|Country:||USA / English|
- 1 History
- 1.1 Regular series
- 1.2 King Paks
- 1.3 Giveaways
- 2 Other
- 3 Sources
The publishing company King Comics was made by KFS in 1966 as an effort to publish comic books of its own.
The comic book line showcased King's best-known characters in six titles.
The first issues of the bi-monthly "Beetle Bailey", "Blondie" and "Popeye" series were released in August, 1967. In the first issue of "Blondie" are prices quoted for subscription, included Canadian and foreign subscriptions.
The "Beetle Bailey" series continued the numbering from the publisher "Gold Key".
The "Blondie" series continued the numbering from the publisher "Harvey Comics".
The "Popeye" series continued the numbering from the publisher "Gold Key".
The first issues of the bi-monthly "Flash Gordon", "Mandrake the Magician" and "The Phantom" series were released in September, 1967.
The three first issues of "Flash Gordon" has a short Mandrake story as back-up titles.
Mandrake the Magician
The Mandrake stories were all new non newspaper stories.
"The Phantom" series continued the numbering from the publisher "Gold Key". Issues 21-23 has a short Mandrake storie as back-up titles.
"On the Drawing Board" vol. 2 issue 12 (April 1967) included a letter from Bill Harris describing their plans for their "King Comics" series:
(extracts...) The traditional channels of didtribution just don't not work anymore where comic books are concerned. Many "newsstands" have gone out of business... some just gone out of the comics business. And of those still carrying comics, probably none have all the titles available. ... they divorced themselves from the magazine wholesalers and their outlets in favor of toy wholesalers, jobbers and their outlets. By April 1. "Blondie", "Beetle Bailey" and "Popeye" will go on sale again, under a new marketing setup. The next month "The Phantom" "Mandrake" and "Flash Gordon" will be back, following a bi-monthly schedule. The numbering will continue from the newsstand issues. "King Comics" will be available only in packages of three, one with the humor titles and one with the adventure books.
In an effort to increase sales of its "King Comics" King released their first bi-monthly "King Paks" with their humorous titles: "Beetle Bailey", "Blondie" and "Popeye". After the third bi-monthly "King Paks" both series became monthly from July 1967. Boxes of cardboard with 24 "King Paks" were sold to sold to distributors, where the boxes were easily made into a display box. To increase sales time, King eliminated the cover date. Still, due to the subscribers the covers had a price tag. Interesting, there are two price tag variants on the covers from August (July ?) and on: 12¢ on the US comics and 10d on the UK comics.
The "Beetle Bailey" series continued the numbering (skipping #66 !) with the publisher "Charlton".
The "Blondie" series continued the numbering with the publisher "Charlton".
The "Popeye" series continued the numbering with the publisher "Charlton".
King had plans for releasing three other titles: "The Girl Phantom", "Buck Rogers" and "X-9", but abandoned them.
The "Flash Gordon" series continued the numbering with the publisher "Charlton".
Mandrake the Magician and Jungle Jim
The "Jungle Jim" issue reprinted issue 5 from the publisher "Dell Comics".
The "Jungle Jim" series continued with the publisher "Charlton" using Dell's numbering.
"The Phantom" series continued the numbering (skipping #29) with the publisher "Charlton".
As mentioned, there are cover variants with the price tag for the UK market.
In older issues of Overstreet’s annual "Comic Book Price Guide" the two missing "King Comics" issues ("The Phantom" #29 and "Beetle Bailey" #66) were sold only overseas. But they were never published by King.
There are at least 3 "King Comics" labeled as Complimentary (copy), and released as military giveaways in 1968. The ads and some of the content have been replaced with the content of the military relevance. The "Flash Gordon" issue missing the Mandrake story.
According to GCD, a reprint of "Flash Gordon" #1 with same cover as above was a "Cerebal Palsy Association" Giveaway.
Supplementary Reading Program
The comic reading libraries (1973 and 1977) was part of a supplementary reading program in US, with vocabulary words defined to teach reading skills for the program. The student would read the comic and then work to answer the questions and solve problems related to the stories.
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To give a response to letters "King Comics" made several Response cards with printed text on the back:
- "It isn't possibile to answer every letter personally. But we appreciate your ideas and suggestions. Look for answer to questions like yours in the letter pages of future issues.
The Editors KING COMICS