DCML digest, Vol 1 #962 - 11 msgs

Sue and Gary Leach bangfish at cableone.net
Wed Jun 12 00:42:00 CEST 2002

Cord (and Steven):

The Dells did have much higher print runs overall than Gladstones, but they
were also published, overall, in a much different consumer environment. In
the 1940s, 1950s, and most of the 1960s comics were bought, read, then
passed along or tossed aside, much like newspapers (and the classic scenario
of the kid collecting comics only to have them thrown out by a parent was
only too true, and prevalent ‹ it happened to me. Twice!). While hundreds of
thousands, even millions, of copies were printed, relatively few copies
survived in that climate, and very few of those in anything near to mint

Gladstone was a collector oriented publisher, though in our initial license
period we were still focused on getting Disney comics out to the general
marketplace. That's when we did have print runs somewhere around 120,000,
and the copies went out to the newsstand as well as the collector oriented
direct market (which didn't exist in Dell's day - or Gold Key's heyday, for
that matter). That direct market, however, assured that a far higher
percentage of Gladstone's print runs were preserved compared to Dell's. And
that's pretty much true of all lines of comics that managed to carry on
through all those decades (though, as with the Disney's, not always with the
same publishers).

By simple count of copies per issue, have more Gladstones been preserved
than Dells? Dunno, but I suspect so. The print runs for our last newsstand
books were down to below 60,000, and by the end Gladstone was printing only
as many copies of each issue of Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney's Comics and
Stories as would fill the orders from the direct market. The print runs of
these last issues probably have the highest rates of preservation of any
Disney comics ever.


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