Louis Silberkleit

Louis Horace Silberkleit (/ˈsɪlbərklaɪt/; 17 November 1900 – 21 February 1986) was an American publisher of magazines, books, and comic books; together with Maurice Coyne and John L. Goldwater, he co-founded MLJ Magazines (later known as Archie Comics), and served as its publisher for many years.

Louis Silberkleit
Louis H. Silberkleit
Born
Louis Horace Silberkleit

17 November 1900
DiedFebruary 21, 1986 (aged 85)
New York City
ResidenceNew York City
NationalityAmerican
EducationMorris High School (Bronx) (1919)
New York Law School (1934)
OccupationPublisher
Known forCo-founder and Publisher of Archie Comics
SuccessorMichael I. Silberkleit
Spouse(s)Lillian Meisel (1926–1970)
Nicole Bernheim (1972–1986)
ChildrenMichael I. Silberkleit
Parent(s)Israel Silberkleit & Julia Winik[1]

Biography

Silberkleit attended Morris High School in the Bronx, graduating in 1919. His first job was in 1923 as Circulation Promoter for The New York Evening Mail. In 1925 he moved over to Eastern Distributing Corporation, which distributed many of the early pulp magazines published by Hugo Gernsback.[1] Silberkleit started out as Eastern's Circulation Manager of periodicals, and by 1929 had been promoted to Circulation Manager of the entire company. That same year Silberkleit hired a young Martin Goodman to be his assistant, beginning a long professional relationship.[1] Eastern Distributing went bankrupt in 1932.

According to his son Michael,[2] Silberkleit began his career in publishing when he founded Columbia Publications, a publisher of magazines featuring science fiction, westerns and detective stories by writers such as Isaac Asimov and Louis L'Amour. According to other sources, in October 1932 Silberkleit and Goodman formed the two companies Mutual Magazine Distributors and Newsstand Publishers; their first publication was the pulp magazine Complete Western Book Magazine, cover-dated October 1933.[1] (Mutual Magazine went bankrupt in 1935.)[1]

Silberkleit graduated from New York Law School in 1934.[3] That same year, Silberkleit formed Winford Publications with John L. Goldwater; Winford's business manager was Maurice Coyne. Winford published such titles as Double Action Western, Real Western, Mystery Novels, Underworld Detective, and Complete Northwest Novel Magazine.[1] Editor Abner Sundell came on board in 1935; he later played an important role at MLJ Magazines. In short order, Silberkleit and partners (including Harold Hammond) formed a number of other pulp publishers: Chesterfield Publications, Northwest Publishing, Blue Ribbon Magazines, Columbia Publications, and Double Action Magazines. The headquarters of all these companies were in the vicinity of Manhattan's City Hall; by May 1937 they were consolidated under the name Double-Action Magazines, located at 60 Hudson Street.[1] By 1941, Silberkleit had phased out all the other publisher names and merged all the titles under the umbrella of Columbia Publications (and hired Robert A. W. Lowndes as his lead editor).

In 1939, in response to the popularity of Superman and Action Comics, Silberkleit, Goldwater, and Coyne founded the comic book publisher MLJ Magazines. The name was derived from the initials of the first names of Maurice Coyne, Louis Silberkleit, and John Goldwater. After starting out as a publisher of superhero comics, MLJ Magazines produced the first Archie Comics in the Winter of 1942, described by The New York Times as "a series of comic books detailing the antics of Archie and his teen-age friends."[2] Archie soon became MLJ Magazine's headliner, which led to the company changing its name to Archie Comic Publications.

Columbia Publications lasted until 1960, at which point Silberkleit, Goldwater, and Coyne immediately founded Belmont Books, a low-rent publisher of paperback originals in the science fiction, horror, and mystery genres.[4] Beginning c. 1958, Silberkleit was also a silent partner in Tower Publications, publisher of the Midwood Books line of soft-core erotic fiction for men, and later, Tower Books and Tower Comics.[5] In 1971, Tower acquired the assets of Belmont Books, merging the two companies to form Belmont Tower.

Personal life

On May 16, 1926 Louis Silberkleit married Lillian Meisel (20 April 1903 – 23 April 1970), a Lithuanian of Jewish ancestry who came to America in 1914. On April 27, 1932 their only son, Michael Ivan Silberkleit, was born in New York City.[3]

On April 23, 1970 Lillian Silberkleit died in New York City at the age of sixty-seven.

In 1972 he married his second wife, Nicole Bernheim.

Death and legacy

Louis H. Silberkleit died on Friday February 21, 1986 at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He was survived by his second wife Nicole Bernheim[6] and his son Michael I. Silberkleit (from his first marriage)[2] and daughter Ally Silberkleit.

Michael Silberkleit became chairman of Archie Comics and died on August 5, 2008.[7] His widow Nancy became co-CEO of the company with Jonathan Goldwater.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Saunders, David. "LOUIS H. SILBERKLEIT (1900-1985)," Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists. Accessed Feb. 26, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Louis Silberkleit, Co-Founder of Archie Comics, Dies at age 81," New York Times (February 25, 1986). Accessed 19 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Field guide to Wild American PULP ARTISTS by David Saunders (last visited on 19 July 2015)
  4. ^ Hyfler, Richard. "Books For Bus Terminals: Whatever Happened to Belmont Productions?" Forbes.com (SEP 15, 2010).
  5. ^ Feldman, Michael. "The Secret Origin of Tower Comics," in The Thunder Agents Companion by Jon B. Cooke (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2005), p. 85.
  6. ^ New York Times (Correction), February, 27, 1986
  7. ^ "Michael Silberkleit, Chairman of Archie Publications Dies". Newsarama. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
Archie Comics

Archie Comic Publications, Inc. is an American comic book publisher headquartered in Pelham, New York. The company is known for its many titles featuring fictional teenagers including 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.

Belmont Books

Belmont Books, also known as Belmont Productions, was an American publisher of genre fiction paperback originals founded in 1960. It specialized in science fiction, horror and fantasy, with titles appearing from 1961 through 1971. The company published books by such notable authors as Philip K. Dick, Philip José Farmer, Lin Carter, Robert Bloch, Frank Belknap Long, and Gardner Fox. Belmont was owned by the same company that owned Archie Comics.Belmont was formed by John L. Goldwater, Louis Silberkleit, Maurice Coyne, the co-founders of Archie Comics, who also ran the pulp magazine publisher Columbia Publications. When Columbia was shut down in 1960 (due to the demise of the pulp industry), Goldwater, Silberkleit, and Coyne immediately formed Belmont Books. According to the son of one of the founders, the name of the company came from Belmont Park, as the owners were fans of horse racing.Belmont's initial offerings were four titles — a Western, a mystery, a science fiction book, and a detective book. Once they got going, Belmont published about 12 titles per month, with print runs of between 30,000–70,000 copies. Rather than bookstores, their books were sold in railroad stations, airports, bus terminals, drug stores, and the lobbies of office buildings and hotels.From 1962–1965, Belmont published a number of science fiction anthologies, all edited by Ivan Howard, that featured content from the pulp magazines Science Fiction, Future Fiction, Science Fiction Quarterly, and Dynamic Science Fiction, all of which had been published by Belmont co-owner Louis Silberkleit.

Beginning in 1963, Belmont published nine updated The Shadow novels. The first one, Return of The Shadow, was by Walter B. Gibson. The remaining eight, published from 1964–1967, were written by Dennis Lynds under the pen name "Maxwell Grant."

From 1969 to 1970, Belmont published a series of sword and sorcery novels by Gardner Fox, featuring the barbarian character Kothar.The firm merged with Tower Publications (the parent company of Tower Comics) in 1971, forming Belmont Tower, under which name it continued publishing from 1971 through 1980.

Columbia Publications

Columbia Publications was an American publisher of pulp magazines featuring the genres of science fiction, westerns, detective stories, romance, and sports fiction. The company published such writers as Isaac Asimov, Louis L'Amour, Arthur C. Clarke, Randall Garrett, Edward D. Hoch, and William Tenn; Robert A. W. Lowndes was an important early editor for such writers as Carol Emshwiller, Edward D. Hoch and Kate Wilhelm.

Operating from the mid-1930s to 1960, Columbia's most notable magazines were the science fiction pulps Future Science Fiction, Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Quarterly. Other long-running titles included Double Action Western Magazine, Real Western, Western Action, Famous Western, Today's Love Stories, Super Sports, and Double Action Detective and Mystery Stories. In addition to pulp magazines, the company also published some paperback novels, primarily in the science fiction genre.

Columbia Publications was the most prolific of a number of pulp imprints operated in the 1930s by Louis Silberkleit. Nominally, their offices were in Springfield, Massachusetts and Holyoke, Massachusetts (the addresses of their printers, binders, and mailers for subscriptions), but they were actually produced out of 60 Hudson Street in New York City.

Dynamic Science Fiction

Dynamic Science Fiction was an American pulp magazine which published six issues from December 1952 to January 1954. It was a companion to Future Science Fiction, and like that magazine was edited by Robert W. Lowndes and published by Columbia Publications. Stories that appeared in its pages include "The Duplicated Man" by Lowndes and James Blish, and "The Possessed" by Arthur C. Clarke. It was launched at the end of the pulp era, and when publisher Louis Silberkleit decided to convert Future to a digest format in 1954, he decided not to do the same with Dynamic, simply cancelling the magazine.

Future Science Fiction and Science Fiction Stories

Future Science Fiction and Science Fiction Stories were two American science fiction magazines that were published under various names between 1939 and 1943 and again from 1950 to 1960. Both publications were edited by Charles Hornig for the first few issues; Robert W. Lowndes took over in late 1941 and remained editor until the end. The initial launch of the magazines came as part of a boom in science fiction pulp magazine publishing at the end of the 1930s. In 1941 the two magazines were combined into one, titled Future Fiction combined with Science Fiction, but in 1943 wartime paper shortages ended the magazine's run, as Louis Silberkleit, the publisher, decided to focus his resources on his mystery and western magazine titles. In 1950, with the market improving again, Silberkleit relaunched Future Fiction, still in the pulp format. In the mid-1950s he also relaunched Science Fiction, this time under the title Science Fiction Stories. Silberkleit kept both magazines on very slim budgets throughout the 1950s. In 1960 both titles ceased publication when their distributor suddenly dropped all of Silberkleit's titles.

The fiction was generally unremarkable, with few memorable stories being published, particularly in the earlier versions of the magazines. Lowndes spent much effort to set a friendly and engaging tone in both magazines, with letter columns and reader departments that interested fans. He was more successful than Hornig in obtaining good stories, partly because he had good relationships with several well-known and emerging writers. Among the better-known stories he published were "The Liberation of Earth" by William Tenn, and "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth" by Arthur C. Clarke.

Harry Shorten

Harry Shorten (1914–1991) was an American writer, editor, and book publisher best known for the syndicated gag cartoon There Oughta Be a Law!, as well as his work with Archie Comics, and his long association with Archie's publishers Louis Silberkleit and John L. Goldwater. From the late 1950s until his 1982 retirement, Shorten was a book publisher, overseeing such companies as Leisure Books, Midwood Books, Midwood-Tower Publications, Belmont Tower, and Roband Publications.

History of US science fiction and fantasy magazines to 1950

Science fiction and fantasy magazines began to be published in the United States in the 1920s. Stories with science fiction themes had been appearing for decades in pulp magazines such as Argosy, but there were no magazines that specialized in a single genre until 1915, when Street & Smith, one of the major pulp publishers, brought out Detective Story Magazine. The first magazine to focus solely on fantasy and horror was Weird Tales, which was launched in 1923, and established itself as the leading weird fiction magazine over the next two decades; writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard became regular contributors. In 1926 Weird Tales was joined by Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback; Amazing printed only science fiction, and no fantasy. Gernsback included a letter column in Amazing Stories, and this led to the creation of organized science fiction fandom, as fans contacted each other using the addresses published with the letters. Gernsback wanted the fiction he printed to be scientifically accurate, and educational, as well as entertaining, but found it difficult to obtain stories that met his goals; he printed "The Moon Pool" by Abraham Merritt in 1927, despite it being completely unscientific. Gernsback lost control of Amazing Stories in 1929, but quickly started several new magazines. Wonder Stories, one of Gernsback's titles, was edited by David Lasser, who worked to improve the quality of the fiction he received. Another early competitor was Astounding Stories of Super-Science, which appeared in 1930, edited by Harry Bates, but Bates printed only the most basic adventure stories with minimal scientific content, and little of the material from his era is now remembered.

In 1933 Astounding was acquired by Street & Smith, and it soon became the leading magazine in the new genre, publishing early classics such as Murray Leinster's "Sidewise in Time" in 1934. A couple of competitors to Weird Tales for fantasy and weird fiction appeared, but none lasted, and the 1930s is regarded as Weird Tales' heyday. Between 1939 and 1941 there was a boom in science fiction and fantasy magazines: several publishers entered the field, including Standard Magazines, with Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories (a retitling of Wonder Stories); Popular Publications, with Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories; and Fiction House, with Planet Stories, which focused on melodramatic tales of interplanetary adventure. Ziff-Davis launched Fantastic Adventures, a fantasy companion to Amazing. Astounding extended its pre-eminence in the field during the boom: the editor, John W. Campbell, developed a stable of young writers that included Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and A.E. van Vogt. The period starting in 1938, when Campbell took control of Astounding, is often referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Well-known stories from this era include Slan, by van Vogt, and "Nightfall", by Asimov. Campbell also launched Unknown, a fantasy companion to Astounding, in 1939; this was the first serious competitor for Weird Tales. Although wartime paper shortages forced Unknown's cancellation in 1943, it is now regarded as one of the most influential pulp magazines.

Only eight science fiction and fantasy magazines survived World War II. All were still in pulp magazine format except for Astounding, which had switched to a digest format in 1943. Astounding continued to publish popular stories, including "Vintage Season" by C. L. Moore, and "With Folded Hands ..." by Jack Williamson. The quality of the fiction in the other magazines improved over the decade: Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder in particular published some excellent material and challenged Astounding for the leadership of the field. A few more pulps were launched in the late 1940s, but almost all were intended as vehicles to reprint old classics. One exception, Out of This World Adventures, was an experiment by Avon, combining fiction with some pages of comics. It was a failure and lasted only two issues. Magazines in digest format began to appear towards the end of the decade, including Other Worlds, edited by Raymond Palmer. In 1949, the first issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction appeared, followed in October 1950 by the first issue of Galaxy Science Fiction; both were digests, and between them soon dominated the field. Very few science fiction or fantasy pulps were launched after this date; the 1950s was the beginning of the era of digest magazines, though the leading pulps continued until the mid-1950s, and authors began selling to mainstream magazines and large book publishers.

Joe Kubert

Joseph "Joe" Kubert (; September 18, 1926 – August 12, 2012) was a Polish-born American comic book artist, art teacher, and founder of The Kubert School. He is best known for his work on the DC Comics characters Sgt. Rock and Hawkman. He is also known for working on his own creations, such as Tor, Son of Sinbad, and the Viking Prince, and, with writer Robin Moore, the comic strip Tales of the Green Beret. Two of Kubert's sons, Andy Kubert and Adam Kubert, themselves became recognized comic book artists, as did many of Kubert's former students, including Stephen R. Bissette, Amanda Conner, Rick Veitch, Eric Shanower, Steve Lieber, and Scott Kolins.

Kubert was inducted into the Harvey Awards' Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998.

John L. Goldwater

John Leonard Goldwater (born Max Leonard Goldwasser, February 14, 1916 – February 26, 1999) founded (with Maurice Coyne and Louis Silberkleit) MLJ Comics (later known as Archie Comics), and served as editor and co-publisher for many years. In the mid-1950s he was a key proponent and custodian of the comic book censorship guidelines known as the Comics Code Authority.

List of comics creators appearing in comics

Several comic book and comic strip writers, artists, and others have appeared within the fictional world of comics, both their own and others'. Some appear as simple characters in the story, some appear as characters who break the fourth wall and address the reader directly, and some make cameo appearances in framing sequences to introduce a story and sometimes to have a last word.

" * " = "behind the scenes" stories not in regular continuity

List of fictional towns and villages

This is a list of fictional towns, villages and cities organized by each city's medium. This list should include only well-referenced, notable examples of fictional towns, cities, settlements and villages that are integral to a work of fiction and substantively depicted therein.

Martin Goodman (publisher)

Martin Goodman (born Moe Goodman; January 18, 1908 – June 6, 1992) was an American publisher of pulp magazines, paperback books, men's adventure magazines, and comic books, launching the company that would become Marvel Comics.

Maurice Coyne (publisher)

Maurice Coyne (born Morris Cohen, 1901–1971) was an American publisher of magazines, books, and comic books; together with Louis Silberkleit and John L. Goldwater, he co-founded the company that became known as Archie Comics. With Silberkleit and Goldwater, Coyne also published pulp magazines as part of Columbia Publications, and paperback originals with Belmont Books.

Science Fiction Quarterly

Science Fiction Quarterly was an American pulp science fiction magazine that was published from 1940 to 1943 and again from 1951 to 1958. Charles Hornig served as editor for the first two issues; Robert A. W. Lowndes edited the remainder. Science Fiction Quarterly was launched by publisher Louis Silberkleit during a boom in science fiction magazines at the end of the 1930s. Silberkleit launched two other science fiction titles (Science Fiction and Future Fiction) at about the same time: all three ceased publication before the end of World War II, falling prey to slow sales and paper shortages. In 1950 and 1951, as the market improved, Silberkleit relaunched Future Fiction and Science Fiction Quarterly. By the time Science Fiction Quarterly ceased publication in 1958, it was the last surviving science fiction pulp.

Science Fiction Quarterly's policy was to reprint a novel in each issue as the lead story, and Silberkleit was able to obtain reprint rights to two early science fiction novels and several of Ray Cummings' books. Both Hornig and Lowndes were given minuscule budgets, and Hornig in particular had trouble finding good material to print. Lowndes did somewhat better, as he was able to call on his friends in the Futurians, a group of aspiring writers that included Isaac Asimov, James Blish, and Donald Wollheim. The second incarnation of the magazine also had a policy of running a lead novel, though in practice the lead stories were often well short of novel length. Among the better-known stories published by the magazine were "Second Dawn", by Arthur C. Clarke; "The Last Question", by Isaac Asimov; and "Common Time", by James Blish.

Tower Publications

Tower Publications was an American publisher based in New York City that operated from 1958 to c. 1981. Originally known for their Midwood Books line of erotic men's fiction, it also published science fiction and fantasy under its Tower Books line and published comic books in the late 1960s under its Tower Comics imprint. In the early 1970s, Tower acquired paperback publisher Belmont Books, forming the Belmont Tower line. Archie Comics' cofounder Louis Silberkleit was a silent partner in Tower's ownership; longtime Archie editor Harry Shorten was a major figure with Tower in all its iterations.

Victor Gorelick

Victor Gorelick (born April 5, 1941) is an American comic book editor and executive. Currently the Editor-in-Chief of Archie Comics, he has worked for the company for over fifty years in a wide variety of roles.

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