Magazine Management

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Magazine Management Co., Inc.
GenreRomance, men's, comics, humor
Foundedc.1947; 76 years ago (1947)
FounderMartin Goodman
Defunct1973; 50 years ago (1973)
FateRebranded as Marvel Comics Group, assets merged with Marvel Comics
SuccessorMarvel Comics Group
United States
ProductsComics, magazines
ParentCadence Industries
Marvel Comics

Magazine Management Co., Inc. was an American publishing company lasting from at least c. 1947 to the early 1970s, known for men's-adventure magazines, risque men's magazines, humor, romance, puzzle, celebrity/film and other types of magazines, and later adding comic books and black-and-white comics magazines to the mix. It was the parent company of Atlas Comics, and its rebranded incarnation, Marvel Comics.

Founded by Martin Goodman, who had begun his career in the 1930s with pulp magazines published under a variety of shell companies, Magazine Management served as an early employer of such staff writers as Rona Barrett, Bruce Jay Friedman, David Markson, Mario Puzo, Martin Cruz Smith, Mickey Spillane, and Ernest Tidyman.

Subsidiaries of Magazine Management included Humorama, which published digest-sized magazines of girlie cartoons; and Marvel Comics. The company also published black-and-white comics magazines such as Vampire Tales, Savage Tales, and Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction that utilized primarily Marvel writers and artists.


Founded by Martin Goodman, who had begun his career in the 1930s with pulp magazines published under a variety of shell companies, Magazine Management existed as of at least 1947.[1] By the early 1960s, the company occupied the second floor at 60th Street and Madison Avenue.[2] It published men's-adventure magazines with such writers as Bruce Jay Friedman, David Markson, Mario Puzo, Martin Cruz Smith, Mickey Spillane, and Ernest Tidyman; film magazines with writers including Rona Barrett; and humor publications, among other types.[3] By the late 1960s, its men's-adventure magazines such as Stag and Male had begun evolving into men's magazines, with pictorials about dancers and swimsuit models replaced by bikinis and discreet nude shots, with gradually fewer fiction stories, and eventually into pornographic magazines.

One division of the company was the Marvel Comics Group. As one-time Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas recalled, "I was startled to learn in '65 that Marvel was just part of a parent company called Magazine Management."[3]

In late 1968, Goodman sold all his publishing businesses to the Perfect Film and Chemical Corporation, which made the subsidiary Magazine Management Company the parent company of all the acquired Goodman concerns. Goodman remained as publisher until 1972. Perfect Film and Chemical renamed itself Cadence Industries and renamed Magazine Management as Marvel Comics Group in 1973, the first of many changes, mergers, and acquisitions that led to what became the 21st century corporation Marvel Entertainment.[4][5]


As writer Dorothy Gallagher reminisced in 1998,

At Magazine Management, magazines were produced the way Detroit produced cars. I worked on the fan-magazine line. On the other side of a five-foot partition was the romance-magazine line. And across a corridor were the financial staples of the organization, the men's magazines — Stag, For Men Only, Male — for which, at one time or another, Mario Puzo, Bruce Jay Friedman, David Markson, Mickey Spillane and Martin Cruz Smith wrote, until they became too exalted and rich to do it anymore. I'm almost forgetting the comic-book line, where Stan Lee [co-]created Spider-Man, known to every connoisseur of classic comics. ... [Th]e decor was insurance-company blah: grayish white walls and foam-tile ceilings, overhead fluorescent fixtures, gray metal desks. Except for the executive offices, which faced Madison Avenue and had carpets and windows, the space was divided into jerrybuilt bull pens with head-high partitions. Editors got a glassed-in area in each bullpen.[2]

Author Adam Parfrey, in his book about men's adventure magazines, described how,

Most scribes laboring for Martin Goodman's Magazine Management firm and other repositories of adventure magazines spoke of feeling like well-compensated slaves of a very particular style ('man triumphant') that was not their own. This was not the style with which editor Bruce Jay Friedman felt most comfortable, and when editing publications for Martin Goodman he unsuccessfully tried to talk him out of running advertisements for trusses, an ad signalling the magazine's target audience: blue-collar yahoos. It would be years before he could raise his head at industry cocktail parties, when his acclaimed examples of 'black-humor fiction' were seen as appropriate material for a hipper, more monied crowd.[6]

Titles published[edit]

Comics magazines[edit]

Humor magazines[edit]

  • Best Cartoons from the Editors of Male & Stag, Magazine Management—published at least from 1973 to 1975)[7]
  • Cartoon Capers—published at least from vol. 4, #2 (1969) to vol. 10, #3 (1975)[7]
  • Cartoon Laughs—confirmed extant: vol 12, #3 (1973)[7]
  • Humorama titles

Men's-adventure and erotic magazines[edit]

Magazine Management's publications included such men's adventure magazines as For Men Only, Male and Stag, edited during the 1950s by Noah Sarlat.[citation needed] As well, there were such ephemera as a one-shot black-and-white "nudie cutie" comic, The Adventures of Pussycat (Oct. 1968), that reprinted some stories of the sexy, tongue-in-cheek secret-agent strip that ran in some of his men's magazines. Marvel Comics writers Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Ernie Hart, and artists Wally Wood, Al Hartley, Jim Mooney, and Bill Everett and "good girl art" cartoonist Bill Ward contributed.[8]

Launched pre-1970[edit]

Male vol. 26, #3 (March 1976)
  • Action Life — ran 16 issues, Atlas Magazines[9]
  • Complete Man — published June 1965? to April 1967?, Atlas Magazines/Diamond[10]
  • For Men Only[2][11] — confirmed at least from vol. 4, #11 (Dec. 1957) through at least vol. 26, #3 (March 1976)
Published by Canam Publishers at least 1957), Newsstand Publications Inc. (at least 1966–1967), Perfect Film Inc. (at least 1968), Magazine Management Co. Inc. (at least 1970) [12]
  • Male[2] — published at least vol. 1, #2 (July 1950) through 1977[13]
  • Male Home Companion[citation needed]
  • Stag[2] — at least 314 issues published February 1942 – Feb. 1976
Published by Official Communications Inc. (1951), Official Magazines (Feb. 1952 – March 1958), Atlas (July 1958 – Oct. 1968), Magazine Management (Dec. 1970 to end) [14]
  • Stag Annual — at least 18 issues published 1964–1975
Published by Atlas (1964–1968), Magazine Management (1970–1975)
1977 issue of Celebrity
  • Men published by Magazine Management.

1970s and later[edit]

  • FILM International — covering R- through X-rated movies[11]

Other magazines[edit]


  1. ^ Bell, Blake; Vassallo, Michael J. (2013). The Secret History of Marvel Comics. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books. p. 39. ISBN 978-1606995525.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Gallagher, Dorothy (May 31, 1998). "Adventures in the Mag Trade". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 17, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Stan the Man & Roy the Boy: A Conversation Between Stan Lee and Roy Thomas". Comic Book Artist. No. 2. Summer 1998. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009.
  4. ^ Nadel, Nick. "The Strange Business History of Marvel Comics". Comics Alliance. AOL. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  5. ^ Rhoades, Shirrel (2008). A Complete History of American Comic Books. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 9781433101076.
  6. ^ Parfrey, Adam. It's A Man's World: Men's Adventure Magazines, the Postwar Pulps (ISBN 0-922915-81-4)
  7. ^ a b c Michigan State University Libraries: Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection Archived 2008-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Evanier, Mark (June 15, 2005). "The Marvel Age of Huge Breasts". P.O.V. Online (column). Archived from the original on March 29, 2010.
  9. ^ Action Life at the Magazine Data File.
  10. ^ Complete Man at the Magazine Data File.
  11. ^ a b "Sexy Magazines: Title List: F". Time Warp Collectibles. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) Additional on July 24, 2010.
  12. ^ For Men Only (1954) at the Magazine Data File.
  13. ^ "First Copyright Renewals for Periodicals", University of Pennsylvania Library. WebCitation archive.
  14. ^ Stag (1950) at the Magazine Data File.
  15. ^ Slide, Anthony (2010). Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. p. 237. ISBN 978-1-60473-413-3.
  16. ^ Slide, p. 243