Monday, July 30, 2012

Eastern Distributing Corporation

The American News Company controlled distribution for periodicals for the time period after the Civil War and up to World War One.  They had a monopoly of services at train stations and on trains, at the time the USA's most popular method of long distance transportation.   Around the time of the Great War, independent distriubtors started up, from Fawcett, Popular Science & McCalls, MacFadden, and others.
   And among the others was Eastern.  Eastern is best known for two reasons: it was owned by Paul Sampliner and distributed items by Harry Donenfeld, both later to be owners of DC Comics. It also provided employment for many folks who later started their own publishing company.

Eastern Distributing Corporation  1924 - October 1932
Paul H. Sampliner owner   1924 - 1932

1926 - advertises that Eastern distributed nationally.
1927 - Address was 45 W. 45th St. NYC
1928 - distributed 28 magazines
Feb 1929    Pilot  Charles A. Lindbergh takes letters and magazines from Eastern to Admiral Byrd via airplane.
November 1931: moved to 305 East 46th Street, NYC  (The Albano Building) 
January 1932  Michigan Courts ruled that the Michigan News Company  (Lightstone) did not have to pay Eastern for the magazines that had been furnished to them, because some of them were obscene and illegal under Michigan law.  Eastern would have to refund the deposit money.

 March 2,  1932 A Michigan appeals court ruled that the deposit money  could be used to pay for part of the non-obscene magazines, if a new trial indicated it should and indicated what percentage of the books had been legal under Michigan law.

July 14, 1932 contract signed with Mystery League to distribute their books.

October 1932 declared bankruptcy

May 1938 Last legal charge against P.H. Sampliner (for alleged fraud in the Eastern bankruptcy case) dismissed.

Steller  -Hugo Gernsbeck's publications   -1932
Popular Publications (pulp chain)             -1932   (probably from the beginning in 1930)
Shade (men's magazines)                         -1932
Mystery League  (books)                        -1932
Frank G. Menke   (books)             -1931 - 
Harry Donenfeld's magazines   

Brief Stories          - 1928 -
Plain Talk              -1932
Child Play              -1927-
Yankee Humor (Consolidated Features)     1927 - 1928

Paul H. Sampliner, President 1924 - 1932
Harold Hersey, General Editorial Advisory 1928
Robert T. Martin,  "an official"   1929
Warren Angel, Secretary and General Manager   - 1929
       (later with Kable, Ace, & Comic Corporation of America)
Charles Dreifus Jr, Secretary and Treasurer   - 1930 - 1932
     note correct spelling, it's not Dreyfus.

it is believed that Martin Goodman and Louis Silberkleit worked for Eastern, both up to 1932.
Silberkleit,     possibly,  as a regional supervisor.

I do plan to update this, as more information comes out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ramona Fradon art at St. John ?

Quite a longtime ago, I read a St. John comic with artwork with artwork that seemed to be Ramona Fradon.  At the time i was an editor at Jerry Bails' Who's Who of American Comic Books.  Since she had not been known to have worked for St. John, I asked Jerry.  and he responded that her style was so unique that if I thought it was her, it was.      I later got rid of the issue, and then folks started wondering.  She denied she drew for St. John, but an editor recalled her work there.
              And now decades later, I again  see the story in question once again : So is this Ramona Fradon art?
If not - who is it?