DC's Other Comics

Based on Will Murray's "DC's Tangled Roots" in Comic Book Marketplace #53 and "The Superhero... before Superman"  in Comic Book Marketplace #51, with kibitzing from Robert Beerbohm, Michael Feldman and Jerry Bails.

In May 1932 Harry and Irwin Donenfeld acquired Pep. La Paree and Spicy Stories after the original publisher went bankrupt.  The three titles were published by DM Publishing (Donenfeld's Magazines).




Frank Armer, former publisher of the above titles, soon began editing magazines for the Donenfelds, starting with Super Detective, which was originally published by Super Magazines. 


 March 1934 v1#1 

 to April 1935  v2#2 .

The comic strip Betty Blake appeared in some issues of this magazine.

April 1934


Donenfeld and Armer next combined their two favorite genres and started the Spicy line, from Culture Publishing, not that anybody could tell the difference. 

According to Aldophe Barreaux, the owners of Trojan/Culture were Harry Donenfeld and Mike Estrow.  Estrow would later own Leader News, a major "competitor" of Donenfeld's Independent News.


Spicy Detective Stories    

v1#1 April 1934  

 to  v16#5  December 1942

Jan 1935

Spicy Detective was the first to feature comic strips, with Sally the Sleuth who debuted in November 1934, drawn by Adolphe Barreaux.
Almost immediately the company registers trademarks for Snappy Detective and its companions, but never gets beyond producing a couple of ashacans to register the names with. They decided to stick with Spicy instead.
Snappy Detective Stories   July 1934  v1#1 ashcan
Snappy Mystery Stories   July 1934  v1#1 ashcan
Snappy Adventure Stories   Julye 1934 v1#1 ashcan


Spicy Detective was spun off into a whole line of titles, covering the standard genres.


Spicy-Adventure Stories   

November 1934 v1#2 

to December 1942 v16#5 

Spicy Mystery Stories    

 June 1935 v1#2 

to December 1942 v13#1

Spicy Western Stories    

November 19/36 v1#1

to December 1942 v10#3 

April 1935


June 1935

November 1936

Diana Daw began in the November 1934 issue of Spicy Adventure with art by Max Plaisted. Polly of the Plains by Joseph Sokoli (not Bill Everett) was the comic strip in Spicy Western

The Astounding Adventures of Olga Messmer, the Girl with the X-Ray Eyes by Watt Dell Lovett began in August 1937 in Spicy Mystery but was dropped in late 1938.
Vera Ray, a science fiction strip replaced her in 1940, also by Watt Dell.
In 1939, Culture Publications severed ties with its former owners, but Donenfeld's wife Gussie was a partner in the new corporation, so the whole maneuver was likely a fake to protect the comic book line from guilt by association..


Don Winslow of the Navy  

April 1937 v1#1

 to May 1937 v1#2 

May 1937



The Trojan line was originally supposed to be a tamer version of the Spicy line.  But the addresses and editorial staff seem to have been the same, and according to Murray they freely reprinted each other's stories.

Lone Ranger Magazine    

April 1937 v1#1

to November 1937 v2#2

Private Detective Stories 

June 1937 v1#1

to December 1950 v23#2

April 1937

June 1937

Romantic Western   

January 1936 v1#1

to July  1939 v3#6

Romantic Detective    

 February 1938 v1#1 

to February 1939 v2#1

Jan 1936

February 1938

Candid Detective  

November 1938 v1#1

to March 1939 v1#3


October 1940 v1#1

to  October 1950+ 

March 1939

October 1940

Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective  

January 1942 v1#1

to July 1943 v2#4 

Hollywood Detective   

 September 1943 v2#5

to  October 1950 v10#5

January 1942

December 1943


In 1943, Culture disappeared and Trojan took over the Spicys, renaming them all Speed, with cleaned up covers to keep the Postal Service happy.  All of these magazines bore the Speed bullet.  To further disassociate the comics from the pulps, a new distributor, Leader News was set up to handle them.


Speed Adventure Stories    

January 1943 v1#1

to January 1946 v3#6 

Speed Detective 

January 1943 v1#1

to December 1946 v5 #3 

Speed Mystery 
January 1943 v1#1

to March 1946 v4#1

Speed Western Stories    

 January 1943 v1#1

to January 1948 

Jan 1943

Feb 1943

June 1945

January 1943

First Speed Issue 1943 First Speed Issue 1943


First Speed Issue 1943




Fighting Western  


to 09/50 

Six-Gun Western  

March 1946   

to December 1950 

Blazing Western   



By 1947, things started to fall apart as paper was getting harder to find.  Trojan finally abandoned all their pulps in 1950 and Armer went into advertising.  Under the editorship of Adolphe Barreaux Trojan went into comic book publishing.

Trojan's last pulps were digest sized repackagings of the same old stuff.


Pocket Detective Magazine Trojan 

09/50 v 1#1

to 11/50 v1#2 

Pocket Western Magazine Trojan 

 09/50 v1#1

to 11/50 v1#2

Crime Fiction Stories Trojan 

12/50 v1#1 


An alternate publishing company, but I don't know what they were hiding, since the Speed bullet appears on all the covers.

Leading Love  

May 1945

to January 1947

Leading Western 

to 09/50 

Magic Love    11/45

Golden Love Tales 
 02/46 v1#1



Western Love 


Winning Love 


to 11/46


03/46 v1#1

to ?/4? 



Frank Armer published these by himself in the 20's, along with a bunch of nudie magazines.

Airplane Stories  

March 1929

to May 1931

June 1929


Complete Aviation Novel Magazine

April 1929

to October 1929

May 1929


May 1927

to January 1928

May 1927

Zeppelin Stories  
April 1929 v1#1 

to August 1929 v1#4 

June 1929