All-American Publications

The history of All-American Publications is inextricably linked to the company it eventually merged with, National Periodical Publications. In 1938 Max Gaines had been working for McClure Syndicate, but had ambitions to produce his own line of comics; he approached Harry Donenfeld, one of National's owners, for funding. Donenfeld's partner (and accountant) in National, Jack Liebowitz, had apparently expressed disagreement with Donenfeld's belief that National producing four monthly titles was sufficient, and possibly as a means of keeping Liebowitz from leaving to set up a rival company, Donenfeld agreed to back Gaines' venture so long as Liebowitz was taken on as the lesser partner in the new company, which took its name from its first publication, All-American Comics. As with many comics of the era, it was largely composed of newspaper strip reprint material, but soon new material began to appear, including aviator Hop Harrigan and superheroes such as the Flash, Hawkman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman.

Given their unusual business inter-relationship, All-American and National were closely tied from the off, promoting each other's titles and even publishing strips about characters belonging to the other (for instance, All-American's "All Star Comics" #1 hosted National's Sandman, Spectre and Hourman, and in #3 the three aforementioned were joined by National's Doctor Fate and All-American's Atom, Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkman to form the Justice Society of America).

Around 1944 Gaines bought Liebowitz out, and the two companies briefly parted ways; National's DC (Detective Comics) logo, which had previously appeared on many All-American titles, was replaced by an All-American logo of similar design, and the Justice Society line-up lost its last National Publications' members. Only two years later Gaines decided to get out of the superhero business, and sold all of All-American's characters and titles back to National, with the exception of his educational titles Picture Stories from the Bible and Picture Stories from World History, which would become the first titles in Gaines new company, E.C. (Entertaining Comics). All-American was absorbed wholly into National, which by this time had begun to be colloquially known as DC Comics.


Black Pirate

Blue Boys

Doctor Mid-Nite

Bulldog Drumhead


Gay Ghost (a.k.a. Grim Ghost)

Ghost Patrol

Green Lantern

Gunner Godbee

Hop Harrigan (a.k.a. Guardian Angel)



Justice Society of America

Little Boy Blue

McSnurtle the Turtle (a.k.a. The Terrific Whazit)

Mr. Terrific

The Three Mouseketeers

Johnny Thunder

Red Tornado

Red, White and Blue (Red Dugan, Whitey Smith, Blooey Blue)

Sargon the Sorcerer

Ultra-Man (Gary Concord)

The Whip (El Castigo)


Wonder Woman

Black Canary

Bob Wiley


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