Thursday, October 16, 2014

Witches Of The West!





If you don't look closely you'll miss the true title of these two comics - Witches Western Tales. The title was a transitional one for just these two issues which feature reprints of the classic Simon and Kirby western Boys' Ranch.


The two hybrid issues appeared between the last comic titled Witches Tales and the first one title Western Tales.


One thing about comics, it's always a hoot unraveling the complex network of series titles and numbering. The modern tendency to reboot every few years creates a rat's nest of debut issues for the modern reader, but truth told it's never been a reasonable process.

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4 comments:

  1. The whole process was to keep second-class (periodical) mailing permits, which could only apply to a single title.
    If you had a totally-new title, you had to pay for a new permit.
    The key was to keep elements of the previous title (even if the genre of the editorial material changed). thus, as you pointed out, Witches Tales became Witches Western Tales, then Western Tales.
    The classic example was an EC Comics title...
    Moon Girl and the Prince (superheroine), which became Moon Girl (superheroine), then Moon GIrl Fights Crime (crime), then A Moon, A Girl...Romance (romance), then Weird Fantasy (sci-fi), at which point, despite keeping the issue numbering, EC had to pay for a new permit!

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    1. I don't think I've ever had it explained quite that way. So it was a slow process to word by word change a title through several months. That makes sense. Being a Charlton fan, I am used to more abrupt title changes.

      Thanks.

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  2. And in order for comics to be classified as a periodical, and therefore be entitled to the second class rates, I believe they were required to have the text pages that nobody read in early comics, which evolved into letters pages. It's hard to remember that once mail subscriptions were a big enough part of comics marketing for this all to be significant.

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    1. All those lovely text pieces. Some of them actually were pretty good, a lot of them were pretty lame.

      But without the modern letters page, comics feel skimpy to me now.

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