Holyoke Publishing

The Holyoke Publishing Company was an American magazine and comic-book publisher with offices in Holyoke, and Springfield, Massachusetts, and New York City, Its best-known comics characters were Blue Beetle and the superhero duo Cat-Man (later rendered as Catman, sans hyphen) and Kitten, all inherited from defunct former clients of Holyoke's printing business.

Holyoke is sometimes confused with companies owned by Frank Z. Temerson, including Helnit, Et-Es-Go, and Continental; with Worth Carnahan's Bilbara Publishing Company; and with Temerson's art director L. B. Cole's packaging clients Narrative Publishers and Aviation Press.

Holyoke Publishing Company
StatusDefunct, 1948
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationHolyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts
Key peopleJoe Kubert, Charles Quinlan, Allen Ulmer, Carmine Infantino, Dan Barry
Publication typesComic books
Fiction genresSuperhero, war, humor

Publication history

Cat-Man Comics vol. 1, #12 (7) (Feb. 1942), featuring Cat-Man and Kitten; the Deacon and Mickey; The Hood; and Hurricane Harrigan. Cover art by Charles Quinlan.

Holyoke Publishing originated with Sherman Bowles, who had taken over his family's Springfield, Massachusetts newspaper dynasty, consisting of The Republican and other papers.[1] He entered comic-book publishing through his printing division,[2] which took over two existing titles from Frank Z. Temerson's Helnit Publishing Company:[3] the superhero series Cat-Man Comics and the war comics series Captain Aero Comics. This occurred in late 1941, with comics cover-dated January 1942[4] and February 1942.[5] Temerson's staff, including artist Charles Quinlan, continued to produce both series.[2] Quinlan had previously partnered with publisher Worth Carnahan in the companies Bilbara Publishing and Hit Publishing, leading them to often be erroneously grouped with Holyoke.[6] Holyoke's next acquisition was the superhero series Blue Beetle, taking it over from Victor A. Fox's bankrupt[7] Fox Publications[8] beginning with issue #12 (June 1942).[9]

The two titles acquired from Heinit reverted to Temerson's new company Et-Es-Go Magazines (later Continental Magazines) following Holyoke's Cat-Man Comics vol. 3, #7, the overall 17th issue, and Captain Aero Comics vol. 2, #4, the overall 10th issue (both Jan. 1943).[4][5] Later that year, Fox won Blue Beetle back in a lawsuit;[2] Holyoke's final issue was #30 (Feb. 1944).[9]

By 1949, Holyoke Publishing was based in Springfield, Massachusetts and published The Open Road for Boys magazine.[10][11] Holyoke Publishing leased commercial space at 1475 Broadway in Manhattan in April 1944.[12]

Confusion with Temerson titles

Because of incomplete documentation of the early days of the American comic book, some sources misstate Holyoke's role. One common resource, for example, erroneously refers to Holyoke "imprints including Et-Es-Go Mags, Continental Magazines, Helnit Publishing Co. and Tem Publishing Co."[13] The book The Comic Book in America erroneously states that Holyoke "entered the comic-book superhero business with Crash Comics (May 1940)....",[14] though Crash Comics Adventures was a Temerson title predating Holyoke.[15] That book also erroneously claims Temerson as the Holyoke founder, writing, "Temerson also changed his company's name to Holyoke Publishing," and additionally claims, "By 1943, Holyoke was known as Continental Publishing."[16] Howard Keltner's Golden Age Comic Index 1935-1955 (Revised Edition) groups Bilbara, Tem, Helnit, Et-Es-Go, Narrative Publishers and Aviation Press with Holyoke.[17] Narrative and Aviation were both clients of Temerson's art director, L. B. Cole, giving their publications a similar look[3]

As well, notes the standard reference the Grand Comics Database, the Bilbara Publishing Company, one of publisher Worth Carnahan's companies, "has often been erroneously tied to Holyoke and to Frank Z. Temerson's companies because [artist] Charles Quinlan was involved in this and other Carnahan ventures, and took the character name 'Volton' (but not any other aspect of the character) with him to Helnit/Holyoke. Also, Bilbara's Cyclone Comics (featuring a character called Tornado Tom) appeared at the same time that one of Temerson's earlier companies produced Whirlwind Comics (featuring a character called Cyclone)."[18]


Among comics creators who did some of their earliest work at Holyoke are Joe Kubert, on features starring Volton, Flagman and Alias X for Cat-Man Comics and Captain Aero Comics.[19] Dan Barry drew the Hood and Tiger Squadron.[20] Carmine Infantino drew "Hell's Angels", a war series, for Sparkling Stars.[21]

Sherman Bowles

Sherman Hoar Bowles was the scion of three generations of men named Sam Bowles who ran the Springfield, Massachusetts newspaper The Republican and other periodicals from 1797 to 1919, when Sherman took the reins.[22] His mother, Elizabeth Hoar, of Concord, Massachusetts, was the Beth of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women.[22] Bowles attended Springfield High School; Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts; and Harvard, from which he graduated in 1912 after having served as business manager of The Harvard Crimson.[22] After working a year at The Republican, he spent two years as circulation manager of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Public Ledger, then two years with the Springfield Daily News, his family's weekday-evening paper.[22] After two years with the US Marine Corps during World War I,[22] he became publisher of his family newspapers, which also included the Morning Union, and Sunday's The Springfield Union and Republican.[1]

Bowles later also became an official of the Atlas Tack Company in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and the Longchamps and Buffet Exchange restaurant chains, and held interests in Bell Aircraft, the Reo Motors, Inc., the Bowles Agawam Airport in Agawam, Massachusetts, and Western Union,[22][23] as well as Alliance Manufacturing[1] of Alliance, Ohio.[24] He eventually turned over his holdings to a beneficial trust for his 500 newspaper employees.[1][22]

Bowles died March 3, 1952, age 61,[22] or 62[1] (accounts differ). He had suffered a heart attack at a friend's apartment while in New York City on business; after being treated by a physician, he returned to his own apartment at 201 East 47th Street where a building superintendent found him dead the following morning.[22] He was survived by wife Esther Johnson Bowles, with whom he had sons Francis T. and John, and daughters Elizabeth and Amy.[1] A cousin of the siblings was Chester Bowles, a governor of Connecticut and ambassador to India.[25]


Comic books[2]

  • Blue Beetle — 19 issues, #12-30 (June 1942 – Feb. 1944)
  • Captain Aero Comics — 9 issues, vol. 1, #8 (2) - vol. 2, #4 (10) (Feb. 1942 – Jan. 1943)
  • Cat-Man Comics — 12 issues, vol. 1, #11 (6) - vol. 3, #7 (17) (Jan. 1942 - Jan. 1943)
  • Sparkling Stars — 32 issues, #1-33 (no #32 published) (June 1944 - March 1948)


  • Holyoke One-Shot — A series of 10 comics, individually titled but sequentially numbered, are listed under this name in the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. Published in 1944 and possibly 1945, they consist of reprints of prewar material originally published by Frank Z. Temerson companies. Undated, they contain no publishing information and it is unclear who published them.[26]
  • Veri Best Sure Fire — The Grand Comics Database notes, "Exact publication date is unknown. Several stories are continued in Captain Aero #11. Thus, this is most likely a renamed inventory issue of Captain Aero Comics with hitherto unpublished stories."[27] "Same as Veri Best Sure Shot Comics?"[28]
  • Veri Best Sure Shot — As noted above under Veri Best Sure Fire


Originated at Holyoke

  • Ali Baba
  • Blackout (continued at Frank Temerson's companies)
  • Boxie Weaver
  • Gargoyle
  • Hell's Angels
  • Phantom Falcon
  • Red Cross (continued at Frank Temerson's companies)
  • Tiger Squadron
  • Volton (unrelated to Bilbara's Volton the Human Generator (Guy Newton))

Originated at Frank Z. Temerson companies

  • Alias X
  • Captain Aero
  • Cat-Man
  • Commandos of the Devil Dogs
  • Deacon
  • Flagman
  • The Hood (unrelated to Marvel Comics' Hood)
  • Miss Victory
  • Pied Piper (published by Helnit and Holoyoke only)
  • Ragman (unrelated to DC Comics' Ragman)
  • Solar (last published by Holyoke before Temerson reclaimed characters)

Originated at Fox Publications

Appearing in Temerson titles and Holyoke One Shot

  • Captain Fearless


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Sherman Bowles, Newspaper Publisher, Dies". Lewiston, Maine: Associated Press via Lewiston Evening Journal. March 3, 1952. p. 2.
  2. ^ a b c d "Holyoke (1942-1946) at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ a b Temerson / Helnit / Continental (1940 - 1950) at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ a b Cat-Man Comics (Holyoke, 1942 Series) at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ a b Captain Aero Comics (Holyoke, 1942 Series) at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ "Worth Carnahan (1939-1940) at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ Fox Feature Syndicate at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
  8. ^ Fox Publications at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ a b Blue Beetle (Holyoke, 1942 Series) at the Grand Comics Database
  10. ^ Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, Volume 628. United States Patent Office. 1949. p. 350.
  11. ^ Printers' Ink, Volume 243. Printers' Ink Publishing Company. 1953. p. 10.
  12. ^ "WFA Is Expanding Broadway Space" (PDF). The New York Times. April 28, 1944.
  13. ^ Holyoke at An International Catalogue of Superheroes
  14. ^ Benton, Mike (1989). The Comic Book in America. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing. p. 29. ISBN 0-87833-659-1.
  15. ^ Crash Comics Adventures (Temerson / Helnit / Continental, 1940 Series) at the Grand Comics Database
  16. ^ Benton, p. 129
  17. ^ "Golden Age Comics Index 1935-1955 (Revised Edition)" (PDF). TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 277–288. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  18. ^ Worth Carnahan : Bilbara Publishing Co., Inc. (Indicia Publisher) at the Grand Comics Database
  19. ^ Joe Kubert at the Lambiek Comiclopedia
  20. ^ Dan Barry at the Lambiek Comiclopedia
  21. ^ Amash, Jim (2010). Carmine Infantino Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur. Raleigh, North Carolina: Two Morrows Publishing. p. 18.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Sherman Bowles, Publisher, Was 61" (PDF). The New York Times. March 4, 1952.. Abstract.
  23. ^ "New Directors for Reo Motors" (PDF). The New York Times. May 20, 1943.
  24. ^ "Alliance Company Elects" (PDF). The New York Times. March 15, 1952.
  25. ^ "Amy Slade to Web Philip Wheaton" (PDF). The New York Times. October 20, 1974.
  26. ^ [Holyoke One-Shot] (Holyoke, 1944) at the Grand Comics Database
  27. ^ Veri Best Sure Fire Comics #1 ([circa 1943]) Holyoke, 1943 Series at the Grand Comics Database
  28. ^ Veri Best Sure Fire Comics (Holyoke, 1943) at the Grand Comics Database

External links

Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle is the name of three fictional superheroes who appear in a number of American comic books published by a variety of companies since 1939. The most recent of the companies to own rights to the Blue Beetle is DC Comics who bought the rights to the character in 1983, using the name for three distinct characters over the years.

The original Blue Beetle was created by Fox Comics and later owned by Charlton Comics. The first Beetle was Dan Garret (later spelled Dan Garrett), who initially gained super powers from a special vitamin, which was later changed to gaining powers from a "sacred scarab". The original Blue Beetle was featured not only in his own comic but also a weekly radio serial.

The second Blue Beetle was created by Charlton and later taken over by DC Comics, the successor to Dan Garrett known as Ted Kord. Kord "jumped" to the DC Comics universe during the Crisis on Infinite Earths alongside a number of other Charlton Comics characters. The second Blue Beetle later starred in his own 24 issue comic. Kord never had any super powers but used science to create various devices to help him fight crime. He became a member of the Justice League of America and was later killed during DC Comics' Infinite Crisis cross over.

The third Blue Beetle, created by DC Comics, is Jaime Reyes, a teenager who discovered that the original Blue Beetle scarab morphed into a battle suit allowing him to fight crime and travel in space. Over the years Reyes became a member of the Teen Titans and starred in two Blue Beetle comic series. In DC Comics' 2011 "New 52" reboot, Jaime Reyes was the primary Blue Beetle character, only occasionally referring to past versions. However, with the subsequent continuity revision "DC Rebirth", the previous versions were restored.

Captain Aero Comics

Captain Aero Comics was a war comic of the golden age comic book, first appearing in 1941 and published by Holyoke Publishing. It ran for 26 issues ending in 1946.Captain Aero's first adventure was written by Allen Ulmer and illustrated by Ray Willner. Captain Aero was a Flying ace for the US Army. In his first adventure he tested out an experimental P-60 plane and escorted a flight of Canadian flyers taking planes to England as America and not yet entered World War II.

He also had his own fan club The Sky Scouts advertised on the front cover.

Cat-Man and Kitten

Cat-Man and Kitten (also Catman and Kitten) are a pair of fictional superhero characters created by artists Irwin Hasen (Cat-Man) and Charles M. Quinlan (Kitten) with unknown writers. Cat-Man was first published in 1940 by various Frank Z. Temerson companies. Due to circumstances during World War II, an altered version of Cat-Man was published in Australia and reprinted in the 1950s. AC Comics later revived the characters in the 1980s.


ComicsOne Corp. was an American distributor of Asian Comics (manga, manhwa, and manhua), established in 1999. ComicsOne was based in Fremont, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. ComicsOne also served as the distributor for videos and merchandise related to its licensed titles.

On March 25, 2005, industry website ICv2.com reported that DrMaster, ComicsOne's Asian printer, took over the publication of ComicsOne's manga titles, though not the manhwa and manhua titles. It also added that ComicsOne had abandoned its website, "stopped paying its bills and has disappeared."

Dan Garret

Dan Garret is a fictional superhero, appearing in American comic books published by multiple companies, including Fox Comics, Charlton Comics, and DC Comics. Garret was created by Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski, and made his first appearance in Fox's Mystery Men Comics #1. Garret is the first character to become the superhero Blue Beetle, predating Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes.


DrMaster Publications Inc. was an American distributor of manga and manhua with offices in the United States, Republic of China and Japan. It was headquartered in Fremont, California.It began strictly as a printer of manga, and entered the publishing business after taking over most of ComicsOne's manga and manhua titles.

DrMaster's Publications Inc. went out of business around 2009 and its office in Fremont are gone. The building was later occupied by Sunesys Telecommunications.

Foodini the Great

Foodini the Great was an early CBS children's television series. A 15-minute puppet show, it was performed live at 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday from August 23, 1948, to June 23, 1951.

The show was originally titled The Adventures of Lucky Pup, but Foodini the magician and his assistant Pinhead proved to

be so popular the show was renamed.

There were Foodini comic books from Holyoke Publishing, as well as records, greeting cards, toys, and magic sets. The comic books are named The Great Foodini, Adventures of Foodini the Great, and Pinhead and Foodini.

The UCLA Film and Television Archive holds several kinescope recordings of this series, including a few episodes from 1948.

Frank Z. Temerson

Frank Z. Temerson (1890–1963) was a comic book publisher from the Golden Age of Comic Books. Temerson imprints included Ultem Publications, Helnit Publishing, Et-Es-Go Magazines, and Continental Magazines.

Notable titles published by Temerson included Captain Aero Comics, Cat-Man Comics, and Suspense Comics; notable characters included Cat-Man and Kitten and Miss Victory. L. B. Cole worked as an art director for many of Temerson's earliest comics; other notable creators associated with Temerson included Tony DiPreta, Irwin Hasen, Gil Kane, Don Rico, and Charles M. Quinlan.

Temerson often used the names of family members and associates as proxies for companies which he actually owned and operated.

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.

Holyoke (disambiguation)

Holyoke is a city in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States.

Holyoke may also refer to:

Holyoke, Colorado, a Home Rule Municipality in Phillips County, Colorado, United States

Holyoke Publishing, an American comic book publisher

Holyoke Range, a traprock mountain range in Massachusetts

Mount Holyoke, a mountain in the Holyoke Range

Elizur Holyoke, namesake of Holyoke, Massachusetts

Keith Holyoake, a former Prime Minister of New Zealand

a fictional place

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.

Jack Kirby bibliography

Jack Kirby was a prolific comics creator who created a large number of American comic books and characters, particularly for Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

Ken Battefield

Ken Battefield (1905–1967) was a prolific comic book artist in the 1940s and early 1950s, during the Golden Age of Comic Books. He is most associated with the Nedor Publishing line of books where, at various times, he illustrated Pyroman, Doc Strange, Black Terror, American Eagle, The Scarab, Captain Future, and many others.

In the latter days of working with that company he was hired to produce large amounts of work which was then "punched" up by Rafael Astarita and Graham Ingels. Through the Chessler, Funnies Inc., Iger, and Benjamin W. Sangor studios, as well as freelance, he also did work for Ace Periodicals, Fox Publications, DC Comics, Charlton Comics, Fiction House, Novelty Press, Ajax-Farrell, Hillman Periodicals, Holyoke Publishing, Harvey Comics, Quality Comics, Street and Smith, and more.

Among Battefield's other projects was the January 1958 revised edition of Classics Illustrated #54, The Man in the Iron Mask.While working for the Chessler Shop, Battefield met a young Carmine Infantino in a coffee shop, and subsequently got him his first comics job in that studio.

List of American superhero TV shows

This is a list of superhero TV-Shows produced by American studios by year to the present.

List of American superhero films

This is a list of superhero films produced by American film studios by year to date.

List of Golden Age comics publishers

List of Golden Age of Comics publishers. The Golden Age of Comic Books was a period in the history of American comic books, generally thought of as lasting from the late 1930s until the late 1940s or early 1950s. During this time, modern comic books were first published and enjoyed a surge of popularity; the archetype of the superhero was created and defined; and many of the most famous superheroes debuted.

Comics "packagers", often operated by notable artists such as Will Eisner and Jack Binder, also formed during this time, to supply cheaply produced material to the burgeoning comics industry.

The first publisher in this category was Dell Comics, established in 1929 although they started to publish modern comic books in 1935. This list ends in the mid-1950s, when many publishers went out of business due to the scapegoating of comics by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham and Senator Estes Kefauver, and the creation of the self-censoring body the Comics Code Authority in 1954. The debut of the new superhero the Flash in 1956 is generally considered the beginning of the Silver Age of Comic Books.

Of the Golden Age publishers in this list, only a handful survived past 1960, and only three are still currently in business:

Crestwood Publications (1943–1963)

American Comics Group (1943–1967)

Gilberton (1941–1971)

Dell Comics (1929–1973)

Charlton Comics (1946–1986)

Harvey Comics (1941–1986)

Archie Comics (1939 to present)

Marvel Comics (formerly Timely Comics, 1939 to present)

National Allied Publications (later DC Comics, 1934 to present)

Miss Victory

Miss Victory (briefly known as Ms. Victory) is an American comic book superheroine who first appeared in Captain Fearless #1 (Aug. 1941), published by Frank Z. Temerson's Helnit Publishing Co. Ceasing to be published after 1946, she was revived and updated in 1984 as a central character in the Femforce comic-book series published by A.C. Comics.

Sid Greene

Sidney "Sid" Greene (June 18, 1906 – October 1972) was an American comic book artist known for his work for a host of publishers from the 1940s to 1970s. As an inker on DC Comics series including Batman, Green Lantern, Justice League of America and The Atom, he helped to define the company's house style for its 1960s Silver Age superheroes.

Uncle Art's Funland

Uncle Art's Funland (also known as Funland and as Uncle Nugent's Funland) is a long-running syndicated weekly puzzle and entertainment feature originated by Art Nugent (1891–1975). Featuring jokes, riddles, and paper-and-pencil word games, math challenges, nonograms, connect-the-dots art, crossword puzzles and anagrams, Funland has appeared in newspapers and comic books since 1933, and has been syndicated regularly since 1950.

Nugent credited Uncle Art's Funland's ongoing success "to its being one of the few newspaper features created exclusively for children. 'Some cartoons aren't really meant for children,' Nugent says. 'The language is too complicated and the jokes are too hard for them to understand.' With Uncle Art's Funland, however, toddlers enjoy coloring the pictures, while older children work the puzzles."

Archie Comics
Centaur Comics
National Allied
Fawcett Comics
Fox Comics
Nedor Comics
Quality Comics
Timely Comics

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