|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Publication types||Comic books|
|Fiction genres||Licensed characters, romance, war, Westerns, Adventure, talking animal|
Toby Press was an American comic-book company that published from 1949 to 1955. Founded by Elliott Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp and himself an established comic strip writer, the company published reprints of Capp's Li'l Abner strip; licensed-character comics starring such film and animated cartoon properties as John Wayne and Felix the Cat; and original conceptions, including romance, war, Western, and adventure comics. Some of its comics were published under the imprint Minoan. Some covers bore the logo ANC, standing for American News Company, at the time the country's largest newsstand distributor.
It is unrelated to the book publisher Toby Press, which was acquired by Amazon.com in 2010.
Elliott Caplin entered the comic-book field as editor of True Comics for the Parents Magazine Institute.Some years later, he founded Toby Press with reprints of his brother Al Capp's popular newspaper comic strip Li'l Abner , a satire built around hillbilly archetypes. The first Toby comic-book series was Al Capp's Li'l Abner, which began with issue #70 (May 1949), picking up the numbering from Harvey Publications'Li'l Abner Comics. It ran 28 issues, through #97 (Jan. 1955) Toby's second title was the three-issue Al Capp's Dogpatch Comics, numbered #71, followed by #2–3 (June–Dec. 1949). These issues reprint Li'l Abner strips that the newspaper syndicate United Feature had published in the omnibus comic-book Tip Top #112–114 (Nov. 1946 – Jan. 1947). Following through 1952 were Al Capp's Shmoo Comics #1–5 (July 1949 – April 1950); Al Capp's Wolf Gal #1–2 (1951–1952); and a series of pocket-sized, 6.75 × 3.5-inch, one-shot comics produced as premiums for Oxydol and Dreft detergents: Al Capp's Shmoo in Washable Jones' Travels; Al Capp's Daisy Mae in Ham Sangwidges also Cousin Weakeyes, and Al Capp's Li'l Abner in The Mystery o' the Cave!!
Toby's next series was John Wayne Adventure Comics, named after the actor and frequently featuring photo covers bearing scenes from his movies. It ran 31 issues (Winter 1949/1950–May 1955) and spawned its own Oxydol/Dreft pocket-sized premium, John Wayne: The Cowboy Trouble-Shooter! Further such premiums included Archie in Mask Me No Questions, featuring the Archie Comics teen-humor star; and Paul Terry's Terry-Toon Comics (both 1950).
In its brief existence, Toby Press published in a wide variety of genres, including cartoon animal, with the 42-issue Felix the Cat (1951–June 1955, taking over the numbering from the Dell Comics series), which spawned spin-offs including Felix the Cat 3D Comic Book (1953); Western, with the likes of Gabby Hayes Western, a one-shot starring the movie sidekick, and the 29-issue Billy the Kid Adventure Magazine; war comics such as the 15-issue Tell It to the Marines and the six-issue Monty Hall of the U.S. Marines (no relation to the game-show host); the genre-evident Great Lover Romances and Tales of Horror; the medieval-adventure one-shot The Black Knight, with art by Ernie Schroeder; and even a two-issue comic Captain Tootsie, that starred the heroic mascot of Tootsie Roll candy.
Toby went out of business in 1955, a victim of the anti-comics sentiment stirred in that era by Dr. Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent and the United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency.Toby's final comic, Felix the Cat #61, was cover-dated June 1955.
Under the imprint Minoan, which featured a Minotaur head as the company logo, Toby Press published Dr. Anthony King, Hollywood Love Doctor, a four-issue romance comic; the seven-issue Western series Return of the Outlaw; ', a digest-sized, single-panel cartoon.and the 13-issue Tales of Horror. Minoan also published Bust Out Laffin
Alfred Gerald Caplin, better known as Al Capp, was an American cartoonist and humorist best known for the satirical comic strip Li'l Abner, which he created in 1934 and continued writing and drawing until 1977. He also wrote the comic strips Abbie an' Slats and Long Sam (1954). He won the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award in 1947 for Cartoonist of the Year, and their 1979 Elzie Segar Award, posthumously for his "unique and outstanding contribution to the profession of cartooning". Capp's comic strips dealt with urban experiences in the northern states of the USA until the year he introduced "Li'l Abner". Although Capp was from Connecticut, he spent 43 years writing about the fictional Southern town of Dogpatch, reaching an estimated 60 million readers in more than 900 American newspapers and 100 more papers in 28 countries internationally. M. Thomas Inge says Capp made a large personal fortune through the strip and "had a profound influence on the way the world viewed the American South".
Li'l Abner is a satirical American comic strip that appeared in many newspapers in the United States, Canada and Europe. It featured a fictional clan of hillbillies in the impoverished mountain village of Dogpatch, USA. Written and drawn by Al Capp (1909–1979), the strip ran for 43 years – from August 13, 1934, through November 13, 1977. The Sunday page debuted six months after the daily, on February 24, 1935. It was originally distributed by United Feature Syndicate and, later by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate.
Quality Comics was an American comic book publishing company which operated from 1937 to 1956 and was a creative, influential force in what historians and fans call the Golden Age of Comic Books.
The shmoo is a fictional cartoon creature created by Al Capp (1909–1979); the character first appeared in the comic strip Li'l Abner on August 31, 1948. The popular character has gone on to influence pop culture, language, geopolitics, human history, and even science.
Li'l Abner is a 1956 musical with a book by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, music by Gene De Paul, and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Based on the comic strip Li'l Abner by Al Capp, the show is, on the surface, a broad spoof of hillbillies, but it is also a pointed satire on other topics, ranging from American politics and incompetence in the United States federal government to propriety and gender roles.
Sadie Hawkins Day is an American folk event and pseudo-holiday originated by Al Capp's classic hillbilly comic strip Li'l Abner (1934–1978). This inspired real-world Sadie Hawkins events, the premise of which is that women ask men for a date or dancing. "Sadie Hawkins Day" was introduced in the comic strip on November 15, 1937; the storyline ran until the beginning of December. The storyline was revisited the following October/November, and inspired a fad on college campuses. By 1939, Life reported that 201 colleges in 188 cities held a Sadie Hawkins Day event.
Lev Gleason Publications, founded by Leverett Stone Gleason (1898–1971), was the publisher of a number of popular comic books during the 1940s and early 1950s, including Daredevil Comics, Crime Does Not Pay, and Boy Comics.
Fawcett Comics, a division of Fawcett Publications, was one of several successful comic book publishers during the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s. Its most popular character was Captain Marvel, the alter ego of radio reporter Billy Batson, who transformed into the hero whenever he said the magic word "Shazam!".
Fearless Fosdick is a long-running parody of Chester Gould's Dick Tracy. It appeared intermittently as a strip-within-a-strip, in Al Capp's satirical hillbilly comic strip, Li'l Abner (1934–1977).
Dogpatch was the fictional setting of cartoonist Al Capp's classic comic strip Li'l Abner (1934–1977).
American Comics Group (ACG) was an American comic book publisher started in 1939 and existing under the ACG name from 1943 to 1967. It published the medium's first ongoing horror-comics title, Adventures into the Unknown. ACG's best-known character was the 1960s satirical-humor hero Herbie Popnecker, who starred for a time in Forbidden Worlds. Herbie would later get his own title and be turned into a "superhero" called the Fat Fury.
United Feature Syndicate (UFS) is a large American editorial column and comic strip newspaper syndication service based in the United States and established in 1919. Originally part of E. W. Scripps Company, it was part of United Media from 1978 to 2011, and is now a division of Andrews McMeel Syndication. United Features has syndicated many notable comic strips, including Peanuts, Garfield, Li'l Abner, Dilbert, Nancy, and Marmaduke.
Atlas Comics is the 1950s comic-book publishing label that evolved into Marvel Comics. Magazine and paperback novel publisher Martin Goodman, whose business strategy involved having a multitude of corporate entities, used Atlas as the umbrella name for his comic-book division during this time. Atlas evolved out of Goodman's 1940s comic-book division, Timely Comics, and was located on the 14th floor of the Empire State Building. This company is distinct from the 1970s comic-book company, also founded by Goodman, that is known as Atlas/Seaboard Comics.
The Ringo Kid is a fictional Western appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. His comic book series was originally released by the company's 1950s predecessor, Atlas Comics. A lesser-known character than the company's Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid, or Two-Gun Kid, he also appeared in a reprint series in the 1970s.
A-1 Comics is a Golden Age comics publication that began in 1944 and ended in 1955, lasting 139 issues. Only the first 17 issues carried the title "A-1" on the cover. Issues #18 and up used the feature as the book title with different numbering. A-1 and its numbering continued to be used in the indicia. The series was used by owner Vincent Sullivan's Magazine Enterprises to try out a number of potential characters and titles, as well as reprinting newspaper strips such as Texas Slim, Kerry Drake and Teena. Several original A-1 titles succeeded and were given their own titles, including Tim Holt and The Ghost Rider. Issues were devoted to Thun'da, Cave Girl, and Strongman. Title that didn't do well included Dick Powell Adventurer, Fibber McGee and Molly, and Jimmy Durante Comics. The final issue was devoted to Bob Powell's Strongman.
Li'l Abner is a 1940 film based on the comic strip Li'l Abner created by Al Capp. The three most recognizable names associated with the film are Buster Keaton as Lonesome Polecat, Jeff York as Li'l Abner, and Milton Berle, who co-wrote the title song.
Key Publications was an American comic-book company founded by Stanley P. Morse that published under the imprints Aragon Magazines, Gillmor Magazines, Medal Comics, Media Publications, S. P. M. Publications, Stanmor Publications, and Timor Publications.
Farrell Publications is the name of a series of American comic book publishing companies founded and operated by Robert W. Farrell in the 1940s and 1950s, including Elliot Publishing Company, Farrell Comic Group, and Excellent Publications. Farrell is particularly known for its pre-Comics Code horror comics, mostly produced by the S. M. Iger Studio. Farrell also published romance, Western, adventure, superhero, and talking animal comics. Farrell acted as editor throughout. In addition to packaging art for Farrell from the beginning, Jerry Iger was the company's art director from 1955–1957.
Li'l Abner: The Complete Dailies & Color Sundays, also known as The Complete Li'l Abner, is a series collecting the American comic strip Li'l Abner written and drawn by Al Capp, originally distributed by the syndicate United Feature Syndicate and later by Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate, in total during 43 years before the strip ended. The strip debuted in August 1934 and at its peak, it had an estimated readership of over 60 million people regularly. The collection is published by The Library of American Comics.
Thorpe & Porter was a British publisher, importer, and distributor of magazines and comic books. At first, the company was known for repackaging American comics and pulp magazines for the UK market. Later on, it became a publisher of original material. The company released more than 160 comics titles in the UK, the most prominent being Classics Illustrated, MAD UK, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes, Larry Harmon's Laurel & Hardy, House of Hammer, and Forbidden Worlds. T & P's most prominent imprints were Top Sellers Ltd. and Brown Watson. Thorpe & Porter operated from 1946 to c. 1979.
Mell Lazarus. The Boss Is Crazy, Too (Dial, 1963). Inspired by Lazarus' experiences as an editor at Toby Press.