Popular Comics was first published by Dell Publishing Co., in February 1936. Although an anthology of previously published newspaper strips, it could be argued this was an historic event.
Dell Publishing were successful publishers of pulp magazines and had previously released one of the first comic books in 1929, with 'The Funnies'. This closed a year later in 1930. When Dell launched Popular Comics six years later, it was the beginning of the company's refocus on the comic book market and one of the first recognizable comics.
The reprints of newspaper comic strips published were mainly supplied by The Chicago Tribune Syndicate. Soon after launch Dick Tracy made his first comic book appearance and would be a regular feature for quite a few issues. Other characters who appeared in its pages over the years are: Don Winslow U.S.N, Terry and the Pirates, The Gumps, Little Orphan Annie and Tarzan.
After a time the comic branched out into using original characters and stories mixed in with the reprints. Original characters included: Voice the Invisible Detective, Professor Supermind and Son, Martin the Marvel Man and Dr. Hormone. Towards the end of its Popular Comics dropped the use of original material.
The title had a long run lasting 145 issues the last dated September 1948.
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