12 – Fifty Cent Ray Gun

Here is an full-page color ad to buy the Buck Roger’s Disintegrator Raygun for four bits from Famous Funnies #12 by Eastern Color.  Looks like someone on ebay has one of these babies and current highest bid is $77, while a like-new full replica kit is sitting there for a cool $295.

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11 – Buck Rogers

On to May 1935.  One of the more popular strips reprinted in Famous Funnies comic books was Buck Rogers, a space opera character that lived in many forms of media (books, movie serials, television show).  Buck Rogers showed up in the first few years of the Famous Funnies comic book.

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9 – Whistling Dixie

Dixie Dugan was a long-running comic strip following a showgirl-turned-career girl and recollected in Eastern Color’s “Famous Funnies”.  Wikipedia tells me she was modeled after Louise Brooks, who had a bob haircut.

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8 – Bobby ‘n’ Binks be trippin’

New Fun Comics #2 continued to publish new comics including several adventure stories.  The Magic Crystal of History appears to be the first instance of time travel in a comic book story.  I hope they made it out of Ancient Egypt ok!

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7 – Birth of an Industry

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 […]

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6 – Dan Dunn

Famous Funnies #5 (December 1934) marks the first time that consecutive comic strips were reprinted together in a comic book for better reading.  This is a panel from a 4-page section of square-jawed Detective “Dan Dunn“, Secret Operative 48, one of many hat-wearing detectives of the era (the most famous being Dick Tracy).

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5 – Before Lois there was Jane

Before Lois Lane, there was Jane Arden, the original “spunky girl reporter”.  This is a reprint from Famous Funnies #5, November 1934 by Eastern Color (still the only comic book game in town at this point).

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4 – Dotted Lines

A single panel comic reprinted in Famous Funnies #4, October 1934 by Clare Victor Dwiggins.  Every comic seems to be the same thing:  Dotted lines depicting Bill’s adventures in the town that day, often getting distracted or into mischief.  Clearly an inspiration for the dotted lines in Family Circus.

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3 – Mutt and Jeff

On to September 1934, and Eastern Color is still the only comic book game in town.  Mutt and Jeff were another popular comic strip back in the day that started in 1907.  One-reel silent shorts were produced in 1911-1913.  I wonder if this means that Mutt and Jeff were technically the very first film adaptation […]

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