Foreign Comic Collector - Page 16

by Steve Barghusen & Tom Burton A #22 cover dated December 1941. That issue rchie Andrews made his debut in Pep Comics also featured the first appearances of Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones. Archie was destined to take over the entire contents of Pep, and spawn a publishing empire over the next few decades. Foreign Archies were quick to follow and were published in Canada, England, Australia and Mexico during the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. Other countries followed with Archie titles of their own, however they are typically of more recent vintage. The following is a discussion of what we know and can glean from sources such as the Grand Comics Database and the CGC boards. Many of the foreign books do not list such helpful information as publication date or even publisher in some instances, so proper cataloging is difficult to say the least. In the late ‘40s, short runs of Canadian color reprints of Archie (starting with #31), Laugh (starting with #25) and Pep (starting with #67) were published by Bell Features. Those were followed by a few issues of Jughead, Betty and Veronica and Reggie. After the discontinuation of publication of these titles, Canadian demand for Archie was met by books imported from the US. The only distinguishing characteristics of these later books were that the 25 cent giants were printed with 35 cent cover prices for the Canadian market. This practice ended in the mid ‘60s, although Canadian price variants returned to the market in the ‘80s. England The history of Archie comics published in England is shorter and less well known. Gerald Swan published a few titles in the Canada ‘50s including Archie, Archie’s foreign debut was not long in coming afBetty and Veronica, ter the publication of Pep #22. His first foreign apJughead, Archie’s Pals pearance was in a Canadian edition of Super Com- n Gals and Archie’s ics, which reprinted in black and white the contents Christmas Stocking. of Pep #22. This was followed by six more issues of Most of these were Archie one shot Super which all contained black and white reprints published in black and Canada of various issues of Pep. Finally, there is a one-shot white and some featitled simply “Archie Comics” which features the tured cardboard covers. cover to Pep Comics #49. These books, published The first Archie Comics (designated “British edition by F. E. Howard are all Canadian Whites, which No. 1”) was a slightly undersized book and the inwere Canadian comics that arose during World War terior was printed in black, white and red. It reprints II. Import restrictions on nonessential goods made the cover to the American Archie title issue #39, American comics difficult to come by during the while the interiors are a somewhat truncated reprint war. Thus, Canadians had to turn to manufacturing of Archie #41. It was presumably published around their own comic books. All seven of these books 1950, as the two reprint sources were from 1949. are extremely scarce and highly sought after by All of these British Archie titles appear to have been collectors. relatively short lived and are very scarce on the Page 16