Friday, March 18, 2016

The City Of Family Love

Friday Comic Book Day.

All comic book fans know that the Spirit started as a weekly insert into papers, which was sold produced with Will Eisner along with Mr. Mystic and Lady Luck (and other features when those were replaced). Real comic book fans know that the so called Spirit section wasn't the only such a section in the US. It was tried by different packages as well, most notable the Chicago Sunday Comic Book which also had Bert Whitman's Mr. Ex, Ray Bailey's Vesta Wet and Frank Engli's Rocky amongst others. I have shown several samples of those, if you follow the links. But only a few people will know that the Philadelphia Record, the paper that ran the Spirit Section (as well as the Spirit daily comic strip) also had a second book insert, double the size of the Spirit section even (unless you count the years where they were the only paper in the US to carry the Spirit at double size). It was a funny section called Funny Book and it is interesting to comic and newspaper strip collectors because it was the place where The Family Circle artist Bil Keane did his first features almost ten years before he launched Channel Chuckles and fifteen years before his annoyingly sweet yet popular family showed it's face. There were other artists involved, which I will go into when I show the other two of my three copies. Both Silly Philly and Mirth Quakes ended up in the proper newspaper comic section in the early fifties.

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