil's Island #1(1952)(Avon), Dynamic Comics (1958) #1, Dynamic #23(11/47)(Chesler) with the cover flipped, from Sensational Police Cases #3(5-6/54)(Avon), Eerie (1958-1959) #1, 8-9; #1: Spook #1(1946)(Baily) with the cover to Strange Worlds #6(2/52)(Avon), #8: Ghost #10(Spring 1954)(Fiction House) with the cover of Eerie #12(8/53)(Avon), #9: Tales of Terror #1(1952)(Toby) with the cover of Eerie #2(8-9/51)(Toby), Eerie Tales (1963-1964) #10-12, 15; #10: Spook #27(1/54)(Star), #11: Purple Claw #3(5/53)(Toby), #12: Eerie #1(5-6/51)(Avon), #15: Blue Bolt Weird Tales #113(5/52)(Star), Famous Funnies (1964) #15, 17-18; #15: Super Cat #4(5/58)(Farrell), #17: Double Trouble #1(11/57)(St. John), #18: Super Pup #5(7/54)(Avon), Fantastic Adventures (1963-1964) #10-12, 15-18; #10: He-Man #2(7/54)(Toby), #11: Blue Bolt Weird Tales #118(4/53)(Star), #12: unpublished material from unnamed Chesler nn issue, #15: Spook #23(3/53)(Star), #16: Dark Shadows #2(1/58)(Steinway), #17: Seven Seas #6(1947)(Leader), #18: Superior Stories #1(5-6/55)(Nesbit), Fantastic Tales (1958) #1, City of the Living Dead #1(1952)(Avon), Fighting Daniel Boone (1958) #1, Fighting Daniel Boone #1(1953)(Avon), Firehair (1959) #8, Rangers #57(2/51)(Fiction House) from the cover to Fighting Indians of the Wild West #2(11/52)(Avon), Foxhole (1963-1964) #11-12, 15-18; #11: Foxhole #1(10/54)(Mainline), #12: Foxhole #2(12/54)(Mainline), #15: United States Marines #5(1952)(ME), #16: United States Marines #8(1952)(ME), #17: Tell it to the Marines #13(3/55)(Toby), #18: Foxhole #3(2/55)(Mainline), Frontier Romances (1958) #1, 9; #1: reprints #1(11-12/49)(Avon), #9: Cowgirl Romances #5(6/51)(Fiction House) with cover to Wild Bill Hickok #13(11/52)(Avon), Full of Fun (1958) #8, from undetermined source, most likely unpublished Bernard Baily Studio material from the mid-1940s, Great Action Comics (1958) #1, 8-9; #1: Gold Medal #1(1945)(Cambridge), #8: Phantom Lady #15(12/47)(Fox), #9: Phantom Lady #23(4/49)(Fox), Great Western (1958) #1-2, 8-9; #1: Straight Arrow #36(5-6/54)(ME), #2: Straight Arrow #42(2/55)(ME), #8: Tim Holt #11(11/49)(ME) with the cover to Fighting Indians of the Wild West Annual #1(1952)(Avon), #9: Straight Arrow #48(8/55)(ME) with the cover to Kit Carson #5(11-12/54)(Avon), Gunfighters (1963-64) #11-12, 15-16, 18; #11: Billy the Kid Adventure Magazine #24(8-9/54)(Toby), #12: Gunsmoke Trail #2(8/57)(Farrell), #15: Straight Arrow #42(2/55)(ME), #16: Billy the Kid Adventure Magazine #27(2-3/55)(Toby), #18: The Rider #3(8/57)(Farrell), Hollywood Secrets of Romance (1958) #9, Hollywood Secrets #2(1/50)(Quality), Human Fly (1958, 1963) #1, 10; #1: Blue Beetle #44(9-10/46)(Fox), #10: Blue Beetle #46(7/47)(Fox), Indian Braves (1958) #1, Indian Braves #4(9/51)(Ace), Indians of the Wild West (1958) #9, Indians #11(4/52)(Fiction House), Intimate Confessions (1958, 1963-1964) #9-10, 12, 18; #9: Intimate Confessions #2(9-10/51)(Avon), #10: Intimate Confessions #6(6/52)(Avon), #12: Love Confessions #2(12/49)(Quality), #18: Dream Book of Romance #8(9-10/54)(ME), Jet Power (1958) #1-2; #1: Jet Powers #1(1/51), #2: Jet Powers #2(4-6/51)(ME), Jungle Adventures (1963-1964) #10, 12, 15, 17-18; #10: Zoot Comics #13b(4/48)(Fox), Terrors of the Jungle #4(4/53)(Star), #12: Zoot #14(3/48)(Fox), #15: Jungle #152(8/52)(Fiction House), #17: Jo-Jo #22(12/48)(Fox), #18: White Princess of the Jungle #1(7/51)(Avon), Jungle Comics (1959) #9, Jungle Comics #151(7/52)(Fiction House) and Terrors of the Jungle #8(3/54)(Star), Kaanga (1958-1959) #1, 8; #1: Kaanga #18(Winter 1953/1954)(Fiction House), #8: Kaanga #10(Winter 1951/1952)(Fiction House), Kat Karson (1958) #1, Cowboys 'n' Injuns #3(1947)(ME), Kid Koko (1958) #1-2; #1: Koko and Kola #4(4/47)(ME), #2: Koko and Kola #3(3/47)(ME), Kiddie Kapers (1963-1964) #10, 14-15, 17; #10: Animal Adventures #1(12/53), #14: Animal Adventures #1(12/53)(Timor), #15: Animal Adventures #2(2/54)(Timor), #17: Cowboys & Injuns #7(1951)(ME), Kit Carson (1963) #10, Kit Carson #1(1950)(Avon), Krazy Krow (1958-1959) #1, 2, 7: #1: Krazy Krow #3(Winter 1945-1946)(Timely), #2: Krazy Krow #1(Summer 1945)(Timely), #7: Krazy Krow #3(Winter 1945-1946)((Timely), Leo the Lion (1958) #1: Adventures of Patorzu nn(Winter 1946)(Green) contains Animal Crackers reprints, Atomic Rabbit #7(6/57)(Charlton), Little Eva (1958-1959, 1963-1964) #1-4, 6-10, 12, 14, 16, 18, pub'd by St. John, (SJ); #1: Little Eva #12(10/53)(SJ), #2: Little Eva 13(11/53)(SJ) and #29(9/56)(SJ), #3: Little Eva #24(4/56)(SJ), #4: Little Eva #15(3/54)(SJ), #6: Little Eva #14(1/54)(SJ), Little Eva #30(10/56)(SJ), #7: Little Eva #16(5/54)(SJ), #8: Little Eva #1(5/52)(SJ), #9: Little Eva #2(7/52)(SJ), #10: Little Eva #3(9/52)(SJ), #10a: Little Eva #14(1/54)(SJ) Little Eva #30(10/56)(SJ), #12: Little Eva #5(12/52)(SJ), #14: Little Eva #3(9/52)(SJ), #16: Little Eva #8(6/53)(SJ), Little Ike #3(8/53)(SJ), #18: Little Eva #9(7/53)(SJ), Little Spunky (1958) #1, Frisky Fables v3 #8(11/47)(Novelty), Love and Marriage (1958-1959, 1963-1964) #2, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17; #2: Love and Marriage #1(3/52)(Superior), #8: Love and Marriage #3(7/52)(Superior), #10: Love and Marriage #4(9/52)(Superior), #11: Love and Marriage #11(11/53(Superior), #12: My Secret Marriage #4(11/53)(Superior), #15: My Secret Marriage #7(5/54)(Superior), #17: Heart Throbs #3(11/49)(Quality), Malu in the Land of Adventure (1958) #1, Slave Girl Comics #1(2/49)(Avon), Man o' Mars (1958) #1, Man o' Mars #1(4/53)(Fiction House), Marmaduke Monk (1958, 1964) #1, 14; #1: Monkeyshines Comics #13(2/47)(Ace), #14: Monkeyshines Comics #13(2/47)(Ace), Marty Mouse (1958) #1, Monkeyshines Comics #27(7/49)(Ace), Master Detective (1964) #17, Criminals on the Run v2 #2(9/48)(Novelty), Meet Merton (1959, 1963-1964) #9, 11, 18; #9: Meet Merton #1(12/53)(Toby), #11 Meet Merton #4(6/54)(Toby), #18: Meet Merton #3(4/54)(Toby), Mighty Atom (1958) #1, Mighty Atom and the Pixies #6(10/49)(ME), Muggsy Mouse (1958, 1964) #1-2, 14; #1: Muggsy Mouse #3(8-9/51)(Magazine Ent., ME hereafter), #2: Muggsy Mouse #4(1953)(ME), #14: Muggsy Mouse #3(8-9/51)(ME), Muggy-Doo, Boy Cat (1964) #12, 16; #12: Muggy-Do, Boy Cat #4(1/54)(Stanhall), #16: Muggy-Do, Boy Cat #1(7/53)(Stanhall), My Secret Marriage (1959) #9, My Secret Marriage #2(7/53)(Superior), Mystery Tales (1964) #16-18; #16: Tales of Horror #2(9/52)(Toby), #17: Eerie #14(1-2/54)(Avon), #18: Strange Terrors #4(11/52)(St. John), Pee-Wee Pixies (1958-1959, 1963) #1, 8, 10; #1: Pixies #3(Summer 1947)(ME), #8: Pixies #4(Fall 1947)(ME), #10: Pixies #4(Fall 1947)(ME), Pinky the Egghead (1958, 1964) #1-2, 14; #1: Noodnick #3(4/54)(Comic Media), #2: Noodnick #4(6/54)(Comic Media), #14: Noodnick #4(6/54)(Comic Media), Planet Comics (1958-1959) #1, 8-9; #1: Planet Comics #70(Spring 1953)(Fiction House), #8: Planet Comics #72(Fall 1953)(Fiction House) with cover to Attack on Planet Mars #1(1951)(Avon), Plastic Man (1963-1964) #11, 16, 18; #11: Plastic Man #16(3/49)(Quality), #16: Plastic Man #21(1/50)(Quality), #18: Police Comics #95(10/49)(Quality), Police Trap (1963-1964) #11, 16-18; #11: Police Trap #3(12-1/55)(Mainline), #16: Police Trap #1(8-9/54)(Mainline), #17: Justice Traps the Guilty #83(10-11/56)(Prize), #18: Inside Crime #3(7/50)(Fox), Purple Claw (1959) #8, Purple Claw #1(1/53)(Toby), Realistic Romances (1958-1959) #1, 8-9; #1: Realistic Romances #4(8/52)(Avon), #8: Realistic Romances #7(Avon) with the cover to Realistic Romances #16(6-7/54)(Avon), #9: Complete Romance #1(1949)(Avon) with the cover to Intimate Secrets of Romance #1(9/53)(Star), Red Mask (1958-1959) #1-2, 8; #1: Red Mask #52(2-3/56)(ME), #2: Red Mask #51(9-10/55)(ME), #8: Red Mask #52(2-3/56)(ME), Robin Hood (1958-1959, 1963-1964) #1-2, 9-10, 15; #1: Robin Hood #3(3/56)(ME), #2: Robin Hood #4(5/56)(ME), #9: Robin Hood #52(11/55)(ME), #10: Robin Hood #53(1/56)(ME), #15: Robin Hood #5(3/57)(ME), Romantic Love (1958-1959, 1963) #2-3, 8, 10-11; #2: Romantic Love #2(11-12/49)(Avon), #3: Romantic Love #3(1-2/50(Avon), #8: Romantic Love #4(2-3/51)(Avon) with the cover to Realistic Romances #17(8-9/54)(Avon), #10: Great Lover Romances #6(10/52)(Toby), #11: Great Lover Romances #20(1/55)(Toby), Sensational Police Cases (1959) #5, Prison Break #5(10/52)(Avon), Sharpy Fox (1958, 1964) #1-2, 14; #1: Ideal Comics #3(Summer 1945)(Timely), #2: Kiddie Kapers #1(1945)(Kiddie Kapers Company), #14: Ribtickler #7(1957)(Green), Sheena, Queen of the Jungle (1958) #9, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle #17(Fall 1952)(Fiction House) with the cover to White Princess of the Jungle #4(8/52)(Fiction House), Silver Kid Western (1958) #1-2; #1: Silver Kid Western #2(12/54)(Stanmore), #2: Silver Kid Western #1(10/54)(Stanmore), Space Comics (1959) #8, Space Comics #5(5-6/54)(Avon) with the cover to Space Comics #4(3-4/54)(Avon), Space Detective (1958-1959) #1, 8; #1: Space Detective #2(11/51)(Avon), #8: Famous Funnies #191(12/50)(Eastern Color) with the cover to Space Detective #1(7/51)(Avon), Space Mysteries (1958-1959) #1, 8-9; #1: Journey into Unknown Worlds #4(4/51)(Atlas), #9: Planet Comics #73(Winter 1953)(Fiction House) with the cover to Strange Worlds #19(2/55)(Avon), Speedy Rabbit (1958, 1964) #1, 1a, 14; #1: Peter Cottontail #1(1/54)(Key), #1a: Peter Cottontail #2(3/54)(Key), #14: Peter Cottontail #1(1/54)(Key), Spirit (1963-1964) #11-12; #11: Spirit #19(1/50)(Quality), #12: Spirit #17(9/49)(Quality), Star Feature Comics (1958) #9, Feature Comics #141(12/49)(Quality), Strange Mysteries (1959, 1963-1964) #9-12, 15-18; #9: Spook #28(4/54)(Star), #10: Strange #2(7/57)(Ajax), #11: Strange #1(3/57)(Ajax), #12: Tales of Horror #5(3/53)(Toby) with first page uncolored, #15: Dark Mysteries #23(5/55)(Master), #16: Dead Who Walk #1(1952)(Realistic), #17: Dark Mysteries #22(3/55)(Master), #18: Witchcraft #1(3-4/52)(Avon), Strange Planets (1958-1959, 1963-1964) #1, 9-12, 15-16, 18; #1: Incredible Science Fiction #30(7-8/55)(EC) with the cover to Strange Worlds #3(6/51)(Avon), #9: Strange Worlds #4(9/51)(Avon) with the cover to Flying Saucers #1(1952)(Avon), #10: Space Detective #1(7/51)(Avon) with the cover to Attack on Planet Mars #1(1951)(Avon), #11: An Earthman on Venus #1(1951)(Avon), #12: Rocket to the Moon #1(1951)(Avon), #15: Journey into Unknown Worlds #6(8/51)(Atlas), #16: Strange Worlds #6(2/51)(Avon), #18: Great Exploits #1(1957)(Farrell), Strange Worlds (1959) #5, Strange Worlds #9(11/52)(Avon), Sunny, America's Sweetheart (1959) #8, Sunny America's Sweetheart #11(12/47)(Fox) with the cover to Penny #3(1948)(Avon), Super Brat (1958-1959, 1963) #1-3, 7-8, 10; #1: Super Brat #1(1/54)(Toby), #2: Super Brat #2(3/54)(Toby), #3: Super Brat #3(5/54)(Toby), #7: Super Brat #1(1/54)(Toby), #8: Super Brat #2(3/54)(Toby), #10: Super Brat #2(5/54)(Toby), Super Rabbit (1958-1959, 1963) #1-2, 7, 10; #1: Super Rabbit #13(9/48)(Atlas), #2: Super Rabbit #10(3/48)(Atlas), #7: Super Rabbit #13(9/48)(Atlas), Super Rabbit #10: Peter Cottontail #2(3/54)(Key), Teen Romances (1963-1964) #10-11, 15-17; #10: Popular Teen-Agers #7(4/51)(Star), #11: Popular Teen-Agers #17(1953)(Star), #15: Popular Teen-Agers #21(1954)(Star), #16: Popular Teen-Agers #20(1/54)(Star) #17: Popular Teen-Agers #11(5-6/52)(Star), Teen-Age Talk (1959) #5, 8-9; #5: Oh Brother! #5(10/53)(Stanmore), #8: Hector #3(3/54)(Stanhall), #9: Punch Comics #23(1/48)(Superior), School Day Romances #1(11-12/49)(Star), Tell It to the Marines (1958-1959, 1964) #1, 9, 16; #1: Tell it to the Marines #15(5/55)(Toby), #9: Tell it to the Marines #1(3/52)(Toby) with the cover to US Marines in Action #1(8/52)(Avon), #16: Tell it to the Marines #4(9/52)(Toby), Three Rascals (1958, 1963) #1-2, 10; #1: Clubhouse Rascals #1(6/56)(ME), #2: Clubhouse Rascals #2(10/56)(ME), #10: Clubhouse Rascals #1(6/56)(ME), Tippy Terry (1958, 1964) #1, 14; #1: Little Groucho #1(2-3/55)(Reston), #14: Little Groucho #1(2-3/55)(Reston), Tom-Tom the Jungle Boy (1958-1959, 1963) #1-2, 8, 10; #1: Tick Tock Tales #22(10/47)(ME), #2: Tick Tock Tales #25(1/48)(ME), #8: Tick Tock Tales #22(10/47)(ME), #10: Tick Tock Tales #18(6/47)(ME), Top Adventure Comics (1958) #1-2; #1: High Adventure #1(10/57)(Decker), #2: Red Seal #22(12/47) with the cover to Prison Break #5(10/52)(Avon), Top Detective Comics (1959) #9, Criminals on the Run #5(2-3/49)(Novelty) with the cover to Police Line-Up #4(7/52)(Avon), Top Jungle Comics (1958) #1, White Princess of the Jungle #3(5/52)(Avon), Torchy (1964) #16, Torchy #4(5/50)(Quality), Tuffy Turtle (1958) #1, Ribtickler #7(3-4/47)(Green), U.S. Fighting Air Force (1958-1959) #1, 9; #1: U.S. Fighting Air Force #11(11/54)(Superior), #9: U.S. Fighting Air Force #1(9/52)(Superior), U.S. Fighting Men (1963-1964) #10-12, 15-18; #10: U.S. Paratroopers #4(8/52)(Avon), #11: Tell it to the Marines #14(5/55)(Toby), #12: U.S. Fighting Air Force #10(10/54)(Superior), #15: Man Comics #11(12/51)(Atlas), #16: U.S. Fighting Air Force #3(1/53)(Superior), #17: U.S. Fighting Air Force #19(12/55)(Superior), #18: U.S. Fighting Air Force #6(1/54)(Superior), U.S. Paratroopers (1958-1959) #1, 8; #1: With the U.S. Paratroopers #3(1951)(Avon) with the cover to U.S. Paratroopers #4(1951)(Avon), #8: With the U.S. Paratroopers #6(12/52)(Avon) with the cover to With the U.S. Paratroopers #4(8/52), U.S. Tank Commandos (1958-1959) #1, 8; #1: U.S. Tank Commandos #4(3/53)(Avon) with the cover to U.S. Tank Commandos #2, #8: U.S. Tank Commandos #3(11/52)(Avon), Funny Tunes #1(7/53)(Avon), Undersea Commandos (1958) #2, Fighting Undersea Commandos #2(8/52)(Avon), Wacky Duck (1958-1959, 1963) #1-2, 7, 10; #1: Wacky Duck #6(Summer 1947)(Timely), #2: Wacky Duck #5(Spring 1947)(Timely), #7: Wacky Duck #6(Summer 1947)(Timely), #10: Wacky Duck #5(Spring 1947)(Timely), Wacky Woodpecker (1958-1959, 1963) #1-2, 7, 10; #1: Two-Bit, the Wacky Woodpecker #3(5/53)(Toby), #2: Two-Bit, the Wacky Woodpecker #1(1951)(Toby), #7: Two-Bit, the Wacky Woodpecker #1(1951)(Toby), #10: Two-Bit, the Wacky Woodpecker #3(5/53)(Toby), Wambi (1958) #8, Jungle Boy #12(Summer 1951)(Fiction House) with the cover to White Princess of the Jungle #5(11/52)(Avon), Western Action (1958) #7, Cow Puncher #7(1949)(Avon), Westerner (1964) #15-17; #15: Oklahoma Kid #4(1/58)(Farrell), #16: Crack Western #65(3/50)(Quality), #17: Blazing Western #2(3/54)(Timor), Whip Wilson (1958) #1, Whip Wilson #11(9/50)(Atlas) with the cover to Kit Carson #2(8/51)(Avon), Wild Bill Hickok (1958, 1963-1964) #1, 10-12; #1: Wild Bill Hickock #2(12-1/49)(Avon) with the cover to Wild Bill Hickok #11(1951)(Avon), #10: Wild Bill Hickock #18(1954)(Avon), #11: Wild Bill Hickock #19(7-8/54)(Avon), #12: Wild Bill Hickock #8(8/51)(Avon), Wild Western Roundup (1958) #1, Wild Western Roundup #1(10/57)(Decker/Red Top), Young Hearts in Love (1964) #17-18; #17: Young Love 31(4-5/62)(Prize), #18: Young Love #33(8-9/62)(Prize), and Ziggy Pig (1958-1959) #1-2, 7-8; #1: Krazy Komic #17(Spring 1945)(Timely), #2: Silly Tunes #1(Fall 1945)(Timely), #7: Krazy Komic #17(Spring 1945)(Timely), #8: Silly Tunes #1(Fall 1945)(Timely).

For a full index of individual stories and creators in the I.W./Super Comics, go to Grand Comics Database. Issue numbers with print runs are as follows: #1 is 65 issues, #2 is 24 issues, #3 is 4 issues, #4 is two issues, #5 is three issues, #6 is one issue, #7 is eleven issues, #8 is twenty-nine issues, #9 is thirty issues, #10 is thirty-two issues, #11 is twenty-one issues, #12 is twenty issues, (#13 is zero), #14 is 10 issues, #15 is twenty issues, #16 is twenty issues, #17 is twenty issues, and #18 is twenty issues. Comics originally published with 52 pages were edited down into 36 pages, rendering such books partial reprints but not legitimate representative copies; usually a story or two would be cut. Some issues were Frankensteined from different sources and combined into one new product, such as I.W.'s Daring Adventures #16(1964) which reprints stories from four different Chesler comics. There are two Little Eva #10(1963) and two Speedy Rabbit #1(1958) issues, both with different covers and contents. A handful of issues have on the cover, in place of the standard I.W. triangle symbol, what appears to be a small shield, hand drawn with the initials I.W. inside of it; Billy and Buggy Bear #1(1958) is one example.

Waldman may have decided to stop publishing comics with issue #9 in 1959 because of a more lucrative oportunity, or on a whim. Why did Israel Waldman disappear from the comics business for four years? Was he under duress to stop publishing? I.W./Super Comics fan Sabo helped me create answers to what might have happened to cause some incredibly small print runs, and what Waldman may have been up to prior to vanishing:

Let's conjecture that in 1958 Waldman purchases 99 printing plates from Eastern Color. He takes 89 of them, divided into four stacks, to a printer. The Biggest stack of 65 is supposed to have no series repeats in it, and the stack of 24 is supposed to contain only the second copy of a series (for example, Great Western has an issue #1 and an issue #2). Waldman, meanwhile, has put four sets of plates in the wrong piles. The big stack has two different copies of Speedy Rabbit #1. The stack of 24 has three plates (Love and Marriage, Romantic Love, and Undersea Commandos) that should have been placed in the big stack. No one catches the error. Regarding the remaining six plates, Waldman placed the third plate of The Brain, Little Eva and Super Brat, and the second plate of Romantic Love in the pile designated for issue #3, and the last pile #4 has The Brain and Little Eva, the only two titles to have issues #1-4. Waldman now finds three misplaced plates (Sensational Police Cases, Strange Worlds, and Teen-Age Talk). He tells the printer he has no idea if these three titles have already been printed and decides to print them as #5. Later, he finds one more issue of Little Eva and issue #6 is born, with issue seven showing a more normal print run of eleven issues. Waldman purchases another 91 printing plates. He decides to split the group into three parts. He takes 29 plates to the printer for issue #8, followed by 30 plates for issue #9. The last 32 plates are fated to wait indefinitely as Waldman is visited by attorneys representing Timely/Atlas/Marvel and told to cease and desist. Although cynical, it's a possibility.

 

Four years later Waldman purchases a warehouse with 100 printing plates. Having overcome his fear of a copyright lawsuit, assuming he was threatened to begin with, he returns to comics publishing, beginning with the 32 plates that were left out when he stopping publishing in 1959. The printer is instructed to make some changes: #1: The I.W. triangle will be replaced by the Super Comics Seal of Quality on the cover, #2: The publisher in the indicia is changed to "published by Super Comics, Inc.," #3: the sentence, "Comics copyrighted and must not be reproduced without permission," is included in the indicia, and #4: a year of publication will be listed. Waldman hopes such tactics, combined with new covers, will keep him safe from discovery. Regardless of his attempts to distance himself, the address for Super Comics is the same as I.W. Enterprises, and the numbering continues with the release of issue #10, so Waldman wasn't actually invisible, just lurking nearby. And then there's Pee Wee Pixies #10, where the indicia correctly states "Super Comics" while the cover shows an incriminating I.W. symbol! Waldman sold advertising in the comics, and even collected money at his office for processing Honor House products (Department I.W. in the ads), a longtime mail order toy company; his other solicitors were all over the map with products offered, and such advertisers would have led back to Waldman. A few #1 and #2 issues say "reissue" on the cover; Apache #1(1958) is one example, another is Great Western #2(1958). Waldman may have intended to put "reissue" on every cover, possibly as some kind of legal firewall, but decided against it.

The 100 plates Waldman bought join 31 random books he has picked up from other sources, and they are divided into seven stacks. Waldman takes 21 plates to the printer for issue #11. He must have taken the printer a group of 30 and made two piles, of ten and twenty issues respectively, for issues #12 and #14. Waldman tells the printer not to use #13 because it's unlucky, and that the other pile of ten would be for #14, and some indicia on #12 are accidentally labeled 1963 instead of 1964 before the mistake is noticed. The final issue numbers #15-18 all have twenty issue print runs. Waldman bought modern material that became Young Hearts in Love #18(1964), and oddities such as the unpublished Charles Atlas comic that became Daring Adventures #18(1964). I don't believe everything Waldman had on hand saw print, and we'll probably never know the extent of his myriad acquisitions or what became of them. The Skywald horror line later reprints material from the I.W./Super Comics inventory that was not reprinted before, so evidently there were additional books on hand. Fly by night publishers Green(1957), Literary Entertainment(1958), Norlen(1959) and Cornell[n.d.], (all of them list the same address in the indicia) released some of the same titles as I.W. did in the late 1950s, such as Cosmo Cat. There are too many examples of the same reprints across too many titles for it to be a coincidence. Waldman must have bought the "fly by night" inventory.

"[I.W./Super Comics is] ...a comic book company whose stand against the mediocre was, for its day, heroic." (The Comics Journal #57, 1980, p. 119.) The author of the article, T. Casey Brennan, who was a writer for Skywald, glows with enthusiasm for I.W./Super Comics, at one point giving credit to I.W. for choosing the best comics to reprint. The comics and single stories were actually random material Waldman purchased in bulk and bits. Waldman purchased comic book material that ranged from the early 1940s all the way up to Young Love #33(8-9/62)(Prize), reprinted by Super Comics as Young Hearts in Love #18(1964), so his acquisitions continued right up to the point Super Comics hit the scene. Waldman's books were the only post-code source of crime, horror and other forbidden genres from 1958-1964, and the first exposure to Golden Age comics for many young collectors during a time when B&W photocopy reprints cost several dollars each. Pat S. Calhoun says "[Waldman is the] "...secret king of pirate reprints, [so] one feels almost guilty celebrating I.W. Comics; after all their publication protocol was not exactly legal." (Comic Book Marketplace #8, 1991, p. 6.) Printing rights had no influence over Waldman, so I.W./Super Comics exist as guilty pleasures. "There are questions about whether he had any actual rights to reprint them, but, legal or not, those books came out." (Eerie Publications, 2010, p. 74.)

 

One early fanzine article, "The Lowdown on I.W.," written by Vern Debes, discusses logistics related to I.W. distribution and pricing. "In New York, there is a small publishing company that publishes reprints of old pre-ban comics. This company has a unique way of distributing their wares, without the comics code seal. I.W. comics are distributing through cigar and candy distributors, who also handle old comics. They sell the comics to small markets and drug stores for 3 to 7 1/2 cents per issue. The distributors also bundle them up in boxes of 100 with other back issue comics (mainly Charlton comics) and sell them to back issue shops and second hand stores. Although marked 10 cents per issue these comics sell for 6 to 8 cents per issue..." (Character Get Together, 1964, p. 9.) So we witness part of the illicit secondary market of whole copy returns along with the oft repeated story of I.W. distribution through the eyes of a young comics fan. Debes had firsthand knowledge of the business or knew someone who did. His description of both I.W. distribution and the bundles of Charlton and other "back issue comics" returning to market are consistent with other reports, and the writer didn't realize what he was viewing. Ironically, Debes focuses entirely on I.W. at the time Super Comics were for sale!Waldman's National Distributor was Harry Williams during the Super Comics era, and Williams had already seen a courtroom prior to slinging Waldman's comics. The following lawsuits provide some insight:

 

Case #293 F2d 510 Independent News Co., Inc., National Periodical Publications, Inc., Superman, Inc., v. Harry Williams, United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit. Argued March 9, 1961. Decided June 6, 1961. DC sues Distributor Harry Williams over sale of coverless comics. Williams is vindicated after much ado about the responsibilities of being a second-hand periodical dealer; he purchased cover-removed comics from waste paper dealers. DC argued that having such returns on the market was an injury to them. The court found that the critical facts involved the distribution system used in marketing the comics and their theoretical destruction after going to market and being pulled. The legal bottom line is that DC had no continuing right or control over such items once sold to waste paper dealers, and that such items as coverless magazines exchange hands in the normal course of business, and that it would create an unreasonable hardship on the used book dealer to attempt to sort and separate such material.

 

Case #404 F2d 758 Independent News Co., Inc., National Periodical Publications, Inc., Superman, Inc., v. Harry Williams, United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit. Argued October 25, 1968. Decided December 4, 1968. National tries again. Williams wins again with an upheld decision.

 

Case #485 F2d 1099 (3rd Cir. 1973) Harry Williams v Independent News Co., Inc., and National Periodical Publications, Inc. Argued June 18, 1973. Decided September 11, 1973. As Amended October 23, 1973. Williams bought complete issue returns of comics books that were not purchased by the public and were removed because of shelf life and sent back through the chain of distribution: from the retailer to the wholesaler to the distributor to the publisher without any changes to the contents or covers removed. "Harry Williams' sole source of off-sale full-copy return Atlas comic books was one Israel Waldman, a middleman, who from 1959-1963 purchased off-sale full-copy return Atlas comic books from Magazine [Enterprises] and resold some of them to Williams." Waldman was supposed to have bought the comics from ME for use as "premiums" but he had in fact sold them outright. "When ME learned that Waldman was not using the comics as premiums, but rather was reselling these issues for distribution in competition with its current cover comic books, ME terminated its sale of Atlas comics to Waldman. As a result, Waldman could no longer supply Williams." Williams position is that he was put out of business illegally by Independent News Co., and that by attempting to control "...the destiny and conditions for the resale of these comics." The president of Independent insisted that they never told ME that they had to terminate Waldman, but rather that they had to "...police [the books] better, that if they wanted to continue their sales, that they had to see to it that they went through the proper channels that Mr. Waldman promised." The court found that there was no evidence that Independent and ME had anything more than an exclusive distribution arrangement, and that there was no evidence to find a conspiracy to violate the anti-trust laws.

"Waldman was ...restricted to the type of customers to whom he could resell these comics, [and] ...Waldman's violations of this restriction led to both warnings of termination and actual termination of sales from ME to [Waldman]," referred to in the court documents as "the recalcitrant purchaser." Joe Simon recalls that "...bundles of returns... intended to be used for paper recycling purposes only... would fall into the hands of outlaw entrepreneurs and [be] sold illicitly," (The Comic Book Makers, 1990, p. 163).

 

Martin Goodman, publisher at Marvel, was slammed by the FTC in 1942 for deceptively reprinting stories as new fiction, substituting new titles for the original titles, changing the names of characters, stripping copyrights, etc. Goodman seemed to view his punishment as an inconvenience. Goodman was forced to behave more honestly which seriously impeded his cash flow. (The Secret History of Marvel Comics, 2013, p. 28.) Goodman and Waldman were longtime associates, and neither of them cared about copyrights. Waldman was doing the same thing that Alan Class did in the U.K., reprinting whatever comic was on the plates he purchased. Both Waldman and Class had no dates on the covers or in the indicia of their books to determine shelf life, which gave them a sales advantage, and both men started in 1958.

Skywald magazines came into existence in 1970 as an amalgamation of the originator's names: the name Skywald was born of Sol Brodsky and Israel Waldman. Between stints with the comics Waldman sold children's books and coloring books, including such titles as Little Eva, Marty Mouse, and Wild Bill Hickok. He knew Brodsky as a production manager with comic experience going back to the Golden Age. "With the advent of Nightmare and Psycho, Brodsky and Waldman created the first large format b&w magazines to seriously challenge Warren's horror mag... status," (Ghastly Terror, 1999, pp. 129-130.)

Al Hewetson, an editor and writer for Skywald Publications until its demise in 1975, claims he left Jim Warren's employment for the creative freedom Waldman embodied. Waldman ran Skywald with his son Herschel Waldman and Sol Brodsky, the latter having worked with him on I.W./Super Comics. "He once told me his philosophy of management," Hewetson quotes Waldman: "Surround yourself with extremely competent people, and leave them alone to do their job." Waldman was a smart businessman and apparently also a nice person; Pablo Marcos recounts their first meeting and Waldman's kindness as the reason he kept working with Skywald when other publishers were paying him more money. (Skywald Horror-Mood, pp. 68, 182.) "Jim Warren loathed Skywald more than any of his other competitors and denounced them in print in the 1972 New York Comic Convention booklet..." because the Skywald Magazines were closest in appearance to the Warren magazines. (The Warren Companion, 2001, pp. 277-278.) Al Hewetson once asked Herschel Waldman for his opinion on whether Skywald books were of true value, if people would be reading the stories in twenty-five years. "And he took a long time to think about it, and he very simply and sadly said: "No." Much like the staff of the Marvel and EC Bullpens had nicknames for each other, so did Skywald have their own set of "office" names. Herschel Waldman's nickname was ‘Homicidal'; Hewetson nicknamed himself ‘Archaic.' "The only [person] associated with Skywald Horror-Mood who did not get a horror nickname was Israel Waldman, which I didn't think would be appropriate..." (Al Hewetson, Skywald Horror-Mood, 2004, p.16.)

 

Al Hewetson remembers Waldman: "Israel Waldman was over six feet tall and distinguished in appearance, sartorial, an immigrant from Portugal after the second world war, and was very much a respectful gentleman of the old school, quite conservative in how he conducted himself..." "You might think that because he had a background in republishing and discount-packaging fairly sordid reprints in the '50s and '60s, that he'd have a similar attitude to packaging the Skywald magazines, but that was not true, not at all." "He wanted only the highest quality stories and artwork and packaging. He never suggested that I cut corners and save a few bucks. He always insisted that everybody do their best work. And we did." "Mr. Waldman, who was usually around unless he was on a business trip, had many other successful publishing interests..." "Once he came to me rather excitedly and said, ‘I like this cover.' (It was the "All-Ghoul issue" with a man turning into a werewolf in several stages as the cover artwork.)(Psycho #15(11/73). Waldman said, "Make all the covers like this: Monsters, monsters, and more monsters." He became passionate. "Al, put monster stories in every issue. Come up with new monster characters. The reader's love monsters, so give them monsters!" (Comic Book Artist #5, 2004, pp. 54-55.)

 

"May 28, 1972: Found some black-and-white stats of very old Waldman comics, circa early 1950s, in the artwork vaults. Asked Herschel [Waldman] if we had printed copies around and he said he didn't recall ever seeing them. Ever? I said: "Didn't your father ever bring comics home for you to read?" And he replied: "Oh, no, never. I never read comics as a kid. I don't remember wanting to read a comic. I don't think I was ever aware of what my father did for a living until I was 15 or 16. He was in business, I knew he was a publisher, but he never brought his work home or discussed it." Amazed, I asked him to recount for me the history of Waldman comics, since I didn't know myself, and he replied vaguely he'd never been inclined to ask his father and didn't really know. I asked Israel himself and he said, very simply, that he had published color comics for a while but had stopped "around the time of the Wertham trouble," but not because of Wertham directly -- because the distributor was having trouble getting comics on newsstands," (Al Hewetson, Comics Journal #127, February 1989.)

Waldman answered Hewetson artfully, because he doesn't start publishing I.W.s until close to five years after Seduction of the Innocent was released, and as for Harry Williams, the unidentified distributor, Waldman purposefully did not sell his comics on the newsstands, so there was never a distribution problem. The only other thing Waldman could have been referring to is how from 1959-1963 he purchased and resold full copy return Atlas/Marvel comic books to Williams, which ended badly as seen in the court documents. This is where it gets murky: Why would Waldman feel a need to invent the story of his publishing past for Hewetson? My guess is, it was probably Waldman's pat answer, employed when necessary. And then there's Waldman's son Herschel who dodges Hewetson's questions with odd claims of ignorance. Herschel says he didn't recall ever seeing I.W./Super comics, yet early on in their business, "[Skywald] used a handful of Waldman's reprints for some of the interiors..." before going to all original art, (Eerie Publications, 2010, p. 74.) How is it that Skywald utilized some Waldman reprints yet Business Manager Herschel claims he has never seen any of them? The implausible narratives and evasiveness of father and son seem suspicious. Herschel acts as if he barely knew his father and comes off like a Lovecraft character when questioned. I believe Waldman didn't want people looking into his business so he withheld information or stretched the truth. I think it was easier and more profitable from 1959-1963 for Waldman to wholesale Williams the unsold full copy returns of Martin Goodman's Atlas/Marvels than to print his own comics, and Goodman had to know he was doing it; Waldman was buying returns directly from Atlas/Marvel. Waldman didn't disappear for four years from the comics industry; he changed hats.

Of Skywald's comic book line, Butch Cassidy #2-3(8, 10/71), The Heap #1(9/71), Jungle Adventures #1-3(3-6/71), Sundance Kid #1-3(6-9/71), Tender Love Stories #1, 3-4(2-7/71) and Wild Western Action #2(5/71) all contain I.W./Super Comics reprints. There are two examples of Timely books: Butch Cassidy #2(8/71) contains Whip Wilson #10(6/50), and Sundance Kid #3(9/71) contains Black Rider #15(7/51). Two Timely stories were reprinted in Skywald's Wild Western Action #2(5/71) from Tex Taylor #7(1948). Although it has been suggested that an old Timely horror story or two ended up in a Skywald comic, that is not the case. After reprinting books (including Timely and EC) in the 1950s and 1960s, Waldman is ultimately emboldened to put out copyrighted material again, this time on the newsstand. He competes directly with Martin Goodman and includes Goodman's copyrighted characters inside as filler. Waldman and Sol Brodsky had snatched a fair amount of talent from Goodman to work at Skywald, and Goodman noticed. "I do seem to recall hearing, during this period, that Waldman came up to the Magazine Management offices for a meeting with Goodman, and the person who told me that said that when Waldman left he looked very much crestfallen," (Alter Ego, July 2015, p. 5.) Perhaps Waldman was more or less told by an angry Goodman to shut down his color line or else. Waldman was upset by this outcome and forced to leave the comic book business, although Skywald survived and profited. It seems he finally stepped out of the shadows only to be swatted back into them.

 

So who was Israel Waldman? Depends on who you ask. "[Israel Waldman] ...was a sweet, sweet man. Mild-tempered, never got upset or irritated... he was a really nice guy." Esposito admired Waldman, adding, "Israel Waldman drove a Lincoln, and when I saw it, I decided that I would buy one." (Mike Esposito, Alter Ego #54, 2005, pp. 17-18.) But not everyone agrees. "I know of Izzy Waldman because he was a con man. I got a call... from an editor that he had, asking if I'd do something for him. I turned it down. I didn't want to have anything to do with him." (Tony Tallarico, Alter Ego #109, 2012, p. 43.) My opinion after researching Waldman is that most people who knew him liked him. The guy made his living in part by reprinting comic books and not everyone approved of his style. Today we have all 332 of the I.W./Super Comics to enjoy due to his efforts, and there is something about them, a classic innocence that appeals to me.

I.W./Super Comics are vastly undervalued and unrecognized. Some Overstreet Price Guide listings land under $20 in 9.2 NM-. The rarest I.W./Super Comics issues are Brain #4, Full of Fun #8, Kiddie Kapers 10, 15, Love and Marriage #2, 12, Romantic Love #10, Super Brat #8, Teen Romances #10-11, and U.S. Fighting Men #11; such books are truly elusive, and like many rare books, may often be found only in permanent collections or at ransom prices. I.W./Super Comics are the most undervalued set of books in their age range in the history of comics. The following "money books" can be had between $25 and $100 in VG/F or so, and all have something going for them in terms of contents or general awesomeness: Daring Adventures #9-10, 12, 16, 18, Eerie #1, 8-9, Eerie Tales #10-11,15, Great Action Comics #8-9, Human Fly #1, 10, Indian Braves #1, Indians of the Wild West #9, Jungle Comics #9, Space Comics #1, Space Detective #1, 8, Space Mysteries #1, 9, Strange Planets #1, 9, and Undersea Commandos #2. I firmly believe that the I.W./Super Comics are sleeping giants, especially high grade keys with killer covers like Eerie #1(1958), which arguably has the best redrawn cover. I.W./Super Comics are almost sixty years old. It's time to recognize the unique coolness of such amazing material. I believe the marketplace will embrace I.W./Super Comics once more collectors become aware of the Silver Age gems awaiting them.

So there you have it: the odd story of absconded comic book stories and the clever and unapologetic Mr. Waldman, a savvy businessman if nothing else. Except you're not off the hook yet. I've got an Earth 2 frisbee to toss your way, some real Twilight Zone stuff.

Behold "The thing that should not exist!" The apparent I.W./Super Comic, Brother Power the Geek #1 (1998) does exist. I found this B&W book at a flea market two years before beginning this project, and as a longtime fan, I was excited to purchase such an enigma for a mere 50 cents! It appears to be an ashcan at 5 1/2" by 8 1/4". The front cover has the "Super Comics Seal Of Quality" over what should be the "DC Superman National Comics," the cover month October is deleted, and "A Top Quality Comic" appears over what should be the 12 cent cover price. The blue cover background has been replaced with dot matrix. The inside front cover has a Public Service ad, "Smoking is for Squares," replacing what should be a "Sales Leadership Club" ad. The indicia, utterly altered, states, "Brother Power the Geek, Vol.2, No.1, Mar. 1998. Published by Super Comics, West 47 St., New York 36, N.Y. Myron Fass, Editor. Israel Waldman, Editorial Director. No Subscriptions. SECOND CLASS POSTAGE ENTRY PENDING AT SPARTA, ILL. Copyright Joe Simon." The address is Waldman's old address. The remainder of the indicia is standard DC fare. The comic is complete except for the original ads; the page bottoms that indicate upcoming ads with statements at page bottoms such as "continued on second page following," have been deleted and drawn over. One interior ad for Revell models is replaced with a Wayne Boring "How Superman has tricked Mr. Mxyzptlk" house ad. All of the ad replacements are circa 1950s to early 1960s. Only a 1/2 page "Meet Joe Simon" feature at the end of the comic remains unscathed. Perhaps Joe Simon was selected because of his 1990 book The Comic Book Makers and the Waldman section therein. The inside back cover has a Public Service ad, "Countdown on Excellence," in place of the original Honor House toy ad. The back cover replaces a Hot Wheels ad with a vintage Charles Atlas ad in Spanish! Who would go to so much trouble to create such an oddity; who was the intended audience? Some mysteries remain unsolved.

Myron Fass was in the comic industry since the 1950s but went on to be a publisher, probably best known for Eerie Publications. He exploited anything he thought he could make a dime on: celebrities, sex, violence, you name it, Myron was game. Israel Waldman often played by his own rules, realizing profits in unconventional ways. Whomever is responsible for the elaborate Brother Power the Geek #1 joke-zine-thing obviously saw something in common between the two men, possibly their reputations and maybe their thirst for cash. If I had to pick one of them to chat with, I'd rather have a beer with Mr. Waldman.

 

For more information about I.W./Super Comics variants and many other variants, refer to Jon's article, "A History of Publisher Experimentation and Variant Comic Books," in OPG #40, pages 1010-1033.

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Wow, thanks for that. Everything you would ever want to know about IW Reprints. I had no idea so many were published...

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Posted (edited)

Mail call today. eBay purchase. I was the only bidder.  (shrug)  Seller graded as NM. Looks pretty spot on to me. 

Looks like a Kintsler cover although un- signed. Don’t recall ever seeing it. Could he have had some un produced work he sold off?  Interior looks like a Farrell or Superior romance book. Pretty nice GGA contents. I found the last picture kind of funny. I appears that this guy spent too much time with his “books”. Familiar problem? 

I will enjoy researching this one.

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Edited by Robot Man

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IW2Pack-001front.jpg

IW2Pack-001zback.jpg

IW2Pack-002front.jpg

IW2Pack-002zback.jpg

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nope I had already had the comics in question and I seem to remember the price on them being more than I wanted to pay, I just saved the pictures because at the time I had no idea they were ever sold in packs like that. they are from years ago. (apr 2016)

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8 hours ago, fett said:

nope I had already had the comics in question and I seem to remember the price on them being more than I wanted to pay, I just saved the pictures because at the time I had no idea they were ever sold in packs like that. they are from years ago. (apr 2016)

Me neither. Look great don't they. I've had a look around ebay / the web and can't see another bagged example like them. IW's are a bit like some of the Charlton's I'm collecting - so charming and (to me) interesting but with seemingly precious few appreciators.

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On 8/8/2019 at 8:29 AM, Get Marwood & I said:

Did you buy them?

They are cool.

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I remember this topic coming up a few years ago here, and one of the board members in the conversation (Catrick?) said he had a 3 pack of them somewhere but did not immediately have access to them. I never heard anything else about it. I've seen pictures of them with shoe company wrappers around them too. 

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4 minutes ago, fett said:

I remember this topic coming up a few years ago here, and one of the board members in the conversation (Catrick?) said he had a 3 pack of them somewhere but did not immediately have access to them. I never heard anything else about it. I've seen pictures of them with shoe company wrappers around them too. 

Shall we try and raise him to see? @catrick339 :wishluck:

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I  had  two separate  two-packs, one the same as  the  Billy and Buggy Bear  shown  above,   the  other  MAY  have  been  the same  as  The Super  Rabbit.

I  also  had  a  FOUR-pack,   with  the  contents  listed   on  the   plastic bag.  Bought  them  in  Pittsburgh  a  good  many  years  ago. 
Unfortunately,  all  three  bags  had  been  opened,   and the  comics read.  Although they were still  nice  shape  they  weren't   perfect,   
and  with  the bags  opened  and  no  listing  on  the two-packs,  people were leery  of  buying  them,  and  I carried them  for  a  long  time.

Alas,    this  was  two  computers  ago,  and a  hard  drive  crash  lost me all of my  scans  from  that  time,.  so  I  can't show  anyone  pix of
the  four-pack. 

These have  GOT  to be  the  earliest,  or  durned  close  to  the  earliest,  attempts  to   repackage  old  comics and resell them bagged up like that. 

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thanks for the update :)and the info 

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Posted (edited)

Oh,  and this  thread  is also the only other  time  I've  seen any of these,.   I  expect that  sealed  packs  are  scarce as hens'  teeth. 

 

Edited by catrick339

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