Western

1916 - 2001
Country:
United States
Indicia / Colophon Publishers:
13
Brand Groups:
5
Brand Emblems in Use:
12

Total Number of Series:
659
Total Number of Issues:
6260
Show covers by month:
using on-sale date or using publication date

Notes:
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.

Around 1936, Western began to work with Dell, printing their established comics titles like The Funnies and Popular Comics at Western's Poughkeepsie, New York printing plant. Not long after starting to produce comics of their own, such as Super Comics and Crackajack Funnies, Western also assumed complete production duties over these Dell titles in 1939. In 1944 Dell and Western formalized their partnership to produce a line of standard newsstand comic books with Dell generally providing 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 wholly produced and financed separately from Dell 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 K. K. Publications' titles Red Ryder and Walt Disney's Comics and Stories are commonly thought of as Dell comics due to the Dell logo on the covers after 1948, 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 name Gold Key. Gold Key's New York office had two editors in 1968, one of whom was Paul Kuhn. The 2nd editor from 1966 to 1970 isn't known. Del Connell was editor at the LA office during this period. 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.

(Some of the information for the above from Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books by Michael Barrier and Mark Evanier's "News from Me" blog [http://www.newsfromme.com/iaq/iaq07/])


******* "© 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.
Series Year # Issues Covers Published
40 Big Pages of Mickey Mouse 1936 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1936
55 Days at Peking 1963 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery September 1963
77 Sunset Strip 1962 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery November 1962 - February 1963
Adam-12 1973 10 issues (10 indexed) Have 13 (Need 5) December 1973 - February 1976
Adventure in Disneyland 1955 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1955
Adventures of Mighty Mouse 1962 5 issues (5 indexed) Gallery October 1962 - October 1963
Adventures of Mighty Mouse 1979 7 issues (7 indexed) Have 10 (Need 2) March 1979 - 1980
The Adventures of Tintin 1959 6 issues (1 indexed) Have 3 (Need 5) 1959 - 1960
Ain't It a Grand and Glorious Feeling? 1922 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1922
Alice in Wonderland 1965 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery [March 1965]
Alice in Wonderland Meets Santa 1950 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1950?
The Aliens 1967 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery September-December 1967 - May 1982
The Amazing Spider-Man in "Weather Forecast: Danger" [Giant Comics to Color] 1976 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1976
Andy Hardy and the New Automatic Gas Clothes Dryer 1952 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1952
Andy Panda All Picture Comics [Tall Comic Book] 1943 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1943
Annie Oakley and Tagg 1965 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery July 1965
Astro Boy 1965 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery August 1965
Atom Ant 1966 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery January 1966
Au Dela Du Réel 1972 7 issues (0 indexed) Have 5 (Need 3) 1972 - 1973
Augie Doggie 1963 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery October 1963
The Avengers [John Steed Emma Peel] 1968 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery November 1968
Baby Snoots 1970 22 issues (21 indexed) Have 27 (Need 7) August 1970 - 1975
Bambi 1984 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery [1984]
Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles Flintstone 1964 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery October 1964
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith 1964 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery April 1964
Batman 1989 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1989
Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder Battle the Joker in "Comedy of Tears" [Giant Comics to Color] 1975 1 issues (1 indexed) Have 1 (Need 1) 1975
Batman and Robin the Teen Wonder Battle the Penguin in "Four Birds of a Feather" [Giant Comics to Color] 1976 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1976
Batman the Animated Series: Plants of Peril 1993 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1993
Battle of the Planets 1979 10 issues (10 indexed) Gallery June 1979 - February 1981
Beep Beep the Road Runner 1966 105 issues (83 indexed) Have 140 (Need 22) October 1966 - [1984]
Beep Beep the Road Runner Kite Fun Book 1967 2 issues (0 indexed) Have 3 (Need 1) 1967 - 1967
Beep Beep the Road Runner Kite Fun Book 1971 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1971
Beetle Bailey 1962 15 issues (10 indexed) Gallery November 1962 - May 1966
Beetle Bailey 1978 13 issues (13 indexed) Have 16 (Need 8) April 1978 - April 1980
Ben Casey Film Stories 1962 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery November 1962
Ben Franklin Kite Fun Book 1975 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1975
Beneath the Planet of the Apes 1970 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery December 1970
The Best of Bugs Bunny 1967 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery January 1967 - November 1968
The Best of Walt Disney Comics 1974 4 issues (4 indexed) Gallery 1974 - 1974
The Black Hole 1979 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1979
Bonanza 1962 37 issues (37 indexed) Gallery December 1962 - August 1970
Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery 1963 95 issues (95 indexed) Have 116 (Need 10) April 1963 - February 1980
Boris Karloff Thriller 1962 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery October 1962 - January 1963
Boys' and Girls' March of Comics 1946 488 issues (393 indexed) Have 1414 (Need 102) [1946] - 1982
The Brady Bunch Kite Fun Book 1976 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1976
Brer Rabbit in Ice Cream for the Party 1955 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1955
Brothers of the Spear 1972 18 issues (18 indexed) Have 21 (Need 5) June 1972 - May 1982
Buck Rogers 1964 4 issues (4 indexed) Gallery October 1964 - October 1979
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 1979 11 issues (11 indexed) Have 16 (Need 1) December 1979 - May 1982
Buck Rogers, Giant Movie Edition 1979 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1979
Buffalo Bill Jr. 1965 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery June 1965
Bugs Bunny 1962 160 issues (150 indexed) Have 187 (Need 36) October 1962 - 1983
Bugs Bunny All Picture Comics [Tall Comic Book] 1943 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1943
Bugs Bunny and Friends in Fly-Away for Energy Kite Fun Book 1983 1 issues (0 indexed) Have 1 (Need 1) 1983
Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig 1965 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery September 1965
Bugs Bunny Comics-Go-Round 1979 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1979
Bugs Bunny Kite Fun Book 1968 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1968
Bugs Bunny Winter Fun 1967 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery December 1967
Bugs Bunny [Dynabrite Comics] 1979 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1979?
Bugs Bunny [Quaker Oats / Popped Wheat - A Series] 1949 5 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1949 - 1949
Bugs Bunny [Quaker Oats / Popped Wheat - B Series] 1949 5 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1949 - 1949
Bugs Bunny [Quaker Oats / Popped Wheat - C Series] 1949 5 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1949 - 1949
Bugs Bunny's Kite Fun Book 1959 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1959
Bugs le Lapin 1972 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery Juin 1973
Bullwinkle 1962 21 issues (21 indexed) Have 23 (Need 10) November 1962 - June 1979
Bullwinkle and Rocky 1979 4 issues (4 indexed) Have 4 (Need 3) August 1979 - 1980
Buster Brown Goes to Mars 1958 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1958
Buttons and Fatty in the Funnies 1927 1 issues (0 indexed) Have 1 (Need 1) 1927
Camp Comics 1942 3 issues (3 indexed) Gallery February 1942 - April 1942
Captain America Giant Comics to Color 1976 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1976
The Captain and the Kids [A Famous 'Comics' Cartoon Book] 1934 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1934
Captain Easy and Wash Tubbs [A Famous 'Comics' Cartoon Book] 1934 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1934
Captain Nice 1967 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery November 1967
Captain Ray-O-Vac's Adventure and Game Book 1952 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1952
Captain Sindbad 1963 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery September 1963
Captain Venture and the Land Beneath the Sea 1968 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery October 1968 - October 1969
Cave Kids 1963 16 issues (16 indexed) Gallery February 1963 - March 1967
Checkmate 1962 2 issues (2 indexed) Gallery October 1962 - December 1962
Chester Gump Finds the Hidden Treasure 1936 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1936
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1969 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery February 1969
Choo Choo Charlie 1969 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery December 1969
Christmas at the Ford Rotunda 1955 2 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1961 - 1961
Christmas at the Rotunda 1954 4 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1954 - 1956
Christmas Carol's Welcome to Hudson's Toyland Fun Book 1958 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1958
A Christmas Dream 1949 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1949
A Christmas Journey through Space 1960 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1960
Christmas Story Book 1953 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1953
Cinderella 1965 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery [August] 1965
Cinderella in Fairest of the Fair 1955 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1955
City Surgeon 1963 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery August 1963
Clash of the Titans 1981 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1981
The Close Shaves of Pauline Peril 1970 4 issues (4 indexed) Gallery June 1970 - March 1971
The Colossal Show 1969 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery October 1969
Comics to Color 1992 7 issues (3 indexed) Have 6 (Need 1) 1992 - 1992
Cowboy in Africa 1968 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery March 1968
Crackajack Funnies 1937 1 issues (1 indexed) Gallery 1937
Crackajack Funnies 1938 43 issues (43 indexed) Gallery June 1938 - January 1942
Creative First Aid Yogi's Bear Facts 1986 1 issues (0 indexed) Gallery 1986
Daffy Duck 1962 113 issues (106 indexed) Have 139 (Need 22) December 1962 - [1984]