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.[2][3]

Tower Publications
Statusdefunct 1981
FoundedJune 2, 1958
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location500 Fifth Avenue,[1] New York City
Key peopleLouis Silberkleit, Harry Shorten
Publication typesBooks, Comic books
Nonfiction topicsHistory, Religion, Sociology
Fiction genresErotic literature, Science Fiction, Horror, Mystery
ImprintsMidwood Books
Tower Books
Tower Comics
Belmont Tower


Tower Publications was formed on June 2, 1958.[1] The company's first publications were cheap paperbacks in Midwood Books's numbered erotic Midwood line, aimed at male readers. (Many of the titles were branded as Midwood-Tower Publications.) The covers of many Midwood Books featured works by prolific illustrators of the era, including Paul Rader; authors published by Midwood (mostly using pseudonyms) included Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Robert Silverberg, and Richard E. Geis.

From 1965 to 1969, Tower ran a comic book division, Tower Comics, which was mostly run by cartoonists Wally Wood and Samm Schwartz.[4] Tower is most well known for Wood's own T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents; besides Wood and Schwartz, notable creators associated with Tower included Dan Adkins, Gil Kane, Reed Crandall, Steve Ditko, Richard Bassford, Len Brown, Steve Skeates, Larry Ivie, Bill Pearson, Russ Jones, and Roger Brand. Tower Comics went defunct in 1969.

Tower Publications' Tower Books line published science fiction and fantasy from 1968 to c. 1981. Writer Gardner Fox produced between thirteen and twenty-five "Lady from L.U.S.T." (League of Undercover Spies and Terrorists) novels for Tower (and later Belmont Tower) between 1968 and 1975 using the name "Rod Gray".[5]

In 1971, Tower acquired the assets of Belmont Books, merging the two companies to form Belmont Tower. (Belmont had been founded by all three Archie Comic Publications founders: Silberkleit, John L. Goldwater, and Maurice Coyne.)[6] Although the new line continued to publish fiction, Belmont Tower published many notable nonfiction books from 1971 to 1980. Authors who published with Belmont Tower included Paulette Cooper, Ovid Demaris, Gardner Fox (writing as Rod Gray), Firth Haring Fabend, Hans Holzer, T. V. Olsen, and Harry Turtledove.

Tower ceased publishing in 1981; the company officially went out of business in January 2012, long after it had ceased operations.[1]

Selected titles published

Tower Comics (1965–1969)

  • Fight the Enemy (3 issues, Aug. 1966–Mar. 1967) — war title
  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (20 issues, Nov. 1965–Nov. 1969) — and spin-off titles:
    • Dynamo (4 issues, Aug. 1966–June 1967)
    • NoMan (2 issues, Nov. 1966–Mar. 1967)
  • Undersea Agent (6 issues, Jan. 1966–Mar. 1967) — minimal ties with T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents
  • Tippy Teen (27 issues, Nov. 1965–Oct. 1969) — teen comics; includes the unnumbered Tippy Teen Special Collector's Edition (Nov. 1969); and spin-off titles:
    • Teen-in (4 issues, Summer 1968–Fall 1969)
    • Tippy's Friends Go-go and Animal / Tippy's Friend Go-Go (15 issues, Aug. 1966–Oct. 1969)

Paperback collections (published by Tower Books)

  • Dynamo, Man of High Camp (Tower Book 42-660) 1966 — reprints T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1
  • NoMan, the Invisible THUNDER Agent (Tower Book 42-672) 1966 — reprints NoMan stories from T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #2-5
  • Menthor, the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent with the Super Helmet (Tower Book 42-674) 1966 — reprints Menthor stories from T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #2-5
  • The Terrific Trio (Tower Book 42-687) 1966 — reprints stories T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #2, 3, 6

Tower Books (1968–1981)

  • Rod Gray (Gardner Fox). The Lady from L.U.S.T. series:
    • The Lady From L.U.S.T. (1967)
    • Lay Me Odds (1967)
    • The 69 Pleasures (1967)
    • Five Beds To Mecca (1968)
    • The Hot Mahatma (1968)
    • To Russia With L.U.S.T. (1968)
    • Kiss My Assassin (1968)
    • South of the Bordello (1968)
    • The Poisoned Pussy (1968)
    • The Big Snatch (1970)
    • The Big Snatch (1970)
    • Laid in the Future (1970)
    • Blow My Mind (1971)
  • John Jakes:
  • Sam Moskowitz and Roger Elwood, editors. The Time Curve (1968) — anthology of science fiction short stories[7]
  • Greg Tobin: Season of Power (co-authored with Sam Tanenhaus) (1981)

Belmont-Tower (1971–1980)


  1. ^ a b c "Tower Publications," Best Business NY. Accessed March 3, 2017.
  2. ^ Feldman, Michael. "The Secret Origin of Tower Comics," in The Thunder Agents Companion by Jon B. Cooke (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2005), p. 85.
  3. ^ Shorten entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928-1999. Accessed Feb. 25, 2017.
  4. ^ Klein, Robert and Michael Uslan. "Introduction," T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives Volume 1 (DC Comics, 2002).
  5. ^ "Rod Gray". n.d. Archived from the original on February 13, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
  6. ^ Hyfler, Richard. "Books For Bus Terminals: Whatever Happened to Belmont Productions?" (SEP 15, 2010).
  7. ^ Tower Publications title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
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.


Buccaneers were a kind of privateer or free sailor peculiar to the Caribbean Sea during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Originally the name applied to the landless hunters of wild boars and cattle in the largely uninhabited areas of Tortuga and Hispaniola. The meat they caught was smoked over a slow fire in little huts the French called boucanes to make viande boucanée – jerked meat or jerky – which they sold to the corsairs that preyed on the (largely Spanish) shipping and settlements of the Caribbean. Eventually the term was applied to the corsairs and (later) privateers themselves, also known as the Brethren of the Coast. Though corsairs, also known as freebooters, were largely lawless, privateers were nominally licensed by the authorities – first the French, later the English and Dutch – to prey on the Spanish, until their depredations became so severe they were suppressed.


Disconnection is the severance of all ties between a Scientologist and a friend, colleague, or family member deemed to be antagonistic towards Scientology. The practice of disconnection is a form of shunning. Among Scientologists, disconnection is viewed as an important method of removing obstacles to one's spiritual growth. In some circumstances, disconnection has ended marriages and separated children from their parents. The Church of Scientology has repeatedly denied that such a policy exists, though as of February 2012 its website acknowledged the practice and described it as a human right. In the United States, the Church has tried to argue in court that disconnection is a constitutionally protected religious practice. However, this argument was rejected because the pressure put on individual Scientologists to disconnect means it is not voluntary.

Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses

The eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. They believe that Jesus Christ has been ruling in heaven as king since 1914 (a date they believe was prophesied in Scripture), and that after that time a period of cleansing occurred, resulting in God's selection of the Bible Students associated with Charles Taze Russell to be his people in 1919. They also believe the destruction of those who reject their message and thus willfully refuse to obey God will shortly take place at Armageddon, ensuring that the beginning of the new earthly society will be composed of willing subjects of that kingdom.

The group's doctrines surrounding 1914 are the legacy of a series of emphatic claims regarding the years 1799, 1874, 1878, 1914, 1918 and 1925 made in the Watch Tower Society's publications between 1879 and 1924. Claims about the significance of those years, including the presence of Jesus Christ, the beginning of the "last days", the destruction of worldly governments and the earthly resurrection of Jewish patriarchs, were successively abandoned. In 1922 the society's principal journal, Watch Tower, described its chronology as "no stronger than its weakest link", but also claimed the chronological relationships to be "of divine origin and divinely a class by itself, absolutely and unqualifiedly correct" and "indisputable facts", while repudiation of Russell's teachings was described as "equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord".The Watch Tower Society has stated that its early leaders promoted "incomplete, even inaccurate concepts". The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses says that, unlike Old Testament prophets, its interpretations of the Bible are not inspired or infallible. Witness publications say that Bible prophecies can be fully understood only after their fulfillment, citing examples of biblical figures who did not understand the meaning of prophecies they received. Watch Tower publications often cite Proverbs 4:18, "The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established" (NWT) to support their view that there would be an increase in knowledge during "the time of the end", as mentioned in Daniel 12:4. Jehovah's Witnesses state that this increase in knowledge needs adjustments. Watch Tower publications also say that unfulfilled expectations are partly due to eagerness for God's Kingdom and that they do not call their core beliefs into question.

Faithful and discreet slave

The faithful and discreet slave is the term used by Jehovah's Witnesses to describe the group's Governing Body in its role of directing doctrines and teachings. The group is described as a "class" of "anointed" Christians that operates under the direct control of Jesus Christ to exercise teaching authority in all matters pertaining to doctrine and articles of faith.The concept is a central doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses' system of belief and is based on their interpretation of the Parable of the Faithful Servant at Matthew 24:45–47, Mark 13:34-37 and Luke 12:35-48.

The doctrine has undergone several major changes since it was formulated in 1881 by Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student movement.

Gary Friedrich

Gary Friedrich (; August 21, 1943 – August 29, 2018) was an American comic book writer best known for his Silver Age stories for Marvel Comics' Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, and, in the following era, for the series The Monster of Frankenstein and for co-creating the supernatural motorcyclist the Ghost Rider and the supernatural hero the Son of Satan.

Friedrich – no relation to fellow comics writer Mike Friedrich – was the first successful new writer brought into the burgeoning 1960s Marvel after fellow Missourian Roy Thomas. Succeeding Thomas on Sgt. Fury, Friedrich and the art team of Dick Ayers and John Severin produced a World War II series for the Vietnam years, combining militaristic camaraderie and gung ho humor with a regretful sense of war as a terrible last resort. The humanistic military drama was noted for its semi-anthological "The" stories, such as "The Medic" and "The Deserter".

Friedrich went on to write a smattering of superhero stories for Marvel, Atlas/Seaboard Comics and Topps Comics, and eventually left the comics industry. In 2011, he lost a federal lawsuit over a claim of ownership in the character Ghost Rider, but in July 2014, three months after an appellate court reversed that decision, the parties said they had reached a settlement.

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 Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses originated as a branch of the Bible Student movement, which developed in the United States in the 1870s among followers of Christian Restorationist minister Charles Taze Russell. Bible Student missionaries were sent to England in 1881 and the first overseas branch was opened in London in 1900. The group took on the name International Bible Students Association and by 1914 it was also active in Canada, Germany, Australia and other countries. The movement split into several rival organizations after Russell's death in 1916, with one—led by Russell's successor, Joseph "Judge" Rutherford—retaining control of both his magazine, The Watch Tower, and his legal and publishing corporation, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.

Under Rutherford's direction, the International Bible Students Association introduced significant doctrinal changes that resulted in many long-term members leaving the organization. The group regrew rapidly, particularly in the mid-1930s with the introduction of new preaching methods. In 1931, the name Jehovah's witnesses was adopted, further cutting ties with Russell's earlier followers. Substantial organizational changes continued as congregations and teaching programs worldwide came under centralized control. Further refinements of its doctrines led to the prohibition of blood transfusions by members, abandonment of the cross in worship, rejection of Christmas and birthday celebrations and the view of the biblical Armageddon as a global war by God that will destroy the wicked and restore peace on earth. In 1945 the Watch Tower Society, which Russell had founded as a publishing house, amended its charter to state that its purposes included preaching about God's Kingdom, acting as a servant and governing agency of Jehovah's Witnesses and sending out missionaries and teachers for the public worship of God and Jesus Christ.

The denomination was banned in Canada in World War I, and in Germany, the Soviet Union, Canada and Australia during World War II; members suffered widespread persecution and mob violence in some of those countries and in the United States. The group initiated dozens of high-profile legal actions in the United States and Canada between 1938 and 1955 to establish the right of members to sell literature from door to door, abstain from flag salute ceremonies and gain legal recognition as wartime conscientious objectors. Members of the denomination suffered persecution in some African countries in the 1960s and 1970s; since 2004 the group has suffered a series of official bans in Russia.

Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible prohibits ingesting blood and that Christians should not accept blood transfusions or donate or store their own blood for transfusion. The belief is based on an interpretation of scripture that differs from that of other Christian denominations. It is one of the doctrines for which Jehovah's Witnesses are best known.Jehovah's Witnesses' literature teaches that their refusal of transfusions of whole blood or its four primary components—red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma—is a non-negotiable religious stand and that those who respect life as a gift from God do not try to sustain life by taking in blood, even in an emergency. Witnesses are taught that the use of fractions such as albumin, immunoglobulins and hemophiliac preparations are "not absolutely prohibited", and are instead a matter of personal choice.The doctrine was introduced in 1945, and has undergone some changes since then. Members of the group who voluntarily accept a transfusion and are not deemed repentant are regarded as having disassociated themselves from the group by abandoning its doctrines and are subsequently shunned by members of the organization. Although accepted by the majority of Jehovah's Witnesses, a minority does not endorse this doctrine.The Watch Tower Society has established Hospital Information Services to provide education and facilitate bloodless surgery. This service also maintains Hospital Liaison Committees, whose function is to provide support to adherents.

Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs

The beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of Charles Taze Russell—founder of the Bible Student movement—and successive presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, and Nathan Homer Knorr. Since 1976 all doctrinal decisions have been made by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders at the denomination's headquarters. These teachings are disseminated through The Watchtower magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses, and at conventions and congregation meetings.Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the present world order, which they perceive as being under the control of Satan, will be ended by a direct intervention of Jehovah (God), who will use Jesus Christ to fully establish his heavenly government over earth, destroying existing human governments and non-Witnesses, and creating a cleansed society of true worshippers who can live forever. They see their mission as primarily evangelical (disseminating "good news"), to warn as many people as possible in the remaining time before Armageddon. All members of the denomination are expected to take an active part in preaching. Witnesses refer to all their beliefs collectively as "the Truth".

Jehovah's Witnesses publications

The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society produces a significant amount of printed and electronic literature, primarily for use by Jehovah's Witnesses. Their best known publications are the magazines, The Watchtower and Awake!

The Watchtower was first published by Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student movement, in 1879, followed by the inception of the Watch Tower Society in 1881. Supporters adopted the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931. Particularly since 2001, when referring to other Watch Tower Society publications their literature has typically stated that it is "published by Jehovah's Witnesses", though the edition notice identifies the publisher as the Watch Tower Society.Along with books and brochures, other media are also produced, including CDs, MP3s and DVDs, and Internet downloads and video streaming. New publications are usually released at Jehovah's Witnesses' annual conventions.

Lawrence Block

Lawrence Block (born June 24, 1938) is an American crime writer best known for two long-running New York–set series about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and the gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr. Block was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994.

Operation Freakout

Operation Freakout, also known as Operation PC Freakout, was a Church of Scientology covert plan intended to have the U.S. author and journalist Paulette Cooper imprisoned or committed to a psychiatric hospital. The plan, undertaken in 1976 following years of church-initiated lawsuits and covert harassment, was meant to eliminate the perceived threat that Cooper posed to the church and obtain revenge for her publication in 1971 of a highly critical book, The Scandal of Scientology. The Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered documentary evidence of the plot and the preceding campaign of harassment during an investigation into the Church of Scientology in 1977, eventually leading to the church compensating Cooper in an out-of-court settlement.


A paperback, also known as a softcover or softback, is a type of book characterized by a thick paper or paperboard cover, and often held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover or hardback books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth. The pages on the inside are made of paper.

Inexpensive books bound in paper have existed since at least the 19th century in such forms as pamphlets, yellowbacks, dime novels, and airport novels. Modern paperbacks can be differentiated by size. In the U.S., there are "mass-market paperbacks" and larger, more durable "trade paperbacks." In the U.K., there are A-format, B-format, and the largest C-format sizes.Paperback editions of books are issued when a publisher decides to release a book in a low-cost format. Cheaper, lower quality paper; glued (rather than stapled or sewn) bindings; and the lack of a hard cover may contribute to the lower cost of paperbacks. Paperbacks can be the preferred medium when a book is not expected to be a major seller or where the publisher wishes to release a book without putting forth a large investment. Examples include many novels, and newer editions or reprintings of older books.

Since paperbacks tend to have a smaller profit margin, many publishers try to balance the profit to be made by selling fewer hardcovers against the potential profit to be made by selling more paperbacks with a smaller profit per unit. First editions of many modern books, especially genre fiction, are issued in paperback. Best-selling books, on the other hand, may maintain sales in hardcover for an extended period to reap the greater profits that the hardcovers provide.

Phyllis King

Phyllis April King is an English poet. She appears and reads her material on Ivor Cutler's albums Dandruff, Velvet Donkey and Jammy Smears. King designed some of the Ivor Cutler album covers, and has published poetry and children's books. She worked with Cutler on the radio series King Cutler which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1990.

Sean Costello (author)

Sean Costello (born 1951 in Ottawa, Ontario) is a Canadian author of horror fiction and an anesthesiologist living in Sudbury, Ontario.

His first three novels, published in North America by Pocket Books, have been released in the United Kingdom by Tor Books and translated into Dutch, German and Russian. Finders Keepers and Sandman were published by Red Tower Publications, and Here After has been optioned to film. Squall, from Your Scrivener Press, was released in trade paperback in October 2014. Recently, all 8 of Costello's titles have been published as ebooks on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and several other platforms. The author is currently at work on a new novel, Terminal House, which he expects to have out in early to mid 2016.

The Scandal of Scientology

The Scandal of Scientology is a critical exposé book about the Church of Scientology, written by Paulette Cooper and published by Tower Publications, in 1971.

In 2007, Cooper wrote about the events that occurred as a result of her original publication of an article called "The Scandal of Scientology" in Queen, in 1968. In the article "The Scandal of the Scandal of Scientology," in Byline, Cooper commented on her motivation for writing the book: "I had a master's degree in psychology and had studied comparative religion at Harvard for a summer and what I learned during my research about the group founded by L. Ron Hubbard was both fascinating and frightening. The story cried out to be told."

There Oughta Be a Law!

There Oughta Be a Law! was a single-panel newspaper comic strip, created by Harry Shorten and Al Fagaly, which was syndicated for four decades from the mid-1940s to the mid-1980s. The gags illustrated minor absurdities, frustrations, hypocrisies, ironies and misfortunes of everyday life, displayed in a single-panel or two-panel format. There Oughta Be a Law!, or TOBAL!, was highly derivative of Jimmy Hatlo's They'll Do It Every Time which had a long run over eight decades, from 1929 to 2008. TOBAL! was initially syndicated by the McClure Newspaper Syndicate; eventually it moved over to United Feature Syndicate.

Tower Comics

Tower Comics was an American comic book publishing company that operated from 1965 to 1969, best known for Wally Wood's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, a strange combination of secret agents and superheroes; and Samm Schwartz's Tippy Teen, an Archie Andrews clone. The comics were published by Harry Shorten and edited by Schwartz and Wood. Tower Comics was part of Tower Publications, a paperback publisher at that point best known for their Midwood Books line of soft-core erotic fiction aimed at male readers.

Tower Comics set themselves apart by publishing 25-cent, 64-page comics, during a time of 12-cent, 32-page comics. The comics were something of a throw-back to the Golden Age, in that they had more pages than most of their contemporaries and usually featured five or six independent stories, with all the main characters coming together for the final story of the issue, a common Golden Age plotting device used in team books such as DC Comics's Justice Society of America.

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