7 – Birth of an Industry

The cover of New Fun #1, published in January 1935, the first comic book by the company that would eventually be known as DC Comics.
New Fun #1, 1935

Before 1935, comic books were an unprofitable experiment by one company: Eastern Color.  Starting in January 1935, this experiment becomes an industry as a new company enters the arena with New Fun Comics #1 by National Allied Publications.

New Fun Comics was black and white and contained things like funny animal strips and western stories but is historically important for three reasons:

  • It was the first comic book to feature new content, written specifically for comic books (not reprinted from newspapers).
  • It was the first comic book to feature an editorial page, giving its readers a sense of the magazine’s identity and community.
  • The National Allied Publications company later became known as DC Comics.
First ad in a comic book for Buck Rogers toys sold by Daisy Air Rifles, January 1935.

1935 was also significant because it was the first month when comic books contained advertising.  Both Famous Funnies and New Fun both had ads for things like Daisy Air Rifles.