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The Saturday Comics: The 1940’s Batman Newspaper Strip

13 Oct

October 13, 2012

Batman has been a comic book staple but since 1943 he has been a newspaper comic strip staple as well. There have been 5 different versions of Batman comic strips running in the daily papers, including one where he costarred along with most of the Justice League on a rotating basis. The best of them is the first, the 1943-1946 run.

If ever a comic strip almost exactly emulated its comic book inspiration, this was it. In fact it was created by many of the same people who did the comic book, like Bob Kane and Bill Finger. These strips are easily available, compiled in various books and volumes, so it was a little surprising that there was not too much available online. In fact, I found many more examples of the 1966-1974 version of the strip than I did this one. Batman was still published as late as 1991 and the last incarnation was also carried in Comic Shop News, a weekly free newspaper given out in comic book stores.

Oddly enough, from 1972 until 1974, the Batman strip did not feature Batman! Although Bruce Wayne was still a main character, the strip featured a new hero called Galexo. I have no idea why. Posted below are several examples of the excellent 1940’s run. If you are a Batman fan, you owe it to yourself to go out and buy these collections. The newspaper series is a lot of fun and the volumes inexpensive.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge.

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10 Responses to “The Saturday Comics: The 1940’s Batman Newspaper Strip”

  1. zathra October 13, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    Interesting stuff ! But from ’72 to ’74 the Batman strip didn’t feature BATMAN ? Then what was the point ?

    Like

    • bmj2k October 13, 2012 at 1:40 am #

      Don’t know, that’s why it cancelled I guess. But the replacment strip, The World’s Greatest Heroes, which was the Justice League, featured Batman prominently.

      Like

      • zathra October 13, 2012 at 6:43 am #

        Maybe they should’ve just called it ” Adventures of Bruce Wayne “. I seem to recall a few ” Clark Kent ” stories in Superman comics that showed Clark in seemingly everyday situations, including one where he had to baby – sit ! More stories like that w / have been interesting. Super – heroes alter – egos’ baby – sitting….. 😉

        Like

  2. Thomas Stazyk October 13, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Great stuff! I love the one with the schematic of the Bat Cave–and the technology.

    Like

    • bmj2k October 13, 2012 at 1:42 am #

      I was really disappointed that I could not find a complete run to put up. I do have all of the volumes of the collection and they are cheap and I urge you to get them if you like these.

      Like

  3. Mac of BIOnighT October 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Wow, these really look worth having O___O’

    Like

    • bmj2k October 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

      The way I keep recommending these you’d think I got a cut of the profits, but they are available now in one hardcover volume or 3 softcover volumes, plus a softcover Sunday volume. I don’t think any of the later runds are collected, and that’s a shame since I really want the World’s Greatest Heroes collected. On a related note, the Star Trek strip I featured here https://bmj2k.com/2011/04/23/the-saturday-comics-sunday-comics-rarities/ are about to be released.

      Like

      • Mac of BIOnighT October 13, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

        “The way I keep recommending these you’d think I got a cut of the profits”
        That’s exactly what I think, but I don’t want to deprive you of your percentage, so I’ll keep an eye on ebay 😉
        Unfortunately, books are the hardest to find for me for an acceptable price, as shipping to Italy for books is very steep :-/
        But they are worth the search and the wait, from what I see (and from what you say).

        Like

  4. Mac of BIOnighT October 13, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Book $8.50, shipping $14.00 😦 It’s not that much anyway, I’ll just have to wait for better financial times, I’m afraid 😦 Let’s see what happens in the next few months. Thanks 🙂

    Like

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