Published: [circa October] 1933, Price: 0.00 FREE, Pages: 36, Editing:
Color: Color Dimensions: Standard Golden Age U.S. Paper Stock: Binding: Saddle-stitched Publishing Format: One-shot; Giveaway
Notes: The comic has no publisher information, date, or issue number listed.
Eastern Color salesperson Maxwell Gaines and sales manager Harry I. Wildenberg collaborated with Dell Publishing to publish this 36-page one-shot, considered by some historians to be the first or second "true" American comic book.
It was long conventional wisdom that this comic book was distributed through the Woolworth's department store chain, unknown whether it was sold or given away. The cover displays no price, but comic book historian Ron Goulart referred, either metaphorically or literally, to Gaines "sticking a ten-cent pricetag on the comic books".
What is known is that advertisements for this comic book appeared in Sunday comics sections, earliest known was in the Chicago Tribune on October 1, 1933. In this earliest advertisement, a different cover than what was actually printed is shown. The cover image reprinted included Mama Katzenjammer, indicating that the publication originally intended to include either the Katzenjammer Kids or The Captain and the Kids comic strips, but neither ended up appearing in the issue. The newspaper advertisements for the comic book appeared throughout October and early November. By the end of October, the actual cover which would be published was reproduced in the advertisements. The comic book would continue to be mentioned in newspaper advertisements until March 1934.
In the earliest advertisements, the comic book was available as a giveaway premium available through the purchase of Wheatena breakfast cereal. The comic was free with the purchase of the cereal and sending the box top along with filling out the coupon in the advertisement and mailing it to The Wheatena Corporation in Chicago. By the time of the March advertisements, they were mentioned as giveaway premiums available at specific supermarkets with the purchase of Wheatena cereal.
There are no known advertisements found to date that mention this comic book and Woolworth department stores. It is possible that copies left over from the promotion with Wheatena cereal were later distributed through that department store in 1934.
The copies that were purchased through the mail came in a mailing envelope, of which some copies survived as well.