Friday, May 27, 2016
Number 1898: Sheena makes her debut to American readers
In an event best appreciated by Golden Age comic fans, scans of Jumbo Comics #'s 1-8 have been released by the Digital Comics Museum. In an introduction by Edward ‘Josh’ Petrie which accompanies the individual issues, the story (as much as is understood after 75 years) is told of Eisner and Iger's fledgling business, producing comics, and finding their first markets in Australia and the UK.
As the article says, Eisner was able to buy the printing plates for the issues published, and because of the large size, it made it necessary for Jumbo Comics to be larger than usual newsstand comic books. After those issues were printed, they went to a more regular comic book size. They also printed in one color, black, on a couple of different color papers. It was a bold experiment and luckily it worked. Jumbo was published until Fiction House went out of business in 1953.
Note: The first Sheena is printed on a bright orange paper, and it is hard on my old eyeballs. So I used my software and blew out the color, leaving just the black line on white background. If you want to see what it looks like, here is an example of page 31, the first Sheena page, as it appears in the comic book:
The issues of Jumbo Comics are very entertaining, and you can read them by going to the Digital Comics Museum’s Jumbo Comics pages. The art for Sheena is done by comics journeyman Mort Meskin.