Sunday, November 01, 2009
The Last Whiz
Whiz Comics, which had been a top seller for Fawcett Comics from its first appearance in 1940, went out with a whimper, not a bang--not even a Whizbang*--in 1953. After more than a decade, a protracted lawsuit from DC Comics claiming Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman, and low sales in the comic book industry in general, Fawcett got out of the comic book business. Whiz Comics #155, with its lead Captain Marvel story drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger, was the last issue.
I thought back to how many comics I followed that suddenly just didn't appear anymore. There was no way a kid had knowledge of what was canceled, so I would check the stands, hoping there would be another issue. Back in 1953 there were many Captain Marvel/Marvel Family/Fawcett Comics fans who wondered what happened. They had to wait until DC Comics licensed the Fawcett characters and started republishing them in 1974. Unlike the quiet, unannounced way the Marvel Family of comics went out, they were revived with a lot of advance publicity from DC. Shazam! #1 was a collector event, ensuring a sell out.
*Captain Billy's Whizbang, a jokebook started after World War I by William "Captain Billy" Fawcett, was the foundation of the Fawcett Publishing Company.