Thursday, April 1, 2010

My 50th Post!

50 posts! Something worth celebrating for me, considering how little posting I've done these last several months. I really wanted to something special for today, but I got involved in scanning some older comics earlier this week which chewed-up a bunch of my free time. One of the books I scanned is the subject of today's post.

Back in December, I won a comic lot that was listed simply as "Old Comic lot Mad house Archie". The main book I wanted from the lot was the issue of Atomic Mouse, but that's another story. Buried in the picture, which you can just about make out, is a something I didn't think actually existed: The original version of "Blue Circle Comics # 6"!

Fans of Golden Age comic books may be aware of something called "remaindered comics", which are unsold comic book interiors wrapped-up in covers that usually had nothing to do with the contents. "Blue Circle Comics # 6" was a remaindered comic, published by Green Publishing in the 1950s and using the cover of issue 6, with interior content comprised of books like Martin Kane, Private Eye or Colossal Features Magazine. For the most part, it was believed that a version of issue 6 that was published by Rural Home and contained the characters Blue Circle and The Steel Fist simply didn't exist.

I didn't receive the lot of books until January, but what a surprise I got when the books finally did arrive. I hadn't noticed in the photo that I was getting "BCC 6" because it's buried in the picture.

As you can see, it's a pretty lousy assortment of books, with Atomic Mouse & The Fly (in FAIR condition) being the titles I was most interested in. Apparently, the seller thought a coverless issue of "Wilbur" was more important than this rare issue of "Blue Circle", which have a cover-date of "April" but lacks a Copyright notice on the inside front cover.

I talked to a local comic shop owner about this, and I was surprised that he was able to get me in-touch with a former employee of Rural Home who lives in Pennsylvania now.
Rueben Edwin Patzer, now 92 years old, worked for Rural Home in the accounting department and after jogging his memory a little, he was able to tell me more about issue 6. He told me over the phone that by the time issue six was published, Rural Home had decided to cancel its comic line due to poor sales. While he couldn't remember actual numbers, Mr Patzer said that issue 6's sales were so bad that nearly 95% of the print run was returned by the newstand distributors. Looking to get something out the books, Rural Home sold everything that was left-over to Green Publishing, which is apparently how the covers were able to be used on so many remainder comics in the '50s. Green Publishing was also sold the original artwork to the issue, which was used as filler for issues of Liberty Comics & Roly-Poly Comics in 1946.

The contents of "Blue Circle Comics # 6" is pretty interesting. Blue Circle once again starts-off the issue, with Gail Porter following. Toreador is the third story, followed by The Prankster, who had appeared in the first three issues of Red Circle Comics. A text story precedes another chapter of Maureen Marine, which is followed by Slaphappy Grandpappy. The Steel Fist finishes-off the issue.

Rather than post every single page and ad from this issue (52 pages total), I thought I'ld make life easier on myself by just posting a link to the zip file I made: If you don't know anything about "", the deal is rather simple: People upload files to the internet which can then be downloaded by anybody. Downloading doesn't require an account, and it's free! Zip files are compatable with most comic readers, like CDisplay, or you can unzip the file and view the pages seperately ... whatever floats your boat.

And there you go, my 50th Post which I hope was worth your time to read.

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