1916 - 2001
United States
Indicia / Colophon Publishers:
Brand Groups:
Brand Emblems in Use:

Total Number of Series:
Total Number of Issues:

In 1907, Edward Henry (E.H) and Al Wadewitz bought West Side Printing Co. of Racine, Wisc. They incorporated the new company in 1910 as Western Printing & Lithographic Co. In 1916, they acquired the assets of the failed publisher Hamming-Whitman Publishing Co., which they made a subsidiary of Western under the name Whitman Publishing Co.

Under the Whitman publishing wing, Western produced Big Little Books beginning in 1932 and Little Golden Books beginning in 1938. Over these years Western began to acquire the licenses to produce publications featuring the stars of the Disney, Warner Bros., M-G-M, and Walter Lantz studios.

Also in 1938, Western entered into an agreement with Dell Publishing Co. to produce a line of standard newsstand comic books. Under their arrangement, Dell generally provided the financing and distribution, while Western produced the contents and printed the comics. Many of these comics featured the characters licensed by Western. Some of these licensed comics, however, were published by K. K. Publications, Inc. When licensing agent Kay Kamen sold Western a licensing deal with Disney, he arranged a special partnership agreement that resulted in the formation of this publisher. These comics were produced and printed by Western and distributed by Dell, but technically published by K. K. Publications. Since all of these comics are commonly referred to as Dell comics due to the Dell logo on the covers, all of these comics can be found in this database under the Dell master publisher. This arrangement between Western and Dell lasted until 1962.

During this period, Western also produced without Dell other products not distributed through newsstands, but rather through the book market or as giveaways distributed through retail outlets. These items can be found under this master publisher.

In 1958 Western entered into a joint publishing effort with Pocket Books under the name Golden Press, Inc. Just a few years later, Western bought out Pocket Books' interest and made Golden Press one of their primary divisions. Many of Western's comic products were packaged for the book market under this Golden Press division.

After ending their arrangement with Dell in 1962, Western began their own line of newsstand comics, again utilizing their many licences, under the brand Gold Key. In 1971, Western began distributing versions of their newsstand comics exclusively for the book market under the brand Whitman. Western discontinued their Gold Key line in 1980, but continued their Whitman line into 1984.

Behind the scenes in those later years, Western was sold to Mattel in 1979, and then sold again at the end of 1983 to a private investor. Over the next several years the various assets of Western were reorganized or re-sold several times before a final bankruptcy auction in 2001.


Western Publishing, also known as Western Printing and Lithographing Company, was a Racine, Wisconsin firm.


In 1934 Western established an eastern printing plant in Poughkeepsie, New York. The facility became a major preparation and production source for Dell's comic books and paperbacks over the course of its first year of operation.

As per http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/western-publishing-grou...


Dells first three regular titles -- Popular Comics (February 1936), The Funnies (October 1936), and The Comics (March 1937) -- were packaged and printed by M.C. Gaines at the McClure Syndicate offices. These followed Gaines' early format for Famous Funnies by using newspaper-strip reprints.

In 1938, Dell Publishing contracted with Western Printing and Lithography to prepare original material for its comic book line. These comics now were printed by Western's Whitman division in Poughkeepsie, New York, and packaged under the direction of Oskar Lebeck. These books were Super Comics (May 1938) and Crackajack (June 1938).

As per http://home.comcast.net/~sthompson021/features_dellgoldkey.htm


******* "© Robert S. Callender" Explained *******

When Western Printing produced comic book content that was not a licensed property, it was copyrighted in the name of Robert S. Callender (or, sometimes, Oscar Lebeck, e.g. Animal Comics, a Lebeck project).

Callender was not the writer. He was Western Printing's copyright holder.

Robert S. (Bob) Callender, b. 1913, youngest child of Gene Callender of Racine, Wisconsin society, was an executive at Western Printing. On Oct. 9, 1937 Mr. Callender married Wynnefred Wadewitz, b. 1916, daughter of Edward H. Wadewitz.

Robert S. Callender's father-in-law, Edward H. Wadewitz, had risen by initiative to be the secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Western Printing & Lithographing Company: he was a moving spirit in the development, enlargement and control of that undertaking.

Robert S. Callender (Mr. Wadewitz's son-in-law) was the Managing Editor and Business Manager for Whitman Publishing Co., Poughkeepsie, N.Y., owned by Western Printing and Lithographing Company of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


Gold Key's New York office had two editors in 1968, Paul Kuhn was one. The 2nd editor from 1966 to 1970 isn't known. Del Connell was editor at the LA office during this period.

Series Year # Issues Covers
40 Big Pages of Mickey Mouse 1936 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
55 Days at Peking 1963 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
77 Sunset Strip 1962 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery
Adam-12 1973 10 issues (10 indexed) Have 13 (Need 3)
Adventure In Disneyland 1955 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Adventures of Mighty Mouse 1979 7 issues (5 indexed) Gallery
Adventures of Mighty Mouse 1962 5 issues (3 indexed) Gallery
Ain't It a Grand and Glorious Feeling? 1922 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Alice In Wonderland 1965 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Alice in Wonderland Meets Santa 1950 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
The Aliens 1967 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery
The Amazing Spider-Man in "Weather Forecast: Danger" [Giant Comics to Color] 1976 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Andy Hardy and the New Automatic Gas Clothes Dryer 1952 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Andy Panda All Picture Comics [Tall Comic Book] 1943 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Annie Oakley and Tagg 1965 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Astro Boy 1965 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Atom Ant 1966 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Augie Doggie 1963 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
The Avengers [John Steed Emma Peel] 1968 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Baby Snoots 1970 22 issues (20 indexed) Have 26 (Need 4)
Bambi 1984 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles Flintstone 1964 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith 1964 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Batman 1989 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder Battle the Joker in "Comedy of Tears" [Giant Comics to Color] 1975 1 issue (1 indexed) Have 1 (Need 1)
Batman and Robin the Teen Wonder Battle the Penguin in "Four Birds of a Feather" [Giant Comics to Color] 1976 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Batman The Animated Series: Plants of Peril 1993 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Battle of the Planets 1979 10 issues (10 indexed) Have 11 (Need 1)
Beep Beep the Road Runner 1966 105 issues (65 indexed) Have 111 (Need 8)
Beep Beep The Road Runner Kite Fun Book 1967 2 issues (0 indexed) Have 3 (Need 1)
Beep Beep The Road Runner Kite Fun Book 1971 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Beetle Bailey 1962 15 issues (3 indexed) Gallery
Beetle Bailey 1978 13 issues (12 indexed) Have 13 (Need 1)
Ben Casey Film Stories 1962 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Ben Franklin Kite Fun Book 1975 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Beneath the Planet of the Apes 1970 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
The Best of Bugs Bunny 1967 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery
The Best of Walt Disney Comics 1974 4 issues (4 indexed) Gallery
The Black Hole 1979 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Bonanza 1962 37 issues (20 indexed) Gallery
Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery 1963 95 issues (95 indexed) Have 109 (Need 2)
Boris Karloff Thriller 1962 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery
The Brady Bunch Kite Fun Book 1976 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Brer Rabbit in Ice Cream for the Party 1955 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Brothers of the Spear 1972 18 issues (18 indexed) Have 19 (Need 1)
Buck Rogers 1964 4 issues (4 indexed) Gallery
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 1979 11 issues (10 indexed) Gallery
Buck Rogers [Giant Movie Edition] 1979 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Buffalo Bill Jr. 1965 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny 1962 160 issues (127 indexed) Have 180 (Need 4)
Bugs Bunny All Picture Comics [Tall Comic Book] 1943 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny and Friends in Fly-Away for Energy Kite Fun Book 1983 1 issue (0 indexed) Have 1 (Need 1)
Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig 1965 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny Comics-Go-Round 1979 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny Kite Fun Book 1968 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny Winter Fun 1967 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny [Dynabrite Comics] 1979 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny [Quaker Oats / Popped Wheat - A Series] 1949 5 issues (0 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny [Quaker Oats / Popped Wheat - B Series] 1949 5 issues (0 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny [Quaker Oats / Popped Wheat - C Series] 1949 5 issues (0 indexed) Gallery
Bugs Bunny's Kite Fun Book 1959 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Bullwinkle 1962 21 issues (21 indexed) Have 23 (Need 3)
Bullwinkle and Rocky 1979 4 issues (4 indexed) Gallery
Buster Brown Goes to Mars 1958 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Captain America Giant Comics to Color 1976 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
The Captain and the Kids [A Famous 'Comics' Cartoon Book] 1934 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Captain Easy and Wash Tubbs [A Famous 'Comics' Cartoon Book] 1934 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Captain Nice 1967 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Captain Ray-O-Vac's Adventure and Game Book 1952 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Captain Sindbad 1963 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Captain Venture and the Land Beneath the Sea 1968 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery
Cave Kids 1963 16 issues (16 indexed) Gallery
Checkmate 1962 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery
Chester Gump Finds the Hidden Treasure 1936 1 issue (0 indexed) Have 1 (Need 1)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1969 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Choo Choo Charlie 1969 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Christmas at the Ford Rotunda 1955? 3 issues (0 indexed) Gallery
Christmas at the Rotunda 1954 3 issues (0 indexed) Gallery
A Christmas Dream 1949 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
A Christmas Journey through Space 1960 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Christmas Story Book 1953 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Cinderella 1965 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Cinderella in Fairest of the Fair 1955 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
City Surgeon 1963 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Clash of the Titans 1981 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
The Close Shaves of Pauline Peril 1970 4 issues (4 indexed) Gallery
The Colossal Show 1969 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Comics to Color 1992 6 issues (3 indexed) Have 5 (Need 1)
Cowboy in Africa 1968 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
The Crab with the Golden Claws 1959 1 issue (0 indexed) Add
Crackajack Funnies 1937 1 issue (0 indexed) Gallery
Daffy Duck 1962 113 issues (96 indexed) Have 122 (Need 8)
Daffy Duck 1976 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Dan Curtis Giveaways Dagar the Invincible 1974 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Dan Curtis Giveaways Dark Shadows 1974 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Dan Curtis Giveaways Grimm's Ghost Stories 1974 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Dan Curtis Giveaways Ripley's Believe It or Not! 1974 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Dan Curtis Giveaways Star Trek 1974 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery
Dan Curtis Giveaways The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor 1974 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery
Dan Curtis Giveaways The Twilight Zone 1974 1 issue (1 indexed) Gallery