the issue


The Issue

THE ISSUE: Mad Anthony Wayne and Batman

THE ISSUE: Mad Anthony Wayne and Batman

According to some notes in a hand-bound volume of miscellaneous Frank Tousey issues of Pluck and Luck written by Ralph Morton, this Mad Anthony Wayne story originally appeared in another publication in some form in 1881. If you happen to be a Batman fan, you might know why Pluck & Luck #256 interests me. General […]

THE ISSUE: The Socialist Fan of 1914

THE ISSUE: The Socialist Fan of 1914

The cover of New York Dime Library #360 (September 16, 1885, Beadle & Adams, Publishers),  features an image that is startlingly violent in the context of the newsstands of its time. Jumping Jerry the Gamecock appears to be participating in what can only be described as some sort of human equivalent of cockfighting.  The interior […]

THE ISSUE: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Takes on Periodicals vs Books

THE ISSUE: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Takes on Periodicals vs Books

Nick Carter Stories #1 September 14, 1912 from Street & Smith is the first issue of a 160 issue series (1912-1915), which was a reboot of Nick Carter Weekly (1896-1912) — itself an 819 issue series.  The character had previously been featured on the black and white-covered Nick Carter Library (282 issues 1891-1896) after having […]

THE ISSUE: Grizzly Adams and the California Bear Flag

THE ISSUE: Grizzly Adams and the California Bear Flag

The New York Weekly Volume 15 #33 from publisher Street & Smith on July 12, 1860, is a relatively early appearance in print of the legendary James C. Adams — better known today as Grizzly Adams — who joined forces with P.T. Barnum for a period around that time, having previously established himself in California.  […]

The First Manned Space Mission on America's Newsstands

The First Manned Space Mission on America's Newsstands

Lakeside Library Vol 3 #66, published by Donnelley, Loyd & Co in 1880, appears to be the first periodical on the national American newsstand to feature a manned space mission — illustrated and in detail.  The quarto-sized illustrated story paper serialized Jules Verne's Round the Moon, the 1870 sequel to the 1865 touchstone From the […]

THE ISSUE: The First Crossover Reboot Event on American Newsstands

THE ISSUE: The First Crossover Reboot Event on American Newsstands

Happy Days #1, Oct 20, 1894 is the first issue of a 1563 issue weekly series running from 1894-1924.  Happy Days is an illustrated fiction story paper rather than a comic book, but it's still something we're very familiar with in the modern day.  It's a publisher's attempt to satisfy retailer demand and the changing […]

THE ISSUE: Enter Sandman

THE ISSUE: Enter Sandman

At Her Mercy! Or; The Dearborn Avenue Mystery in Saturday Night Vol. 19 #31, April 8, 1882, is the first chapter of a well-crafted detective mystery. It happens to include a rather interesting science fiction element that looks like a 19th Century version of The Sandman due to the use of gas and a gas-mask […]

Did L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz borrow Toto from Another Story?

Did L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz Borrow Toto from Another Story?

Frank Leslie's Boys and Girls Weekly #795, Jan 14, 1882, features Toto on the back cover, nearly 18 years before L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  This story cuts across all sorts of history that interests me, and I have to say that when I started this matter shortly after I acquired […]

THE ISSUE: Democracy Dies in Darkness, 1786

THE ISSUE: Democracy Dies in Darkness, 1786

In 1786, due to the after-effects of the Revolutionary War, a struggling economy, and a rudimentary financial system in the young new country,  many farmers and other citizens of Massachusetts were near financial ruin. Taxes were levied by the state of Massachusetts, which simply could not be paid, and authorities were making foreclosures and arrests […]

THE ISSUE: Legacy of the Lost World

THE ISSUE: The Lost World and the Hunt for a Game of Thrones Beast

Taken as a whole, Leslie's happens to be my favorite periodical in American history. Over the length of its run from its beginnings as Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper to the magazine-formatted and name-shortened Leslies, the weekly chronicled some defining moments in the history of the United States. Leslies had reporters in the field during the […]

THE ISSUE: The Tangled Political Spider Web of Charles G. Bush

THE ISSUE: The Tangled Political Spider Web of Charles G. Bush

This issue of the New York Herald, September 9, 1894, Sunday Color Section features a political cartoon by Charles G. Bush from the earliest era of America's color newspaper sections.  The color Inter Ocean Illustrated Supplement had launched in 1892. In the subsequent two years, the techniques and artistry of the form in color on […]

Boys of New York #749, December 21, 1889, published by Frank Tousey.

THE ISSUE Extra: Millions Made in Story Papers, 1889

A recent installment of The Issue featured The Daily Graphic No. 283 January 31, 1874, and referenced an 1889 article that discussed story paper circulation in that era.  A "story paper" is simply an illustrated weekly periodical that features fiction, in what we think of as a newspaper format.  The serials featured in story papers […]

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THE ISSUE: The Daily Graphic and the Right to One's Face

This issue of The Daily Graphic No. 283 January 31, 1874 is doubly interesting to me because the cover page is a cartoon about a story paper — The New York Ledger. The Issue is a regular column about vintage comics and other vintage periodicals from throughout world history.  The idea behind The Issue is […]

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THE ISSUE: The Brave and Bold Before The Brave and the Bold

Most people reading this post will know The Brave and the Bold as a longtime DC Comics brand best remembered today for its association with Batman. That brand began with the series of that name which began in 1955, largely written and edited by Robert Kanigher to start with, and probably named by Kanigher as […]

THE ISSUE: Fredric Wertham's Hero and the Third Republic

THE ISSUE: Fredric Wertham's Hero and the Third Republic

Welcome back to a post-revolutionary edition of The Issue.  At issue today is Le Grelot No. 208 from April 4, 1875, with cover art by Alfred Le Petit.  This one caught my eye for further study due to its usage of the now-familiar "flip cover" technique, complete with flipped logos and cover dress.   What could […]

THE ISSUE: Robin and Black Canary Leaping Through Leap Day

THE ISSUE: Robin and Black Canary Leaping Through Leap Day

Welcome to the once-every-four-years Leap Day edition of The Issue.  At issue today is Leslie's Magazine, February 29, 1912 edition. One of the most important non-fiction titles in American history, the series got its start as Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper in 1855. "Frank Leslie" was actually an  English engraver named Henry Carter who had gotten […]

The Issue: Frank Reade and The Ghost of Churchill's Mom

THE ISSUE: Frank Reade and The Ghost of Churchill's Mom

This installment of The Issue features my favorite science fiction character in American history: Frank Reade. The character debuted in the 1876 story paper (think newspaper format, but containing fiction instead of news) Boys of New York #28, and went onto feature stories in that title, Wide Awake Library, then getting his own series with […]

The Issue: Street & Smith's 1875 Avengers of the Wasteland

THE ISSUE: Street & Smith's 1875 Avengers of the Wasteland

Welcome to another installment of The Issue.  This time around  we're going to take a quick look at  New York Weekly Vol. 30 No. 10 from longtime publisher of American periodical fiction, Street & Smith. When I saw this promo image from Marvel's Avengers of the Wastelands, The Two Avengers was one of the first […]

THE ISSUE: A Vintage Daily Graphic in 1879, "The Smoldering Fire"

Welcome to a regular column about vintage comics and other vintage periodicals from throughout world history that I'm calling The Issue.  The idea behind The Issue is simple:  for each post, I'll choose something from my collection and talk about what's going on in it, and/or discuss the publishers and creators behind it.  And essentially […]