In the fall of 1948 the first ongoing horror comic began. It was called Adventures into the Unknown and was published by American Comics Group. Among the early contributors to this magazine was Al Feldstein who worked in issue #3. He would later become the editor for EC Comics and would write most of their horror stories. This comic would go 174 issues ending in 1967. Interesting note about this book, it contained a letters page where editor Richard Hughes would be very honest and not pull punches with the answers he gave his readers. He would apologize to readers if they wrote in saying a story was bad, agreeing that it wasn’t up to ACG standards. Sometimes he would even go as far as to place blame on a particular freelancer. He would give fans insight to what the CCA was and how it restricted what he could do in the title. Richard would also publish phony crank letters to get the readers sympathy and also promoted stories he thought were above average. He talked about ACG’s policies (Hughes personal tastes) against doing superheroes or using the comic to tell one longer story instead of 3 or 4 short ones. He would eventually cave in just before ACG went under.
Adventures into the Unknown #1 is in the public domain and you can download and read it by clicking here. (43.8 MB - Scanned Paper)
In March of 1949, Superboy #1 came out. The character first appeared in More Fun Comics #101 of January 1945. In 1946 a lawsuit involving the creators of Superman and DC Comics ensued and the character would continue to appear in New Fun and Adventure Comics. In 1948, the lawsuit had been settled and DC became the owners of both characters. This would be the first new and successful superhero series since World War 2 ended. This title would go 258 issues ending in 1979. The character would get his own solo series on 2 other occasions and often would appear in 'kid superhero' teams, this including the Legion of Superheroes, Teen Titans and Young Justice.
In September of 1949, St. Johns Publishing bought the rights to Famous Studio’s cartoon characters to make comic books out of them. They took a nameless child ghost character that appeared in three cartoons and gave him his own series. It was called Casper the Friendly Ghost. The ghost was created by Joe Oriolo and Seymour Reit in 1945. Joe Oriolo is said to have sold his share to Paramount for $175. This comic ran 5 issues under St. Johns before Harvey Comics would buy the publishing rights to Casper and other Paramount characters. They continued the series and it would run until 1991, going 260 issues although the title did stop for a while in 1982 when Harvey Comics shut down. Like many popular Harvey characters Casper had many spin off titles. He reappears occasionally under new management and is still licensed out for toys, cartoons and movies.
DC Comics published The Adventures of Bob Hope #1 in February 1950. This title had great success due to both Bob Hope's wide variety of rolls and the leeway given to the creators. The title went 18 years even going 109 issues. DC went back to the well again finding other big screen stars to create comic titles out of. They had success again with The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This title came out in July of 1952 and went 40 issues before it was renamed Adventures of Jerry Lewis to reflect the duo's split. The title would go 124 issues, ending in 1971. Other celebrity inspired comics were to follow. Much of these comics were drawn by Bob Oksner, who worked in and out of comic strips while working on comic books.
Did you know? - Bob Oksner also drew the I Love Lucy Comic Strip under the name Bob Lawrence.