Monday, 1 April 2013

Gold Key 1964

As a follow up the the posts about Western Publishing here's another rarely seen piece.
Again thanks to Dana Gabbard:
"Here is a rare 1964 article by a fan visiting the New York offices of Western Publishing and
interacting with the comics editor of the time,  Bill Harris. It appeared in Rocket's Blast Comic Collector #30. I learned of this when Bernie Bubnis in a letter in one of the last issues of Comics Buyer's Guide mentioned his article. This is another new item never before posted on the internet. My thanks to comics fandom historian Bill Schelly for scanning it so interested fans can see this rarity."


Unknown said...

This begs the question, what happened to Western Pubs between the early '60s and early '70s? In this article, we see an editor who is cognizant of genres, characters, history, and fandom. This attitude saturates many of the Gold Key books of that era. Though the results were mixed, you have to commend Western for trying to reach a cross-generational market with adaptations of "The Governor and JJ" and the Movie Comics adaptation of "Yellow Submarine." By the mid-'70s, this cognizance and ambition had all but evaporated, or at least it wasn't showing through in the newsstand product.

Unknown said...

This begs the question, what happened to the editorial offices at Western Pubs between the early '60s and the early '70s? In this article, we see an editor who is both cognizant and savvy in regard to properties and characters as well as fandom. This attitude was reflected in much of what was printed and reprinted in the Gold Key line of the '60s. Sometimes the results were mixed, but at least the attempts to adapt "The Governor and J.J." and "Yellow Submarine" acknowledged a market of diverse ages and appetites. Contrast that with the increasingly feeble titles of the mid-'70s onward, and it's obvious there had been some serious erosion in the editorial mindset.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Wouldn't surprise me if there was.

Dana Gabbard said...

Mike Barrier informs me Harris is still alive, with letters appearing in Robin Snyder's History of Comicvs fanzine