Magazine Enterprises was an American comic book company lasting from 1943 to 1958, which published primarily Western, humor, crime, adventure, and children's comics, with virtually no superheroes. It was founded by Vin Sullivan, an editor at Columbia Comics and before that the editor at National Allied Publications (the future DC Comics) who had bought Superman from creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and edited the character's earliest stories.
Magazine Enterprises' notable characters include the jungle goddess Cave Girl, drawn by Bob Powell, and Ghost Rider, a horror fiction-themed Western avenger created by writer Ray Krank and artist Dick Ayers in 1949; after the trademark lapsed, Ayers and others adapted it as Marvel Comics' near-identical, horror-free Western character Ghost Rider in 1967.
In late 1947, Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster collaborated once again with editor Vin Sullivan, who had discovered their superhero character in the National Allied Publications' submissions file. The duo had decamped to Magazine Enterprises after leaving National Allied (by then called National Comics) and suing to regain the rights to Superman and their later creation, Superboy. Siegel and Shuster brought most of their studio's artists with them, except for 1950s Superman penciler Wayne Boring, and created the new character Funnyman, a slapstick-comedian hero. Both as a comic book and as a comic strip, however, the character failed to find an audience.
Among the company's publications were licensed film and TV comics featuring comedian Jimmy Durante; suave actor Dick Powell; and the CBS television series The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Richard Greene. Additionally, Little Miss Sunbeam Comics starred the blond, pig-tailed mascot of Sunbeam Bread. The company's two superhero characters were the Avenger, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Dick Ayers in The Avenger #1 (March 1955), with Bob Powell drawing the character's three subsequent issues and all four covers; and the aptly named Strong Man, an unmasked, super-strong hero in a jungle-print circus strongman outfit. The Avenger was one of the very few traditional, costumed superheroes created during the period before superheroes' revival in what historians and fans call the Silver Age of Comics, beginning 1956.
Since the copyright to Magazine Enterprises' comics do not appear to have been renewed, they fell into the public domain in accordance with copyright laws at the time. Beginning in the 1980s, AC Comics has issued reprint titles of Magazine Enterprises material, along with those of other defunct publishers of that era. As well, AC revived the Avenger as a guest star in FemForce #19 (1989; no cover date), then creating a new series. Ghost Rider reprints appeared in 1999 with the character renamed the Haunted Horseman.
Titles by genre
- Clubhouse Rascals
- Ding Dong
- The Pixies
- Koko and Kola
- Little Miss Sunbeam Comics
- Mighty Atom (child superhero, not the anime character
- Mighty Atom and the Pixies
- Muggsy Mouse (1951 and 1954 series)
- Tom-Tom and Itchi the Monk
- Tom-Tom, The Jungle Boy
- Tick Tock Tales"
- Vacation Comics
- Dick Powell a.k.a. Star Parade Presents Dick Powell
- I'm A Cop
- Kerry Drake Detective Cases
- The Killers
- Mysteries of Scotland Yard
- Undercover Girl
- A-1 Comics
- Rotating anthology sometimes used as an altnernate title/issue number; for example, Hot Dog #3 was also A-1 Comics #24, and Ghost Rider #1-14 was also A-1 Comics #27, 29, 31, 34, 37, 44, 51, 57, 69, 71, 75, 80, 84 & 112.
- The Adventures of Robin Hood (1957; see also Historical Adventure, above)
- Keen Teens
- Movie Thrillers
See also: Dick Powell (Crime), Jimmy Durante Comics (Humor), Tim Holt (Western)
- The American Air Forces
- United States Marines
- Badmen of the West!
- Best of the West
- Black Phantom
- Bobby Benson's B-Bar-B Riders
- Cowboys 'N' Injuns
- Cowboys and Indians
- Durango Kid
- Ghost Rider
- Great Western
- Guns of Fact and Fiction
- Red Hawk
- Red Mask
- Straight Arrow
- Straight Arrow's Fury
- Tim Holt
- Trail Colt
- White Indian
- ↑ Superman Artists: "Who Drew Superman in the 1950s?"
- ↑ "First copyright renewals for periodicals", compiled by John Mark Ockerbloom, based on listings in the Catalog of Copyright Entries published by the U.S. Copyright Office
- ↑ AC Comics: Golden Age Reprints Info
- The Grand Comics Database
- International Hero: Magazine Enterprises' Ghost Rider
- Don Markstein's Toonopedia: The Avenger
- GCD Vol. 3, #8 (Sept. 2004): Nolan's Niche (column): "Super Hero Limbo", by Michelle Nolan
- Oddball Comics, by Scott Shaw: Tom-Tom the Jungle Boy #1
- Oddball Comics, by Scott Shaw: Hot Dog #3
- Golden Age Comics (UK) Downloads of public-domain comics, as CBR/CBZ files