Favorite Quotes

"The fact that you think you are a person is a socially induced hallucination. There is not such thing as a person."
- D. Chopra, Playboy March 2011 interview

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Centaur Publications Demise

Wham Comics #2 (December 1940) [Centaur Publications]

This final day in November of 1940 was probably one of the last days that you could have purchased a Centaur Publications comic book on the newsstands.  Their remaining four comic titles all have December cover dates.  Comic books were actually on sale a month or two before the cover date, so sometime during December, the newsdealer would have removed their comics to make room for more. 

Maybe he would have made room for Amazing Man Comics #19, which was published by Comic Corporation of America.  But if you had bought that issue, you would have given your money to essentially the same company.  It seems, according to the Statement of Ownership published in their comics, that both companies were owned by some of the same people, Raymond J. Kelly, Joseph J. Hardie,  and E. L. Angel.  

Centaur had published 133 different comics in 19 different titles from 1938 to 1940.  But, Centaur filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 20 owing their printer (World Color) and others thousands of dollars [New York Times, Oct. 21, 1940].  So, did the owners just change their company name and keep publishing comics?

Detective Eye (December 1940) [Centaur Publications]

Centaur Publications, Comic Corporation of America, Ultem Publications, Comics Magazine Company, Kable Distribution, and others are all linked together in a convoluted way.  All at the the beginning of comic periodical history.  

To get a better understanding for these connections, I built a mindmap for Centaur Publications.  Its not complete, but its a start.  The map is large, but moves around easily by clicking and dragging.


There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding these companies and what went on.  If you are interested in the nitty gritty details of their interconnections or know something about the business, then the newly formed Google Group "comics-pub" is for you.  The Centaur mindmap is a result of our first discussion.  We are not limiting our topics to just Golden Age comics, as we discuss the entire history of the business including printing, distribution, circulation and more.


  1. Tim! Gimme a shout. I'd love to talk Centaur. I'm writing a comprehensive project on them...

  2. Hello Tim,

    I uncovered this blog while performing some general research about Centaur. I am very impressed by the thoroughness of that mind map.

    I and a few friends have taken on the hobby of adopting a few superhero characters who have fallen into the public domain. My choice is the Buzzard from Wham Comics #2.

    We have started a couple of online social network groups for the purpose of spotlighting various public domain characters who we feel deserve more attention. Perhaps *deserve* is a strong term. Whom we feel would be cool, interesting, or hilariously bad to feature. Yeah, that is correct term.

    Do you follow either Deviant Art or Facebook groups? If so, you would greatly appreciate your insight sometimes if you would drop by and share your insight from time to time.

    Facebook.com/SuperheroesPD & Heroes-of-the-Domain.deviantart.com

    Thank you for your time. Now that I have discovered the Today in Comics blog, I will stop here more often.

    That Guy,
    Scott Z