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St. John Publications

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St. John Publications
Cover to Zip-Jet #2


545 Fifth Avenue, New York City, USA.


c- 1947




Approved Comics, Blue Ribbon, Jubilee Publications

St. John Publications was an American publisher of magazines and comic books. During its short existence (1947–58), St. John's comic books established several industry firsts. Founded by Archer St. John (1904–55), the firm was located in Manhattan at 545 Fifth Avenue. After the St. John comic books came to an end in 1958, the company continued to publish its magazine line into the next decade. Flying Eagle Publications was a magazine affiliate of St. John Publications. Comic book imprints included Approved Comics, Blue Ribbon, and Jubilee Publications.

Many St John's characters are now in the public domain due to lapsed copyright.

Comic books

St John officially entered the comic book market in 1947, when founder Archer St John launched a pair of related titles, Comics Revue and Pageant of Comics, reprinting mainly newspaper strips. The company underwent a rapid expansion during the late 40s, licensing animated properties such as Mighty Mouse and Casper the Friendly Ghost, followed by the more adult-oriented crime strip Vic Flint.

As the decade wore on, the company scored a number of "firsts" in the field, including the first 3-D comic book, Three Dimension Comics #1 (Sept. 1953 oversize format, Oct. 1953 standard-size reprint), featuring Mighty Mouse. According to Joe Kubert, co-creator with the brothers Norman Maurer and Leonard Maurer, it sold an exceptional 1.2 million copies at 25 cents apiece at a time when comics cost a dime. St. John also published the second 3-D comic, the aptly named 3-D Comics, the single issue of which incongruously billed itself as "World's First!"

Other St. John comic books included the first movie-comedian tie-in series, Abbott and Costello Comics; one of the first proto-graphic novels, the 25-cent "picture novel" It Rhymes with Lust (1950); and a five-issue series (Sept. 1953 – Oct. 1954), appearing under three titles, that introduced the enduring Kubert prehistoric hero Tor. In 1953, St. John took over a number of Ziff Davis comics titles, including the romance comics Cinderella Love and Romantic Love, the Western comic Kid Cowboy, and the jungle adventure title Wild Boy of the Congo.

St. John Publications utilized the first African-American comic-book artist in mainstream media, Matt Baker, who contributed to the ostensibly true-crime series Authentic Police Cases, the light humor comic Canteen Kate, the romance books Cinderella Love and Teen-Age Romances, and many others.


List of characters appearing in St. John Publications.

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