Ned Pines

Ned L. Pines (December 10, 1905 – May 14, 1990)[1] was an American publisher of pulp magazines, comic books, and paperback books, active from at least 1928 to 1971. His Standard Comics imprint was the parent company of the comic-book lines Nedor Publishing and Better Publications, the most prominent character of which was the superhero the Black Terror. Pines also established the paperback book publisher Popular Library, which eventually merged with Fawcett Publications.

Ned Pines
Ned L. Pines

December 10, 1905
DiedMay 14, 1990 (aged 84)
OccupationPublishing executive
Known forStandard Comics
Thrilling Publications
Spouse(s)Maxine Firestone
RelativesBenjamin W. Sangor (father-in-law)


Ned L. Pines was born in Malden, Massachusetts,[2] the son of Joseph and Dora Goldes Pines.[3] He had two brothers, Robert A. Pines, who would work with Ned in publishing, and Kermit L. Pines, who became a doctor; and a sister, Lillian.[4] Their father, a native of Russia, had settled in the Boston, Massachusetts, area and founded the Pines Rubber Company, of which he was president for 26 years before retiring sometime prior to his death in 1930, at age 57, at his home in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.[3]

Pines was president and owner of the Manhattan company Pines Publications, which he established in 1928, remaining as president until 1961.[2] He published pulp magazines and other periodicals under a variety of company names, including Thrilling Publications, with pulp magazines that included Thrilling Western, The Lone Eagle, and Thrilling Wonder Stories.[5] In October 1952, his Standard Magazines purchased Silver Screen and Screenland from the Henry Publishing company.[6] His Collegian Press, Inc. bought the existing magazine College Humor from Dell Publishing by the mid-1930s, publishing it through 1942.[7][8] In mid-1936, Pines refuted a claim by the Cartoonists Guild of America that College Humor had not agreed to pay the $15 Guild minimum, payable within 30 days, for drawings by Guild members.[8]

Pines added comic books to the mix in 1939 with the publishing imprint Standard Comics,[9] which became in turn the parent company of two comic-book lines: Better Publications[10] and Nedor Publishing.[11] Collectors and historians sometimes refer to them collectively as "Standard/Better/Nedor".[12][13]

In 1942,[2] Pines founded the paperback book publisher Popular Library, remaining its president through 1966 and serving as chairman through 1968.[2] He retired in 1971 and continued as a consultant.[2] Popular Library was distributed through the American News Company[5] until that distributor's demise in 1957.

Pines was, additionally, announced as chairman of the board of Eastern Life Insurance on June 1, 1960, after having been a director of the company for 11 years.[14] He remained in that position through 1971.[2] Pines was also a member of the coordinating committee of the Columbia University Institute of Research from 1945 to 1947; on the advisory board of Commentary magazine; and, from 1970 to 1974, on the board of directors of the Merce Cunningham Dance Federation.[2] He was a leader of the publishers' division of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and United Jewish Appeal in December 1949 when he was elected to the board of director of the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind,[15] and was made a life trustee of the Federation in 1968.[2] As of at least mid-1960, he was a member of the board of the Magazine Publishers Association.[14]

Pines' brother Robert, who died of a heart attack at age 52 on August 8, 1949, was a 1918 Columbia University graduate[16] who practiced law from 1921 to 1935 before becoming editor and publisher of College Humor magazine; in 1941, he became editor and publisher of See magazine.[4] He was also a director of Standard Magazines, Inc., Better Publications, Inc. and Eastern Life Insurance.[4]

Pines, who had homes in Paris, France; Manhattan; and East Hampton, New York, died at the American Hospital of Paris after a brief illness.[2]

Personal life

Pines and his first wife, the former Jacquelyn Sanger (as her last name is spelled in The New York Times) of Chicago, Illinois,[17][18] the daughter of comic-book publisher Ben Sangor,[19] had two daughters: Judith Ann Bernard, born July 25, 1939,[17] and Susan, born May 8, 1942.[18] The family lived at 965 Fifth Avenue during this the time.[17][18] By mid-1963, when Judith announced her engagement to Anthony Edward Marks, a Columbia University doctoral candidate in anthropology, Pines was living at 605 Park Avenue and Jacquelyn at 767 Fifth Avenue.[20] Pines was later married to Maxine Firestone and had two stepsons, Anthony and Kenneth Michaelman.[2]

In 1941, Pines was an usher at the wedding of Ruth Feinberg, daughter of State Senator Benjamin F. Feinberg.[21]


  1. ^ "Ned L. Pines". Social Security Death Index via Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Ned L. Pines, 84, Dies; A New York Publisher". The New York Times. May 15, 1990.
  3. ^ a b "Joseph Pines Dead: A Leader in Charities". The New York Times. September 21, 1930.
  4. ^ a b c "R. A. Pines, Publisher of See Magazine, 52". The New York Times. August 10, 1949.
  5. ^ a b Trager, James (2004). The New York Chronology: The Ultimate Compendium of Events, People, and Anecdotes from the Dutch to the Present. HarperCollins. p. 535. ISBN 978-0-06-074062-7.
  6. ^ "Advertising & Merchandising News: Here and There". The New York Times. October 7, 1952.
  7. ^ Bill Contento, Bill, ed. "College Humor". The FictionMags Index.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b "College Humor Disputes Guild". The New York Times. June 10, 1936.
  9. ^ Standard at the Grand Comics Database
  10. ^ Better Publications at the Grand Comics Database
  11. ^ Nedor Publishing at the Grand Comics Database
  12. ^ "Standard/Better/Nedor". 2001. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
  13. ^ "Standard / Better / Nedor". An International Catalogue of Superheroes. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Eastern Life Chooses Publisher as Chairman". The New York Times. June 2, 1960.
  15. ^ "Elected to Board for Blind". The New York Times. December 8, 1949.
  16. ^ "Deaths". (Pines, Robert A., paid death notice) The New York Times. August 10, 1949.
  17. ^ a b c "Mrs. Ned L. Pines has daughter". The New York Times. August 4, 1939.
  18. ^ a b c "Daughter Born to Ned L. Pines". The New York Times. May 11, 1942.
  19. ^ Bails, Jerry; Ware, Hames, eds. "Sangor, Ben". Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "Judith Pines Engaged to Anthony E. Marks". The New York Times. July 27, 1963.
  21. ^ "Nuptials Are Held for Ruth Feinberg". The New York Times. March 21, 1941.
1962 in comics

Notable events of 1962 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Benjamin W. Sangor

Benjamin William Sangor (1889 – c. 1953 or 1955; sources differ) was an American publisher best known for the 1940s to 1950s comic book company American Comics Group.

College Humor (magazine)

College Humor was an American humor magazine from the 1920s to the 1940s. Published monthly by Collegiate World Publishing, it began in 1920 with reprints from college publications and soon introduced new material, including fiction. The headquarters was in Chicago. Contributors included Robert Benchley, Heywood Broun, Groucho Marx, Ellis Parker Butler, Katharine Brush, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald. Editor H.N. Swanson later became Fitzgerald's Hollywood agent.

The first editor was H. N. Swanson. After he resigned in 1932, managing editor Patricia Reilly took over.The magazine featured cartoons by Sam Berman, Ralph Fuller, John Held Jr., Otto Soglow and others.

The cover price in 1930 was 35 cents (for 130 pages of content). Dell Publishing acquired the title for a run that began in November, 1934. In the late 1930s, it was purchased by Ned Pines and turned into a girlie magazine. Collegian Press, Inc. was the publisher in the early 1940s.The magazine was retitled College Humor & Sense for parts of 1933 and 1934. In 1933, Paramount released the college campus musical College Humor with Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, George Burns and Gracie Allen. College Humor ceased publication in Spring 1943.

Fantastic Story Quarterly

Fantastic Story Quarterly was a pulp science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1955 by Best Books, a subsidiary imprint of Standard Magazines. The name was changed with the Summer 1951 issue to Fantastic Story Magazine. It was launched to reprint stories from the early years of the science fiction pulp magazines, and was initially intended to carry no new fiction, though in the end every issue contained at least one new story. It was sufficiently successful for Standard to launch Wonder Story Annual as a vehicle for more science fiction reprints, but the success did not last. In 1955 it was merged with Standard's Startling Stories. Original fiction in Fantastic Story included Gordon R. Dickson's first sale, "Trespass", and stories by Walter M. Miller and Richard Matheson.

John Tartaglione

John Tartaglione (January 14, 1921 – November 12, 2003), a.k.a. John Tartag and other pseudonyms, was an American comic book artist best known as a 1950s romance-comics artist; a Marvel Comics inker during the Silver Age of comic books; and the illustrator of the Marvel biographies The Life of Pope John Paul II, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the first of which at least sold millions of copies worldwide in several languages.

Leo Margulies

Leo Margulies (June 22, 1900 – December 26, 1975) was an American editor and publisher of science fiction and fantasy pulp magazines and paperback books.

List of Standard Comics publications

Standard Comics was an American comic book company owned by publisher Ned Pines. Standard in turn was the parent company of two comic-book lines: Better Publications and Nedor Publishing. Collectors and historians sometimes refer to them collectively as "Standard/Better/Nedor". In the late 1950s, Standard's remaining 2 titles were incorporated into the Pines Comics lineup.


Pines may refer to:

Pine, coniferous trees of the genus Pinus, in the family Pinaceae

Popular Library

Popular Library was a New York paperback book company established in 1942 by Leo Margulies and Ned Pines, who at the time were major pulp magazine and newspaper publishers. The company's logo of a pine tree was a tribute to Pines, and another Popular Library signature visual was a reduced black-and-white copy of the front cover on the title page.

A native of Malden, Massachusetts, Pines became the president of Pines Publications in 1928 and continued to lead the company until 1961. He was the president of Popular Library from 1942 to 1966 and its chairman from 1966 to 1968. Retiring in 1971, he continued to work as a consultant.

Richard E. Hughes

Richard E. Hughes, born Leo Rosenbaum (November 5, 1909 – January 15, 1974) was an American writer and editor of comic books. He was editor of the American Comics Group through the company's entire existence from 1943 to 1967, and wrote most of that publisher's stories from 1957 to 1967 under a variety of pseudonyms. His best-known character is Herbie Popnecker, created under the pseudonym Shane O'Shea, with artist Ogden Whitney.

Rudolph Belarski

Rudolph Belarski (May 27, 1900-December 24, 1983) was an American graphic artist known for his cover art depicting aerial combat for magazines such as Wings, Dare Devil Aces, and War Birds. He also drew science fiction covers for Argosy in the 1930s and covers for mystery and detective novels.

Science-Fiction Plus

Science-Fiction Plus was an American science fiction magazine published by Hugo Gernsback for seven issues in 1953. In 1926, Gernsback had launched Amazing Stories, the first science fiction magazine, but he had not been involved in the genre since 1936, when he sold Wonder Stories. Science-Fiction Plus was initially in slick format, meaning that it was large-size and printed on glossy paper. Gernsback had always believed in the educational power of science fiction, and he continued to advocate his views in the new magazine's editorials. The managing editor, Sam Moskowitz, had been a reader of the early pulp magazines, and published many writers who had been popular before World War II, such as Raymond Z. Gallun, Eando Binder, and Harry Bates. Combined with Gernsback's earnest editorials, the use of these early writers gave the magazine an anachronistic feel.

Sales were initially good, but soon fell. For the last two issues Gernsback switched the magazine to cheaper pulp paper, but the magazine remained unprofitable. The final issue was dated December 1953.

In addition to the older writers he published, Moskowitz was able to obtain fiction from some of the better-known writers of the day, including Clifford Simak, Murray Leinster, Robert Bloch, and Philip José Farmer, and some of their stories were well-received, including "Spacebred Generations", by Simak, "Strange Compulsion", by Farmer, and "Nightmare Planet", by Leinster. He also published several new writers, but only one, Anne McCaffrey, went on to a successful career in the field. Science fiction historians consider the magazine a failed attempt to reproduce the early days of the science fiction pulps.


Screenland was a monthly U.S. magazine about movies, published between September 1920 and June 1971, when it merged with Silver Screen. In the September 1952 issue, the name changed to Screenland plus TV-Land.

In was established in Los Angeles, California, with Myron Zobel as the editor in 1922. Frederick James Smith became the editor in 1923 when it moved to Cooperstown, New York. One magazine-collector site credits, without attribution, one Paul Hunter, "with rescuing Screenland magazine for John Cuneo back in 1932."In October 1952, Ned Pines' Standard Magazines, an imprint of Pines Publications, purchased Silver Screen and Screenland from the Henry Publishing company. Pines announced in June 1954 that he was suspending publication with the August 1954 issue, citing production and distribution costs. The magazine continued publication through 1971, however.

In 1923 the magazine reported a love affair between Evelyn Brent and Douglas Fairbanks, resulting in legal threats, and a retraction.

Standard Comics

Standard Comics was a comic book imprint of American publisher Ned Pines, who also published pulp magazines (under a variety of company names that he also used for the comics) and paperback books (under the Popular Library name). Standard in turn was the parent company of two comic-book lines: Better Publications and Nedor Publishing Collectors and historians sometimes refer to them collectively as "Standard/Better/Nedor".

Startling Stories

Startling Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1955 by publisher Ned Pines' Standard Magazines. It was initially edited by Mort Weisinger, who was also the editor of Thrilling Wonder Stories, Standard's other science fiction title. Startling ran a lead novel in every issue; the first was The Black Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum. When Standard Magazines acquired Thrilling Wonder in 1936, it also gained the rights to stories published in that magazine's predecessor, Wonder Stories, and selections from this early material were reprinted in Startling as "Hall of Fame" stories. Under Weisinger the magazine focused on younger readers and, when Weisinger was replaced by Oscar J. Friend in 1941, the magazine became even more juvenile in focus, with clichéd cover art and letters answered by a "Sergeant Saturn". Friend was replaced by Sam Merwin, Jr. in 1945, and Merwin was able to improve the quality of the fiction substantially, publishing Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night, and several other well-received stories.

Much of Startling's cover art was painted by Earle K. Bergey, who became strongly associated with the magazine, painting almost every cover between 1940 and 1952. He was known for equipping his heroines with brass bras and implausible costumes, and the public image of science fiction in his day was partly created by his work for Startling and other magazines. Merwin left in 1951, and Samuel Mines took over; the standard remained fairly high but competition from new and better-paying markets such as Galaxy Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction impaired Mines' ability to acquire quality material. In mid-1952, Standard attempted to change Startling's image by adopting a more sober title typeface and reducing the sensationalism of the covers, but by 1955 the pulp magazine market was collapsing. Startling absorbed its two companion magazines, Thrilling Wonder and Fantastic Story Magazine, in early 1955, but by the end of that year it too ceased publication.

Ron Hanna of Wild Cat Books revived Startling Stories in 2007.

The Phantom Detective

The Phantom Detective was the second pulp hero magazine published, after The Shadow. The first issue was released in February 1933, a month before Doc Savage, which was released in March 1933. The title continued to be released until 1953, with a total 170 issues. This is the third highest number of issues for a character pulp, after The Shadow, which had 325 issues, and Doc Savage, which had 181. In western titles, Texas Rangers would have around 212 issues of their main character, known as the Lone Wolf.

Thrilling Publications

Thrilling Publications, also known as Beacon Magazines (1936–37), Better Publications (1937–43) and Standard Magazines (1943–55), was a pulp magazine publisher run by Ned Pines, publishing such titles as Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories.

Pines became the president of Pines Publications in 1928. Pines folded most of his magazines in 1955 but continued to lead the company until 1961.

Wonder Stories

Wonder Stories is an early American science fiction magazine which was published under several titles from 1929 to 1955. It was founded by Hugo Gernsback in 1929 after he had lost control of his first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, when his media company Experimenter Publishing went bankrupt. Within a few months of the bankruptcy, Gernsback launched three new magazines: Air Wonder Stories, Science Wonder Stories, and Science Wonder Quarterly.

Air Wonder Stories and Science Wonder Stories were merged in 1930 as Wonder Stories, and the quarterly was renamed Wonder Stories Quarterly. The magazines were not financially successful, and in 1936 Gernsback sold Wonder Stories to Ned Pines at Beacon Publications, where, retitled Thrilling Wonder Stories, it continued for nearly 20 years. The last issue was dated Winter 1955, and the title was then merged with Startling Stories, another of Pines' science fiction magazines. Startling itself lasted only to the end of 1955 before finally succumbing to the decline of the pulp magazine industry.

The editors under Gernsback's ownership were David Lasser, who worked hard to improve the quality of the fiction, and, from mid-1933, Charles Hornig. Both Lasser and Hornig published some well-received fiction, such as Stanley Weinbaum's "A Martian Odyssey", but Hornig's efforts in particular were overshadowed by the success of Astounding Stories, which had become the leading magazine in the new field of science fiction. Under its new title, Thrilling Wonder Stories was initially unable to improve its quality. For a period in the early 1940s it was aimed at younger readers, with a juvenile editorial tone and covers that depicted beautiful women in implausibly revealing spacesuits. Later editors began to improve the fiction, and by the end of the 1940s, in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley, the magazine briefly rivaled Astounding.

Wonder Story Annual

Wonder Story Annual was a science fiction pulp magazine which was launched in 1950 by Standard Magazines. It was created as a vehicle to reprint stories from early issues of Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, and Wonder Stories Quarterly, which were owned by the same publisher. It lasted for four issues, succumbing in 1953 to competition from the growing market for paperback science fiction. Reprinted stories included Twice in Time, by Manly Wade Wellman, and "The Brain-Stealers of Mars", by John W. Campbell.

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