A couple panels of the Tailspin Tommy comic strip reprint from Famous Funnies #1, June 1934

1 – Tailspin Tommy!

A couple panels of the Tailspin Tommy comic strip reprint from Famous Funnies #1, June 1934

Tailspin Tommy, June 1934

Comic books were started by a company called Eastern Color Printing Company whose publisher, Max Gaines (father of Mad Magazine founder William Gaines!), decided to collect reprints of comic strips from the newspapers (often called “funnies”) and put them into book form.  The first such comic book sold was called Famous Funnies #1, in June 1934.  Each page featured one page from a newspaper.

Tailspin Tommy was a popular strip for its time, resulting in a 1934 Universal film serial by the same name.  This makes Tailspin Tommy one of the earliest film adaptations of a comic book character!