Key Publications

Key Publications  was an American comic-book company founded by Stanley P. Morse that published under the imprints  Aragon Magazines  ,  Gillmor Magazines  ,  Medal Comics  ,  Publications Media  ,  S. Publications  ,  Stanmor Publications  , and  Timor Publications  .

History

Stanley P. Morse’s  [1]  Key Publications, based variously at 1775 Broadway ,  [2]  280 Madison Avenue ,  [3]  175 Fifth Avenue ,  [4]  and 261 Fifth Avenue  [5]  in New York City , NY , published comic books from 1951 to 1956.  [6]  The first, a horror anthology titled  Mister Mystery  , under the Imprint Media Publications , ran 19 issues cover-dated September 1951 to October 1954, and featured much early work by the art teamRoss Andru and Mike Esposito .  [7]

Wrote historian Lawrence Watt-Evans,

His titles have been changed, and would have some cover art taken from a different issue as deadlines were missed. If he came up to a story short, he would simply reprint something. If he could not get an artist for a particular slot, he’d have his editor cut up and rearrange the art from an old story to make a new one.  [1]

During the 1950s boom in horror comics , “Morse” produced “one of the most vile horror comics”, wrote one historian,  [8]  and “some of the grossest and most vile” of the time, competed another.  [1]  Interviewed for a 2008 book on 1950s horror comics, Morse said, “I did not know what the hell I published.” I never knew I never read the things I never cared. ”  [8]

Artist Steve Ditko , the future co-creator of Spider-Man , at Key in early 1953, Bruce Hamilton’s illustrating writer’s sci-fi story “Stretching Things” for Key’s Stanmor Publications, which sold the story to Ajax / Farrell , where it was finally published in  Fantastic Fears  # 5 (Feb. 1954).  [9]  [10]  Ditko’s first published work was his second professional story, the six-page “Paper Romance” in  Daring Love  # 1 (Oct. 1953), published by Key’s Gillmor Magazines.  [11]

Titles by imprint

Source:  [6]

Aragon

  • Battle Fire  # 1-4, # 6 (April 1955 – May 1956, no issue # 5)
  • Mister Mystery  (see Media, below)
  • Mutiny  # 1-3 (Oct. 1954 – Feb. 1955)
  • Navy Task Force  # 1-6, # 8 (Dec. 1954 – April 1956, no issue # 7)
  • Weird Tales of the Future  (see Key, below)

Gillmor

  • Action Adventure Comics  # 2-4 (June-Oct. 1955)
  • Climax  # 1-2 (July-Sept. 1955)
  • Daring Love  # 1 (Oct. 1953) / ‘”Radiant Love  # 2-6 (Dec. 1953 – Aug. 1954)
  • Real Adventure Comics  # 1 (April 1955)
  • Super Fun  # 1 (Jan. 1956)
  • Weird Mysteries  # 1-12 (Oct. 1952 – Sept. 1954)
  • Western Rough Riders  # 1-4 (Nov. 1954 – May 1955)

Key Publications / Medal Comics

  • Flying Aces  # 1-5 (July 1955 – May 1956; Medal Comics Imprint, # 3-5)
  • Hector Comics  # 1-3 (Nov. 1953 – March 1954)
  • Navy Patrol  # 1-4 (May-Nov 1955, Medal Comics Imprint, # 4)
  • Peter Cottontail  # 1-2 (Jan.-March 1954)
  • Peter Cottontail Three Dimensional Comics  # 1 (Feb. 1954)
  • Prize Mystery  # 1-3 (May-Sept, 1955)
  • Silver Kid Western  # 1-5 (Oct. 1954 – July 1955)
  • Tender Romance  # 1-2 (Dec. 1953 – Feb. 1954) /  Ideal Romance  # 3-8 (April 1954 – Feb. 1955) /  Diary Confessions  # 9-12, # 14 (May 1955 – April 1956; no issue # 13 Medal Comics Imprint, # 14)
  • Weird Chills  # 1-3 (July-Nov, 1954)
  • Weird Tales of the Future  # 1-8 (March 1952 – July 1953, SPM # 1-2, 4 at least, Aragon # 6 at least)

Media

  • Mister Mystery  # 1-19 (Sept. 1951 – Oct. 1954); Aragon imprint # 7-19

SP M

  • Junior Hopp Comics  # 1-3 (Jan.-July 1952)
  • Weird Tales of the Future  (see Key, above)

Stanmor

  • Battle Attack  # 1-8 (Oct. 1954 – Dec. 1955)
  • Battle Cry  # 1-20 (May 1952 – Sept. 1955)
  • Battle Squadron  # 1-5 (April 1955 – Dec. 1955)
  • Pete the Panic  # 1 (Nov. 1955)
  • Warpath  # 1-3 (Nov. 1954 – April 1955)

Timor

  • Algie  # 1-3 (Dec. 1953 – April 1954)
  • Animal Adventures  # 1-3 (Dec. 1953 – April 1954)
  • Western Blazing  # 1-5 (Jan.-Sept. 1954)
  • Crime Detector  # 1-5 (Jan.-July 1954)

References

  1. ^ Jump up to: c   Watt-Evans, Lawrence (Summer 1997). “The Other Guys” .  The Scream Factory  (19). Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Reprinted as  “The Other Guys: A Gargoyle’s Eye-View of the Non-EC Horror Comics of the 1950s”.  Alter Ego  (97): 22. October 2010.
  2. Jump up^  Mister Mystery  # 1at theGrand Comics Database
  3. Jump up^  Crime Detector  # 5at the Grand Comics Database
  4. Jump up^  Ideal Romance  # 5at the Grand Comics Database
  5. Jump up^  Diary Confessions  # 10at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ Jump up to: b  Key Publications at the Grand Comics Database
  7. Jump up^  Mystery Mister  , Key Publications, 1951 Seriesat the Grand Comics Database
  8. ^ Jump up to: b  Hajdu, David .  The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America  ( Farrar, Straus and Giroux , 2008), p. 190. ISBN  978-0-374-18767-5
  9. Jump up^  Bell, Blake.  Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko (Fantagraphics Books,Seattle, Washington, 2008), p. 20.ISBN 978-1-56097-921-0
  10. Jump up^  Fantastic Fears  # 5at the Grand Comics Database
  11. Jump up^  Daring Love  # 1at the Grand Comics Database

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