Monday, June 27, 2011
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.