ByJacobus Dixon, writer at
all you need to know is that I love comics and pop culture and can't get enough of them
Jacobus Dixon

Why would anyone want to read something with such an uninspiring cover? Well, because it's the page of a comic and people go ape over them. That's probably the answer you would have gotten if you asked publisher Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, owner of National Allied Publications. And he's right, people had been devouring comic strips since they started showing up in the late 1890s. Enjoying them I mean, not actually eating them. But here's the thing, they were only available in strip format, and those strips were owned and distributed by syndicates, who would peddle them to newspaper companies to appear in. Precisely because of their ability to put asses in the seats, comic strips were eagerly accepted, and then given their own fat section with color every Sunday. It was a huge treat, but then again so's a large soda. It's nice, but what if you could get more? Wheeler-Nicholson came up with the idea of devoting an entire magazine with nothing but comics in them, fatter than even the Sunday comics section (and back in the 1930s that section was pretty generous). These comics had never been strips before, so it was a new experience all around. The issue flew off the stands. If there's one thing people like, it's more of a good thing (it's how the Big Gulp got popular).


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