Perhaps the must enjoyable and time honored of all Three Stooges collectibles are comics. They had a vast distribution, and many continue to be fairly available to collectors. There have been seven distinct series produced over th course of the past four decades.
Pictured here is the premier Three Stooges comic ... Number 1, 1949. This comic (and number 2) were published by Jubilee, and feature the artwork of Norman Maurer (husband of Moe's daughter Joan). Interestingly enough, these issues feature Curly as the third stooge, even though he had left the team some 3 years prior. Both issues are rated "SCARCE" by the Overstreet Price Guide, indicating only 20 to 100 copies of each are estimated to exist.
the St. John publishing company, and four years later produced
the second series of Stooge comics. A total of seven issues were
run during the years 1952 thru 1953. These issues featured Shemp
as the third stooge. Issues number two and three were printed
using the "3-D" affect, and sported a hefty 32 pages
each. This series featured the artwork of Norman Maurer and Joe
Kubert - a Maurer long time friend. Featured here are issue
numbers 1 and 2.
It was five
years later when the Three Stooges would again be seen in comics.
Their rise in popularity through television prompted the Dell
publishing company to put these beloved characters back in the
funnies, with Curly Joe as the third stooge. They ran nine issues
between 1959 and 1962, the first five of which were part of their
"Four Color" series. Also, all DELL comics featured
photo covers as seen with issues number 2 and 9 featured here.
Between the years 1958 and 1962, Dell
publishing had another series known as the "Comic
Album". They produced 18 issues in that run, the last of
which, number 18, featured the Stooges.
In 1962, at the
end of the Dell era and with the beginning of the Gold Key
series, two movie comics were produced. The Dell issue was part
of their "Movie Classics" series, and featured the film
"The Three Stooges Meet Hercules". Gold Key, as part of
their "Movie Comics" series, produced the comic
featuring the movie "The Three Stooges In Orbit".
In 1962, Dell
formed a separate publishing company, Gold Key, and the longest
run of Three Stooges comics would begin. Over the course of the
next 10 years, a series of 46 comics were produced bearing
"The Three Stooges" title. Most had photo covers,
though a few reflected comic art. Issue numbers 18 and 50 sported
the same cover, while issue number 53 was produced under the
"Whitman" label. Shown here are issues 11 and 25.
During that ten
year Gold Key run, two special feature issues were produced,
again employing one of the Stooges feature films. Gold Key issue
number 15 featured "The Three Stooges Go Around The World in
A Daze", while issue number 22 told the story of "The
Outlaws Is Coming".
publications joined forces with Western and Gold Key and produced
a total of 488 comics under their "March of Comics"
series. Nine of these comics featured the Three Stooges. These
were half-sized issues, with 16 pages each. They were not sold,
but rather distributed to retailers as a form of advertisement.
Shown here are issue numbers 292 and 304.
K.K Publications and Gold Key had
another series known as "Top Comics". In 1967, two
issues were produced featuring the Stooges. They were basically
re-bound runs of the Gold Key number 35 and 36 issues, with
different covers. None the less, still a valued collectible to a
Stooge fan! Featured here is issue number 2.
successful 46 issue run of the Three Stooges, Gold Key ventured
into a new series called "The Little Stooges". The
story line was to be "The Wild, Wacky Sons of the Three
Stooges". These issues also marked the return or artist
Norman Maurer. Well, this series met with moderate success, and
was killed after only two short years and seven issues.
It was to be a
long and lonely dry spell without the boys in comic print.
Following the "Little Stooges", it would take twelve
years before another Stooge comic was to be produced. This time,
Eclipse comics brought back the spirit of the St. Johns comics by
delivering once again a 3-D series. Though it was a short run of
only three issues over the next two years, they met with moderate
success. Featured here are issues 1 and 3.
The most recent comic to become
available is from "Fox Comics", an Australian
publishing company. Their 1992 issue, "The Six
3-Stooges" is a comic biographical rendition of their lives.
It tells the story of the early years with Ted Healy, on through
their full length feature film career. It finishes with short
bio's of all six of the boys. A pretty interesting comic.
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