National Comics Publications

National Comics Publications, Inc.[1] was the comic book company that would become DC Comics.


The corporation was originally two companies: National Allied Publications, Inc. (also known as National Allied Newspaper Syndicate, Inc.)[2] which was founded by Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson in autumn 1934[3][4][5][6] to publish the first American comic book with all-original material rather than comic strip reprints, and Detective Comics, Inc.,[4] formed in 1937 with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, listed as owners. Wheeler-Nicholson remained for a year before being forced out in 1938, and Detective Comics, Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied Publications.[7]

National Allied and Detective Comics, Inc. merged on September 30, 1946[8] to become National Comics Publications, Inc., which also absorbed an affiliated concern, Max Gaines' and Liebowitz's All-American Publications.[9] National Comics was renamed National Periodical Publications, Inc. in 1961.[10][11]

Despite the official names "National Comics" and "National Periodical Publications", the company began branding itself as "Superman-DC" as early as 1940, and it became known colloquially as DC Comics for years before the official adoption of that name in 1977.[12]

See also


  1. E. Nelson Bridwell (ed.), Batman: From the 30s to the 70s, Crown Publishers, 1972, p. 4.
  2. Booker, M. Keith (2014). Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press. p. 7. ISBN 0313397503.
  3. Benton, Mike (1989). The Comic Book in America: An Illustrated History. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-0-87833-659-3.
  4. 1 2 Goulart, Ron (1986). Ron Goulart's Great History of Comics Books. Contemporary Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-8092-5045-4.
  5. Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). "Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson DC Founded" Fifty Who Made DC Great: 5 (1985), DC Comics
  6. The company debuted in 1935 with the tabloid-sized New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 with a cover date of February 1935; New Fun #1 (Feb. 1935) at the Grand Comics Database. The entry notes that while the logo appears to be simply Fun, the indicia reads, "New FUN is published monthly at 49 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y., by National Allied Publications, Inc.; Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, President ... Inquiries concerning advertising should be addressed to the Advertising Manager, New FUN,...."
  7. Thomas, Roy (2000). All-Star Companion: An Historical and Speculative Overview of the Justice Society of America. Raleigh, N.C.: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 1893905055. By 1938 Major had faded into history...
  8. In a 1947–1948 lawsuit field by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster against National, the presiding judge noted in a findings of facts on April 12, 1948:
    "DETECTIVE COMICS, INC. was a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York, and was one of the constituent corporations consolidated on September 30, 1946 into defendant NATIONAL COMICS PUBLICATIONS, INC."
  9. Jones, Gerard (2004). Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book. New York: Basic Books. p. 223. ISBN 0465036562.
  10. "'Superman Faces New Hurdles: Publishers of Comic Books Showing Decline". The New York Times. September 23, 1962.
  11. Maggie Thompson, Michael Dean, Brent Frankenhoff, Joyce Greenholdt, John Jackson Miller (editors), Comics Buyer's Guide 1996 Annual, Krause Publications, 1995, p. 81: "Beginning as National Allied Publications in 1935 [sic] and becoming National Allied Newspaper Syndicate the next year, it changed to National Comic [sic] Publications in 1946 and National Periodical Publications in 1961..."
  12. "DC Comics, Inc.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". Retrieved 2016-08-06.

Further reading

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