Columbia Comics

Columbia Comics Corporation was a comic book publisher active in the 1940s whose most well-known title was Big Shot Comics. Comics creators who worked for Columbia included Fred Guardineer, on Marvelo, the Monarch of Magicians; and Ogden Whitney and Gardner Fox on Skyman.[1]

Columbia Comics
Parent companyMcNaught Newspaper Syndicate
Statusdefunct, 1949
FounderVin Sullivan
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City
Key peopleCharles V. McAdam
Publication typesComic books
Nonfiction topicsMcNaught Syndicate and Frank Jay Markey Syndicate characters
Fiction genresSuperhero, adventure, humor


Columbia Comics was formed in 1940 as a partnership between artist/editor Vin Sullivan, the McNaught Syndicate, and the Frank Jay Markey Syndicate[2] to publish comic books featuring reprints of such McNaught and Markey comic strips as Joe Palooka, Charlie Chan, and Sparky Watts, as well as original features. Other properties published by Eastern Color Printing are also transferred to Columbia Comics. Eastern appears to have subsequently retained a close relationship with Columbia, running advertisements for Columbia books in their own comic book titles.

Columbia Comics' first published title was the anthology title Big Shot Comics, the premiere of which introduced Skyman and The Face. Big Shot Comics would run for 104 issues until 1949, when Columbia went out of business. Other titles published by Columbia included spinoff series from Big Shot Comics featuring Skyman (four issues) and The Face.[3]

Charles V. McAdam, president of the McNaught Syndicate, was also publisher of Columbia Comics.[4]


  • Big Shot Comics (104 issues, 1940–1949)
  • Dixie Dugan (13 issues, July 1942–1949) — McNaught Syndicate strip
  • The Face (2 issues, 1941–1942)
  • Joe Palooka (4 issues, 1942–1944) — McNaught Syndicate strip
  • Ken Stuart (1 issue, 1948) — Markey Syndicate strip by Frank Borth
  • Mickey Finn (12 issues, [February] 1944–1949) — McNaught Syndicate strip
  • Skyman (4 issues, 1941, 1942, 1947, and 1948)
  • Sparky Watts (10 issues, 1942–1949) — Markey Syndicate strip by Boody Rogers
  • Tony Trent (2 issues, 1948)


  1. ^ Skyman at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
  2. ^ Booker, M. Keith, editor. "Big Shot Comics," in Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas (ABC-CLIO, 2014), p. 36.
  3. ^ Columbia Comics at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ "Who's Who Among Leading U.S. Syndicate Executives," Editor & Publisher (September 7, 1946). Archived at Stripper's Guide.

External links

1940 in comics

Notable events of 1940 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1949 in comics

Notable events of 1949 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Albert Chartier

Albert Chartier (16 June 1912 – 25 February 2004) was a French-Canadian cartoonist and illustrator, best known for having created the comic strip Onésime.

Big Shot Comics

Big Shot Comics was an American comic book series published by Columbia Comics during period in the 1940s that fans and historians refer to as the Golden Age of comic books. An anthology title, the series included a mix of superheroes, costumed crimefighters, crusading district attorneys, heroic magicians and others, both in original stories and in reprinted newspaper comic strip from the McNaught Syndicate. The latter included such popular strips as Dixie Dugan, Joe Palooka, and the movie-series spin-off Charlie Chan.


Columbia may refer to:

Columbia (name), the historical female personification of the United States of America, and a poetic name for the Americas

Comics anthology

A comics anthologies, also known as a comic magazine, collect works in the medium of comics, typically from multiple series, and compiles them into an anthology or magazine. The comics in these anthologies range from comic strips that are too short for standalone publication to comic book chapters that are later compiled into collected comic book volumes (such as manga tankobon and comic albums).

Dorothy Appleby

Dorothy Appleby (January 6, 1906 – August 9, 1990) was an American film actress. She appeared in over 50 films between 1931 and 1943.

Eastern Color Printing

The Eastern Color Printing Company was a company that published comic books, beginning in 1933. At first it was only newspaper comic strip reprints, but later on original material was published. Eastern Color Printing was incorporated in 1928, and soon became successful by printing color newspaper sections for several New England and New York papers. Eastern is most notable for its production of Funnies on Parade and Famous Funnies, two publications that gave birth to the American comic book industry.

Eastern published its own comic books until the mid-1950s, and continued to print comic books for other publishers until 1973. Eastern Color Printing struggled financially from the 1970s to 2002, when the business closed, a victim of changing printing technologies.

Frank Borth

Frank M. Borth III (April 1, 1918 – August 9, 2009) was an American comic book artist.

Frank Jay Markey Syndicate

The Frank Jay Markey Syndicate was a small print syndication service that distributed comic strips and columns from the mid-1930s to c. 1950. Although small in size, the syndicate distributed strips by a number of notable cartoonists, including Ed Wheelan, Rube Goldberg, Boody Rogers, and Frank Borth. The syndicate also provided material for the burgeoning comic book industry, for companies like Quality Comics and Columbia Comics.

Genius Jones

Genius Jones is a comic book character from the Golden Age of Comic Books who first appeared in the DC Comics published, Adventure Comics #77 (August 1942). He was created by Alfred Bester and Stan Kaye.

George Papp

George Edward Papp (January 20, 1916 – August 8, 1989) was an American comics artist best known as one of the principal artists on the long-running Superboy feature for DC Comics. Papp also co-created the Green Arrow character with Mort Weisinger and co-created Congo Bill with writer Whitney Ellsworth.

Hop Harrigan

Hop Harrigan (also known as The Guardian Angel and Black Lamp) first appeared in All American Comics #1 created by Jon Blummer (Fighting Yank, Little Boy Blue) as one of the first successful aviation heroes in comic history (Hop appeared after Tailspin Tommy, Barney Baxter, Connie Kurridge and others). Hop Harrigan was technically not a true superhero (as he had no costume or special powers) though he did meet the Justice Society of America in All-Star Comics #8, and he did eventually become a superhero from All American Comics #25 (April 1941) to #28 (July) as the costumed Guardian Angel.

Magazine Enterprises

Not to be confused with the same-name Scottish company that published science fiction magazines from at least 1946 to 1960.Magazine Enterprises was an American comic book company lasting from 1943 to 1958, which published primarily Western, humor, crime, adventure, and children's comics, with virtually no superheroes. It was founded by Vin Sullivan, an editor at Columbia Comics and before that the editor at National Allied Publications, the future DC Comics.

Magazine Enterprises' characters include the jungle goddess Cave Girl, drawn by Bob Powell, and Ghost Rider, a horror fiction-themed Western avenger created by writer Ray Krank and artist Dick Ayers in 1949; after the trademark lapsed, Ayers and others adapted it as Marvel Comics' non-horror but otherwise near-identical Western character Ghost Rider in 1967.

Skyman (Columbia Comics)

The Skyman is a fictional comic book superhero that appeared in 1940s comics during what historians and fans call the Golden Age of Comic Books. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Ogden Whitney, the character first appeared in the Columbia Comics omnibus title Big Shot Comics #1 (May 1940). He is unrelated to the DC Comics character.

The Face (comics)

The Face is a fictional character, a comic book superhero that appeared in 1940s comics during what historians and fans call the Golden Age of Comic Books. He was created by artist Mart Bailey and an unknown writer.

Vin Sullivan

Vincent Sullivan (June 5, 1911 – February 3, 1999) was a pioneering American comic book editor, artist and publisher.

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