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E-Mail | Introduction | Archives | Message Board July 02, 2004
Issue #1023 of 1048
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[Scott Shaw!]

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Title: Your United States
Issue: None
Date: 1946
Publisher: Fred W. Danner (“created by Lloyd Jacquet Studios, Inc.”)
Cover Artist(s): Unknown

Here's a 48-page "giveaway" funnybook - complete with a cover-quote by American poet Walt Whitman -- that spotlights YOUR UNITED STATES one state at a time, one page at a time, each with its own logo! (Hey, what better way to take advantage of a printing format that allows page-counts in multiples of 8, since in 1946, America had exactly 48 states?) But this is also a great example of how a cover illustration can be completely misinterpreted. Are those varied citizen-types - a housewife, a farmer, a craftsman, a politician/millionaire, a doctor and a student - removing states from a dimensional map of the United States to reveal the history within…or -- are they fiendishly sealing Paul Revere inside the map, as in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask Of Amontillado"? (The specific reason and method of YOUR UNITED STATES' distribution remains unknown.)

According to its minimalist indicia, YOUR UNITED STATES was "created by Lloyd Jacquet Studios, N.Y." An ex-army officer, Jacquet began his career in the burgeoning funnybook field as the art director of Centaur Publishing. But observing the wild success of the newly-created superhero genre, Jacquet left Centaur to form Funnies, Incorporated. His staff included writers Ray Gill and John Compton, cartoonists Bill Everett, Carl Burgos, Paul Gustavson and Ben Thompson, former Centaur publisher John Mahon, business manager Jim Fitzsimmons and a salesman Frank Torpey. Desperate for funding, the newly-formed company soon resorted to doing work-for-hire "packaging" for other comic book publishers. One of Funnies, Inc.'s first sales was to Martin Goodman, who had already published a variety of pulp magazines and was eager to enter the arena of comic books. MARVEL COMICS No. 1 (October, 1939) featured Bill Everett's "Sub-Mariner", Carl Burgos' "The Human Torch", Paul Gustavson's "The Angel", "The Masked Raider" and "Ka-Zar" (revived from Goodman's pulp title); together they comprised the contents of the very first so-called "Marvel Comic" ever published. Lloyd Jacquet also packaged and edited comics for many other publishers, including the first four issues of NEW FUN COMICS from Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Magazines. By 1946, Jacquet was still packaging comic books for other publishers, in this case, YOUR UNITED STATES, a "giveaway" that was published by Fred W. Danner. The majority of this comic's pages were drawn either by Sid Greene (best-known for drawing the popular "Star Rovers" strip in MYSTERY IN SPACE and inking key Silver Age issues of THE FLASH, GREEN LANTERN, THE ATOM and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.) or "Tex" Blaisdell (who, years later, inked DC's SUPERMAN and INFERIOR FIVE, took over Harold Gray's LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE syndicated newspaper comic strip after its creator died and was a drawing instructor at the Joe Kubert School).

The interior pages of YOUR UNITED STATES are devoted to, one page at a time, all forty-eight states, each with its own specially-designed logo:

  • "Are You From Alabama, The Cotton State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts About Arizona, The Baby State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts About Arkansas, The Wonder State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Are You From The 'Golden State', California", drawn by Sid Greene. - This page features a ol' fashioned lynching and Frankenstein's monster.

  • "Briefs On The Centennial State, Colorado".

  • "Connecticut, The Nutmeg State", drawn by Chet Jasinski.

  • "Briefs On The Diamond State, Delaware" - According to this page, the state is often under siege by giant crabs.

  • "Know This About Florida, 'The Peninsula State'" - If this page is accurate, one of Florida's greatest exports are rubber alligators.

  • "Georgia Is The Empire State Of The South", drawn by Chet Jasinski. - This page features the image of a happy African-American cotton-picker.

  • "Are You From Idaho, Gem Of The Mountain", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts On Illinois, 'The Prairie State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Are You From Indiana, 'Hoosier State'", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts About…Iowa, The Hawkeye State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts About Kansas, The Sunflower State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts About Kentucky, The Blue Grass State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts On Louisiana, 'Pelican State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Quick Facts About Maine, 'The Pine Tree State'".

  • "Know This About The Old Line State, Maryland".

  • "Massachusetts, Known As The 'Bay State'", drawn by Chet Jasinski.

  • "Michigan Briefs, 'The Wolverine State'".

  • "Quick Facts About Minnesota".

  • "Mississippi Briefs, 'The Magnolia State'".

  • "Missouri, The 'Show Me' State", drawn by Chet Jasinski. - What better way to illustrate the statement, "main industry is slaughtering and meat packing" than with the disembodied head of a steer?

  • "Montana In Brief", drawn by Tex Blaisdell.

  • "Nebraska, The Cornhusker State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Nevada Means Snow Clad", drawn by Tex Blaisdell.

  • "New Hampshire, The Granite State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts About New Jersey, The Garden State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Some Facts On New Mexico, The Sunshine State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "New York, The Empire State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "North Carolina, The Tar Heel State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "A Thumbnail Sketch Of North Dakota", drawn by Tex Blaisdell.

  • "Know Your States: Are You From Ohio".

  • "Are You From Oklahoma, 'Sooner State'", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "So You're From Oregon, Known As The 'Beaver State'".

  • "Know This About Pennsylvania, The Keystone State".

  • "A Quick Look At The Plantation State, Rhode Island", drawn by Tex Blaisdell.

  • "South Carolina, The Palmetto State".

  • "A Quick Look At South Dakota, The Sunshine State" , drawn by Tex Blaisdell. - This page features the fossilized skeleton of a prehistoric Dimetrodon. (Apparently, there are so many dinosaur fossils in the state, they're scattered all over the ground in plain sight!)

  • "Tennessee, Volunteer State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Are You From Texas, The Lone Star State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "The Salt Lake State Briefs: Utah".

  • "The Green Mountain State Briefs: Vermont".

  • "Quick Facts About The Old Dominion, Virginia".

  • "The Evergreen State, Washington", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "West Virginia, The Mountain State", drawn by Sid Greene.

  • "Quick Facts About Wisconsin, The Badger State".

  • "In Old Wyoming, The Equality State…", drawn by Tex Blaisdell.

    Also included in this issue of YOUR UNITED STATES are the features:

  • Two black-and-white, inside-front-cover entries, "Facts About The Territory Of Alaska" and "Hawaii", drawn by W. Johnson.

  • "Territories Of The U.S.A.", three black-and-white, inside-back-cover entries for the territories of the Panama Canal Zone, "Porto Rico" (?) and the Virgin Islands.

  • "Territories Of The U.S.A.", a back-cover feature that includes Guam and Samoa.

    ODDBALL Factoid - Cartoonist and comic-book packager Lloyd Jacquet created the title character for Centaur Publishing's 1939 AMAZING MAN COMICS!

  • For more from Scott Shaw!, visit his Web site at http://www.shawcartoons.com/.

    Just how odd is today's Oddball Comic?
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    Scott Shaw!
    Staff Writer, CBR

    comicbookresources.com | 07.02.04

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