Saturday, April 27, 2013
I Love Lucy Comic Books
The 'I Love Lucy' Show
I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). After the series ended in 1957, however, a modified version continued for three more seasons with 13 one-hour specials, running from 1957 to 1960, known first as The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show and later in reruns as The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour.
By the end of its first season, I Love Lucy had been hailed by TV Guide as “the season’s most popular program.”
During its six-year run, I Love Lucy set many records for television viewership. In April 1952, Episode No. 26, “The Marriage License,” became the first television broadcast seen in more than ten million American households. The show was number one in the Nielsen ratings for four of its six seasons, and it was the first television series ever to finish its run at the top of the ratings.
I Love Lucy and its cast received twenty-three Emmy Award nominations, winning five times. Ball and Arnaz, already well known in 1951, were lauded as “TV’s First Family” on the April 6, 1953, cover of Life magazine.
Dell Comics was the comic book publishing arm of Dell Publishing, which got its start in pulp magazines. It published comics from 1929 to 1973. At its peak, it was the most prominent and successful American company in the medium. In 1953 Dell claimed to be the world's largest comics publisher, selling 26 million copies each month.
Dell Comics published 35 issues of an I Love Lucy comic book between 1954 and 1962 including two try-out Four Color issues (#535 and #559). King Features syndicated a comic strip (credited to "Bob Lawrence" but actually written by Lawrence Nadel and drawn by Bob Oksner) from 1952 to 1955.
I Love Lucy Comics, Vol. 1, no. 1, 1954. Cover. New York: Dell Publications Co., 1954.
Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (092.00.00); [Digital ID # lucy0092]
Four Color #535 I Love Lucy (Dell, 1954) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Cream to off-white pages. Photo cover and frontispiece. Overstreet 2006 FN 6.0 value = $150; VF 8.0 value = $400. CGC census 3/06: 4 in 7.0, 8 higher.
Sold for US$325 ($73.13 Buyer's Premium + taxes, fees, etc.)
(Inside Edition #535)
Eternity Comics was a California-based comic book publisher active from 1986 to 1994, first as an independent publisher, then as an imprint of Malibu Comics. Eternity published creator-owned comics of an offbeat, independent flavor, as well as some licensed properties. Eternity was also notable for reprinting foreign titles, and introducing Cat Claw, The Jackaroo, and the Southern Squadron to the U.S. market.
Such well-known creators as Brian Pulido, Evan Dorkin, Dale Berry, Ben Dunn, Dean Haspiel, and Ron Lim got their starts with Eternity.
Eternity Comics in the early 1990s issued comic books that reprinted the I Love Lucy strip and Dell comic book series.
"I Love Lucy" (#1); Eternity Comics
(Readers might remember these comics being advertised on 'Nick At Night')
Now that the stage is set, let's take a look inside the comics.