This month marks the tenth anniversary of this blog, so I have decided to give you folks who have followed the blog for many years (and even you who have just discovered it) something special. On each of the five Sundays of July, 2016, I will give you some things I like. I hope you’ll like them, too! For starters, we have a comic I bought in late 1961, The Brave and the Bold #40, featuring a story of Cave Carson and one of the adventures inside Earth. It was an important time, because the cost of DC Comics went up to 12¢. The publisher felt so strongly about justifying the reason for the price hike the inside cover of DC’s comics of that time were devoted to explaining it to the readers.
Two cents doesn’t sound like much...and it really wasn’t in 1961, either, but it broke the long time tradition of regular issues of comic books costing 10¢. Kids would buy comics with less story pages, but they didn’t want to pay more than a dime. Dell had experimented with the 15¢ price in various markets, but comic book buyers were resistant to a price hike. I remember a comic with a letter from a reader that said, “If you raise your price to 15¢ I will never buy another comic book.” That sort of threat might have figured into DC’s decision to take a precious page of prime advertising space to explain their economic decision to raise the price two measly cents.
I didn’t mind the two penny price rise, but I was choosy about what I bought in those days, and I am sure I bought this issue of The Brave and the Bold because of Joe Kubert’s artwork. It was written by France Herron, and seemed the typical DC hero vs dinosaurs that were becoming ho-hum to me. What set it apart was the art. In looking at the history of Cave Carson I see he never got his own comic book, despite tryouts in a handful of issues of The Brave and the Bold and Showcase. It might have been that there was no regular artist. The first adventure was drawn by Bruno Premiani, next issue by Bernard Baily, then Kubert...and after that a few by Lee Elias.
Regardless of how Cave Carson and his Adventures Inside Earth fared in newsstand sales, I look at this issue now with a sense of nostalgia. (You can see how The Brave and the Bold sold from its Statement of Ownership in the back of the issue.)