Monday, June 27, 2011

Number 972

Tense Suspense

The Grand Comics Database tells us that there were 10 issues of five titles published under the Fago Publications imprint in 1958-59. A couple of the titles were begun as St. John Comics, but in 1958 St. John shut down its sagging comic book line. I have no information on the details of Fago Publications. Alfred "Al" Fago was an artist, editor and packager of comics for Charlton in the 1950s. I assume Fago Publications was his company.

Tense Suspense was a title that lasted two issues, both illustrated exclusively by Dick Ayers, and written by Paul S. Newman (or maybe not...GCD gives us a ? after his name, which means they aren't completely sure). The stories are as good as any other so-called mystery comics of the era, and Ayers' art is good, but it was probably distribution that did Fago Publications in. At the time many publishers were flailing about or went out of business after American News Company went out of business. Maybe it was a lack of advertising. Tense Suspense #2 is strictly comics and no ads. But, it could also have to do with reduced sales of comic books. Many comic book readers blame the Comics Code, but an argument can be made for television being the culprit that reduced the number of readers over all, not just of comic books.


Mitchell said...

It was interesting to see the little blurb at the top of the first story explaining the comics code seal. I don't recall ever having seen that kinda gave me a chuckle. I also never heard of these comics before so it all added up to a terrific Monday morning treat... THANKS PAPPY!

Pappy said...

Mitchell, there is some irony that Al Fago was not only creator of the Comics Code-friendly Atomic Mouse (even before the Code was established), but editor of some of the goriest pre-Code comics, one of them being The Thing.