Cover date

The cover date of a periodical publication such as a magazine or comic book is the date displayed on the cover. This is not necessarily the true date of publication (the on-sale date or release date). For some publications, the cover date may not be found on the cover, but rather on an inside jacket or on an interior page.


In the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the standard practice is to display on magazine covers a date which is some weeks or months in the future from the publishing or release date. There are two reasons for this discrepancy: first, to allow magazines to continue appearing "current" to consumers even after they have been on sale for some time (since not all magazines will be sold immediately), and second, to inform newsstands when an unsold magazine can be removed from the stands and returned to the publisher or be destroyed (in this case, the cover date is also the pull date).[1]

Weeklies (such as Time and Newsweek) are generally dated a week ahead. Monthlies (such as National Geographic Magazine) are generally dated a month ahead, and quarterlies are generally dated three months ahead.

In other countries, the cover date usually matches more closely the date of publication, and may indeed be identical where weekly magazines are concerned.

In all markets, it is rare for monthly magazines to indicate a particular day of the month: thus issues are dated May 2016, and so on, whereas weekly magazines may be dated 17 May 2016.

Comic books

The general practice of most mainstream comic book companies since the creation of the comic book in the 1930s was to date individual issues by putting the name of a month (and much later the year as well) on the cover which was generally two months after the release date. For example, a 1951 issue of Superman which had the cover date of July would have been published two months earlier from that date in the month of May, generally speaking. In 1973 the discrepancy between the cover date and the publishing date went from two months to three months.[2] In 1989 the cover date and publishing date discrepancy was changed back to two months, though generally each comic book company now uses its own system.

Of the two major American comic book publishers, DC Comics continues to put cover dates on the cover. Marvel Comics opted against putting cover dates on the cover in October 1999; instead, the "cover" date was moved to the indicia on an interior page.


  1. ^ Cecil Adams (1990-06-22). "Why are magazines dated ahead of the time they actually appear?". The Straight Dope. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
  2. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 516. ISBN 978-3-8365-1981-6. Cover dates on comics didn't match magazine dating norms, and by 1973 Marvel's cover dates made them appear newer than DC's, so DC decided to skip using May 1973 and go straight to June.
1950 in comics

Notable events of 1950 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1972 in comics

Notable events of 1972 in comics. See also List of years in comics.


Animerica was a quarterly digest published by Viz Media. It initially started as a monthly magazine featuring reviews of anime and manga titles, as well as related works. After a preview issue was released in November 1992, the magazine's first issue was released in February 1993 with a March 1993 cover date. The magazine originally featured articles and reviews on manga, anime, and related media, as well as manga preview chapters. In 1998, Animerica Extra was launched as a manga anthology which eventually focused specifically on shōjo titles. It was canceled in 2004.

Viz changed the magazine's format in April 2005, with the new magazine being three different free publications of the same name. One is advertising-oriented and created specially for distribution at anime and manga conventions while the other is more general in scope and with a version each for distribution through Waldenbooks and Borders stores. A similar version was later added for Best Buy stores. All three versions have fewer and briefer articles and a lower page count.

Animerica was one of the first professional anime and manga magazines released in the United States, and one of the most popular in the 1990s. In 2004, it had a circulation of 45,000 readers, but low sales and high competition from Newtype USA resulted in the essential cancellation of the original magazine and its reformatting as a free digest. 100 copies of the first issue of the free digest were sent to 1,000 Waldenbooks and Border stores.

Archie Comics

Archie Comic Publications, Inc. is an American comic book publisher headquartered in Pelham, New York. The company's many titles feature fictional teenagers Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle, Sabrina Spellman, and Josie and the Pussycats.

The company began in 1939 as MLJ Comics, which primarily published superhero comics. The initial Archie characters were created in 1941 by publisher John L. Goldwater and artist Bob Montana, in collaboration with writer Vic Bloom. They first appeared in Pep Comics #22 (cover-dated Dec. 1941). With the creation of Archie, publisher John Goldwater hoped to appeal to fans of the Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney.Archie Comics was also the title of the company's longest-running publication, the first issue appearing with a cover date of Winter 1942. Starting with issue #114, the title was shortened to simply Archie. The flagship series was relaunched from issue #1 in July 2015 with a new look and design suited for a new generation of readers. Archie Comics characters and concepts have also appeared in numerous films, television programs, cartoons, and video games.

Dennis the Menace Annual

The Dennis and Gnasher Annual was the name of the book that was published between 1955 and 2011 to tie in with the children's comic The Beano, specifically the Dennis the Menace comic strip.Since they are traditionally published in the northern autumn and in time for Christmas, since 1965 (with the release of Dennis the Menace 1966) they have had the date of the following year on the cover. Before then no date was given. Until the 2009 edition, the annuals mainly featured reprints from around 14–15 years ago from the cover date of Dennis the Menace, Gnasher and Gnipper and formerly Gnasher's Tale and Rasher strips in The Beano, although there is some new material. The 2010 and 2011 editions contained all new material based on the updated style seen in the CBBC series.

Originally a new annual was published every two years. However, after the 1987 annual was published it was decided to make the annual a yearly publication instead. The next annual was published the following year and the others every year onwards since then.

The original title was simply "Dennis the Menace" with the year added at the end later on. This name continued, the year changing for each different annual, until the release of the 1978 book. There was then a short break until the next annual was published in 1982 (for '83). From then on the words "from The Beano" were printed elsewhere on the cover, the same thing The Bash Street Kids Annual had been doing for a few years earlier.

The name has had various suffixes since then, including "and Gnasher" on the 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2007, 2008 and 2009 books, and "Book" on the 1991, 1996, 1999, 2001 and 2002 editions. The annual permanently changed its name to Dennis the Menace Annual from the 2003 book, though the following year and "from The Beano" still appear. The 2010 edition was renamed the Dennis & Gnasher Annual to tie into the CBBC cartoon. It now says "as seen on CBBC" instead of "from The Beano".

There was no 2012 annual.

The information below dates older annuals which were without publication dates. Annuals were published the autumn before with the 1956 annual published Autumn 1955. Prices are in shillings and (old) pence with one shilling equal to 5p.

1956. Large picture of Dennis holding tin of paint. Price 5/-

1958. Dennis travelling down hill on a go-cart, knocking over a policeman, a chimney sweep and a painter. Price 5/6

1960. Dennis wearing flippers and swimming underwater, using pincers on a swimmer's foot. Price 5/6

1962. Dennis holding large caricature head of himself over his head with five small figures next to him including a policeman and a school teacher. Price 5/6

1964. Head of Dennis bursting through a black and red paper sheet. Price 6/-

1966 - 1970 to be added?

Doll Man

Doll Man is a fictional superhero from the Golden Age of Comics, originally published by Quality Comics and currently part of the DC Comics universe of characters. Doll Man was created by cartoonist Will Eisner and first appeared in a four-page story entitled "Meet the Doll Man" in Feature Comics #27. The issue's December, 1939 cover date indicates that Doll Man is the first comic book superhero with a shrinking power. He notably predates the more-famous Ray Palmer and Hank Pym by two decades.

Dororon Enma-kun

Dororon Enma-kun (ドロロンえん魔くん, Dororon Enma-kun), also known as Satanikus!, is a Japanese horror-comedy anime and manga series created by Go Nagai. It's one of Nagai's most famous works in Japan, although not very well known in the rest of the world. In 2006, it would get a sequel/remake in Demon Prince Enma, which drops the comedy and becomes a full-fledged suspense-horror series. After the OVA was released, another manga version was released called Satanikus ENMA Kerberos by Eiji Toriyama. A remake entitled Dororon Enma-kun MeeraMera began airing in Japan in April 2011.

Fantastic Force

Fantastic Force is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is a spin-off of the Fantastic Four. The team had its own title, which lasted for eighteen issues from November 1994 to April 1996. Its average monthly sales for 1995, its only full year of publication, were 33,675 copies. The title was revived for a miniseries involving a new team in April 2009.

Giant-Size X-Men

Giant-Size X-Men #1 was a special issue of the X-Men comic book series, published by Marvel Comics in 1975. It was written by Len Wein and illustrated by Dave Cockrum. Though not a regular issue, it contained the first new X-Men story in five years. The issue serves as a link between the original X-Men and a new team. Chronologically it is placed after X-Men #66 and before X-Men #94. The 68-page book was published with a May 1975 cover date and distributed to newsstands in February of that year.

Monthly Afternoon

Monthly Afternoon (月刊アフタヌーン, Gekkan Afutanūn) is a Japanese monthly seinen manga anthology published by Kodansha under the Afternoon line of magazines. The first issue was released with a cover date of January 25, 1986. Each issue typically has around thirty ongoing stories by various authors and runs about 800 pages. Afternoon has spawned many successful seinen manga series such as Oh My Goddess!, Genshiken, Blade of the Immortal and Big Windup! It is part of Kodansha's "1day" series, which also includes the magazines Morning and Evening. In its October 2008 issue, a spin-off magazine called good! Afternoon was announced to be launched.

Showcase Presents

Showcase Presents was a line of black-and-white paperback books published by DC Comics at an average rate of two per month. Much like Marvel Comics' Essential Marvel volumes, each book usually includes over 500 pages of reprints, primarily from the Silver Age. Like the Essential line, a Showcase Presents volume carries the suggested retail price of US$16.99 (increased to $17.99 in September 2009) and is usually devoted to one character, "reprint[ing] all of their adventures in sequential order via cover date," or occasionally to a specific title rather than individual. The reprint line started in October 2005 with the releases of Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 1 and Showcase Presents: Superman, Vol. 1, both offered at the lower introductory retail price of US$9.99.

Slam Bradley

Samuel Emerson "Slam" Bradley is a fictional character that has appeared in various comic book series published by DC Comics. He is a private detective who exists in DC's main shared universe. Conceived by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson and developed by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the character is a hard bitten, tough private eye who loves working for dames, but prefers the platonic company of his boy sidekick "Shorty" Morgan. It was one of the first stars of Detective Comics, debuting in #1 (cover date March 1937), a year before Superman's first appearance, and two years before Batman would become the anthology title's lead feature.

Star Comics

Star Comics was an imprint of Marvel Comics that began in 1984 and featured titles that were aimed at child readers and were often adaptations of children's television series, animated series or toys. The last comic published under the imprint featured a May 1988 cover date, although the Star Comics Magazine continued through December 1988. Some of the titles continued after that, being published directly by Marvel. Several of the original titles consciously emulated the house writing and visual style of then-recently defunct Harvey Comics titles such as Richie Rich.

The imprint's signature titles were Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham and Heathcliff, its longest running title. The imprint was also known for its Star Wars titles, Droids and Ewoks (based on the animated television series). Artists working on the line include Warren Kremer and Howard Post.

The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl

"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" is a short story by Ray Bradbury. It was first published in Detective Book Magazine in November 1948 (cover date: Winter) as "Touch and Go". The story was re-titled and published as "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" in EQMM in January 1953. (Cover image: "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine January 1953" (jpg). American Mercury. Retrieved 18 October 2012.)

The Phantom Creeps

The Phantom Creeps is a 1939 serial starring Bela Lugosi as a mad scientist who attempts to rule the world by creating various elaborate inventions. In a dramatic fashion, foreign agents and G-Men try to seize the inventions for themselves. A 78-minute feature film version of the film, cut down from the serial's original 265 minutes, was released for television showing in 1949.It was the 112th serial released by Universal Pictures and the 44th to have sound. The serial stars Lugosi as the villainous Doctor Zorka with Dorothy Arnold and Robert Kent.

It was adapted in DC's Movie Comics #6, cover date September–October 1939, the final issue of that title.

Tiny Titans

Tiny Titans was a comic book series by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani. It was published by DC Comics, beginning publication in February 2008. The first issue was also released as part of the annual Free Comic Book Day promotion in May 2008. The series concluded its run with the 50th issue, released March 21, 2012 (cover date May 2012). During its history, Tiny Titans won the Eisner Award for Best Series for Kids twice, in 2009 and 2011. In 2014–2015, the series was revived as Tiny Titans: Return to the Tree House, a six-issue miniseries.

Tiny Titans stars alternate versions of DC Universe characters, primarily those from the Teen Titans series. It is set in a kid-friendly, elementary school environment. Issues typically consist of several individual stories as opposed to one cohesive storyline.


Total! was a video game magazine published in the United Kingdom by Future plc. It was published monthly for 58 issues, beginning in December 1991 (cover-dated January 1992), with the last issue bearing the cover-date October 1996. A "1993 Annual" featuring reprint material and a poster magazine were also released during the magazine's lifetime.

Who's Who in the DC Universe

Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (usually referred to as Who's Who) is the umbrella title for a number of comic book series which DC Comics published to catalogue the wide variety of fictional characters in their imaginary universe, the DC Universe.

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