Friday Comic Book Day.
This week I have started selling my Atlas war books on Ebay. The first series to go is War Comics, which will include many of the stories mentioned here when I did the Hank Chapman series this summer. The first lot will be up by Sunday and will include two of the three Russ Heath stories with consecutive job numbers I showed a fe weeks ago. It also has one issue that has two of the nineteen job numvers that were issues after #9999, when Stan Lee decided to change to a letter plus number system and found out he had ordered but not numbered nineteen stories (which then became #10001 to 10019). Three of those are in War Comics #10 two illustrated stories and atext story).
From 1945, all stories produced for Timely/Atlas were identified by a job number. They were given out when the script was bought and probaby used as an accounting tool - to track the progress of a story, assign it to a book and see who would get paid for it. Late in 1951, the four number system ran out and Martin Goodman and/or his editor Stan Lee decided to start again with a one letter-four number system, with the first story to be assigned a number that way numbered A-1, the next one A-2, etc. But as with any system, there were a few holes to plug. Some stories that had already been given to artists but had vailed to get a job number came in late and for some reason it was decided not to give them a new numer, but to make an exception and give them a five figure number. Or at least, that is one way to explain why there were nineteen stories numbered 10001 to 10019. Another could be that the idea to start a new system was invented only after juggling the zeroes was found to difficult. The 'nineteen' that got away' were not in any particular genre and fom a nice cross section of all of Timey's output. The stories appeared in books in early 1952. This is one of those books, which doesn't only have job number #1004 but also the first 'new' one, A-1. Most of these stories have been 'found'. The only ones missing are 10001 and 10002.