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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member
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    Jun 2014
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    Default What are Whitman comics?

    I've noticed that some Gold Key comics have the Whitman logo instead of Gold Key. Anyone know what his is about?

  2. #2

    Default

    Certain copies of Gold Key comics were bundled 3 to a bag and sold at convenience stores, bookstores, and other venues apart from the newsstand. These non-newsstand comics were branded with the Whitman logo. DC Comics got into a distribution deal with them as well and there are copies of late 1970s DCs with the Whitman logo replacing the DC logo.

    Here's more detail from wikipedia:

    The distribution of comic books on spinners and racks at drug stores and supermarkets and similar stores continued under the Gold Key label. The same comics were simultaneously distributed, usually three comics in plastic bags, to toy and department stores, newsstands at airports, bus/train stations, "as well as other outlets that weren't conducive to conventional comic racks", under the Whitman logo, which it also used for products like coloring books. Western, at one point, also distributed bagged comics from its rival DC Comics under the Whitman logo. Former DC Comics Executive Paul Levitz stated that the "Western program was enormous — even well into the 1970s they were taking very large numbers of DC titles for distribution (I recall 50,000+ copies offhand)." The continued decline in sales forced Western to cease newsstand distribution in 1981, and thereafter it released all its comics solely in bags as "Whitman Comics" and the "Gold Key" logo was discontinued. Eventually arrangements were made to distribute these releases to the nascent national network of comic book stores. Western also prepared a prospectus in the early 1980s for a deluxe Carl Barks reprint project aimed at the collector market that was never published. All these efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful and by 1984 Western was out of the comic book business.
    The other name mentioned above, Western -- short for Western Printing and Lithograph, was the actual name of the company that produced Gold Key and Whitman Comics. Other imprints that Western published were children book brands "Little Golden Books" and "Big Little Books."

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