Classics Illustrated

Classics Illustrated is an American comic book/magazine series featuring adaptations of literary classics such as Les Miserables, Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Iliad. Created by Albert Kanter, the series began publication in 1941 and finished its first run in 1969, producing 169 issues. Following the series’ demise, various companies reprinted its titles. Since then, the Classics Illustrated brand has been used to create new comic book adaptations. This series is different from the Great Illustrated Classics, which is an adaptation of the classics for young readers that includes illustrations, but is not in the comic book form. Recognizing the appeal of early comic books, Russian-born publisher Albert Lewis Kanter (1897–1973) believed he could use the new medium to introduce young and reluctant readers to ‘great literature‘. He created Classic Comics for Elliot Publishing Company in 1941 with its debut issues being The Three Musketeers, followed by Ivanhoe and The Count of Monte Cristo. In addition to the literary adaptations, each issue featured author profiles, educational fillers, and an ad for the coming title. In later editions, a catalog of titles and a subscription order form appeared on back covers. … With issue #35 in March 1947 (The Last Days of Pompeii) the series’ name was changed to Classics Illustrated. In 1948, rising paper costs reduced books to 48 pages. In 1951 (issue #81), line-drawn covers were replaced with painted covers, and the price was raised from 10 cents to 15 cents, (and, at a later date, to 25 cents). … Artists who contributed to Classic Comics include Lillian Chestney (Arabian Nights, issue #8, and Gulliver’s Travels, issue #16), Webb and Brewster (Frankenstein, issue #26), Matt Baker (Lorna Doone, issue #32), and Henry Carl Kiefer (second cover for The Prince and the Pauper, issue #29, cover for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, issue #33, and the first Classics Illustrated issue The Last Days of Pompeii, issue #35). Oliver Twist (issue #23) was the first title produced by the Eisner & Iger shop. Artists who contributed to Classics Illustrated included Jack Abel, Stephen Addeo, Matt Baker, Charles J. Berger, Dik Browne, Lou Cameron, Sid Check, L.B. Cole, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Denis Gifford, Graham Ingels, Henry C. Kiefer, Alex Blum, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Jack Kirby, Roy Krenkel, Gray Morrow, Joe Orlando, Norman Nodel, Rudolph Palais, John Parker, Norman Saunders, John Severin, Joe Sinnott, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson and George Woodbridge. …”
The Classics Illustrated Collection
Classics Illustrated Issue 9, etc.
amazon: Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History 2d ed

“The Spy” No. 51

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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