Classics Illustrated Junior

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Classics Illustrated Junior
Cover, issue 507
Publication information
Publisher Famous Authors, Ltd.
Gilberton Publications
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Publication date October 1953 — August 1962
No. of issues 77
Creative team
Created by Albert Lewis Kanter
Artist(s) L.B. Cole
Kurt Schaffenberger
John Costanza
Alex Blum
Graham Ingels

Classics Illustrated Junior is a comic book series of seventy-seven fairy and folk tale, myth and legend comic book adaptations created by Albert Lewis Kanter as a spin-off of his flagship comic book line Classics Illustrated.

Publication history[edit]

Published by Famous Authors, Ltd. (The Gilberton Company, Inc.), the series kicked off in October 1953 with an adaptation of the Grimm Brothers' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs illustrated by Alex Blum. The series' last original issue was The Runaway Dumpling, issue 577 of 1962. The series ceased publication in Spring 1971. Published monthly, issues cost slightly more than other comic books of the time with a 15 cent cover price rather than the usual 10 or 12-cents. Close to the end of publication in 1971, prices jumped to 25-cents. At its peak, in 1960, Classics Illustrated Junior's average monthly circulation was 262,000.[1]

Issues included among their contents features such as comics adaptations of Aesop Fables (usually two to three pages), a limerick by Edward Lear, a Mother Goose rhyme, or poem from Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses (one page), and a one-page factual article about a bird, beast, or reptile. As the publisher allowed only in-house advertising in his books, the back cover interior sometimes offered a catalog of titles and a subscription order form. First editions included a "Coming Next Month" ad and a dot-to-dot puzzle on the inside front cover. The interior of the back cover featured a "Color this Picture with your Crayons" full-page line-drawn illustration of a scene from the tale. The exterior of the back cover often depicted a full-page color illustration from the tale. Artists included John Costanza, Kurt Schaffenberger, L. B. Cole and Graham Ingels. Unlike other comic book publishers, Kanter reprinted his titles regularly and the line was distributed abroad.

In 2003, Jack Lake Productions Inc., based in Toronto, Canada began remastering and republishing the entire Classics Illustrated Junior series.

In September of 2008, Classic Comic Store Ltd., based in the UK, under license by Jack Lake Productions Inc. began publishing both the original Gilberton Classics Illustrated regular and Junior lines for distribution in the UK, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The issue number sequence is different from the original runs, starting at issue 1 rather than at issue 501. The contents are generally similar to the original run[similarity verification needed], but the exterior of the back cover is used to advertise future issues, along with details of Classic Comic Store's website. The final page of the issue contains a brief biography of the author(s) of the main story written by William B. Jones, Jr, author of Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History[2]

List of complete sequence

In common with the first-run series in America, the inside back cover contains an outline picture to colour in from the main story (although the first print run of Issues 1-4 used the American spelling color instead of the British spelling colour).

Complete list of Classics Illustrated Junior comic books (original US run; also 2003-2014 Canadian run)[edit]

The Canadian run created by Jack Lake Productions Inc. which began in 2003 followed the same sequence as the original U.S. run.

The authorship is based on the information held by Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections Division in their Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection,[3] as well as information found on Wikipedia under the title of the individual stories.

List of Classics Illustrated Junior comic books (UK series from 2008)[edit]

Cover of "Jack and the Beanstalk" from the UK run.[4]

Up until September 2009 (issue 12), the runs for both the US and the UK runs were identical, albeit with issue numbers starting at 1 for the UK version rather than at 501.[5]

From issue 13 onwards, Classic Comic Store Ltd no longer published the titles (although still publishing the Classics Illustrated line), but imported the issues from Canada (where the series was already being published by Jack Lake Productions Inc.). These issues hence follow the Canadian numbering of the issues (513 onwards).

In October 2012 (when issue 544 had been despatched), Classic Comic Store Ltd no longer continued with a subscription service in the UK, because of the costs involved.

The authorship is based on the information found in the publications themselves, information held by Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections Division in their Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection,[3] as well as information found on Wikipedia under the title of the individual stories.

Note: None of "The Animal World" are credited with a writer, but they are all illustrated by William A. Walsh.

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Jr., William B. "Albert Lewis Kanter (1897-1973)," Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine. Jack Lake Productions (2004). Accessed July 6, 2010.
  2. ^ William B. Jones Jr., Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, with Illustrations (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2002).
  3. ^ a b "Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection: Classics Illustrated (501-574)". Special Collections Division: Michigan State University Libraries. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 
  4. ^ Note the new numbering of the UK version (07 instead of 507) and the new digital cover artwork by Christina Choma, based on the original cover artwork by Dik Browne
  5. ^ For published issues, the titles and publication dates are obtained from the personal collection of Wikipedia editor "Phantomsteve". The extras have not been confirmed for the original US run, so appear on this list only.

External links[edit]