The debut of Eastern Color Printing’s Heroic Comics features Submariner creator Bill Everett’s Hydroman, and Tarpé Mills Purple Zombie.
The debut issue of Heroic Comics is significant for several reasons, but first and foremost, it features the first appearance of Hydroman, created by comic book legend and Sub-Mariner creator Bill Everett. Heroic Comics #1 also features the debut of the Purple Zombie, a wonderfully weird creation of Black Fury creator Tarpe Mills. The series was published by the important Golden Age comic book publisher and printer Eastern Color Printing Company. A title too often overlooked that features early covers and stories by the legendary Bill Everett, there’s a Heroic Comics #1 (Eastern Color, 1940) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in the 2023 January 15-16 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122303 at Heritage Auctions.
Heroic Comics #1 (Eastern Color, 1940) featuring Hydroman by Bill Everett.
Of course, Eastern Color Printing Co. helped launch the Golden Age of American comic books with Funnies on Parade in 1933. Eastern Color and Dell also collaborated on Famous Funnies A Carnival of Comics in 1933 and then formed a joint venture for Famous Funnies Series 1 in 1934. Eastern then launched the long-running Famous Funnies on its own that same year when Dell declined to continue. Heroic Comics was then the second ongoing series that they launched after Famous Funnies.
Comic books had become an industry since the launch of Famous Funnies. The debut of Superman in Action Comics #1 in 1938 changed the face of the young industry. Eastern Color remained cautious about superheroes and staying true to its comic strip reprint roots, headlined the popular long-running comic strip Reg’lar Fellers in the series by calling the title Reg’lar Fellers Heroic Comics. As it turns out, Eastern Color decided that superheroes were not its publishing strength, as the title was rebooted to cover feature True Features of War Heroes beginning with issue #23. Through another reboot to retitle the series New Heroic Comics featuring a mix of adventure stories, the series ultimately lasted for 97 issues 1940-1955. The company ceased publishing its own comics in 1955.
Heroic Comics features incredibly creative early work by Bill Everett and Tarpé Mills, and the title was part of the early Golden Age superhero wave. A series that’s worthy of the attention of Golden Age superhero collectors, there’s a Heroic Comics #1 (Eastern Color, 1940) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in the 2023 January 15-16 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122303 at Heritage Auctions. If you’ve never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.
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Posted in: Comics, Heritage Sponsored, Vintage Paper | Tagged: bill everett, golden age
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