Gold Key Comics

Gold Key Comics

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Gold Key Comics

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Gold Key Comics was an imprint of Western Publishing created for comic books distributed to newsstands. Also known as Whitman Comics, Gold Key operated from 1962 to 1984.


Gold Key Comics was created in 1962, when Western switched to in-house publishing rather than packaging content for branding and distribution by its business partner, Dell Comics. Hoping to make their comics more like traditional children's books, they initially eliminated panel line-borders (using just the panel — its ink and artwork evenly edged but not bordered by a "container" line — a novel idea at the time — and making the comic look more like "artwork"), and had word and thought balloons that were rectangular rather than oval, giving the titles a cleaner, more modern look. Within a year they had reverted to using inked panel borders and oval balloons. They also experimented with new formats, including black-and-white 136 page hardcovers containing reprints (Whitman Comic Book) and tabloid-sized 52-page hardcovers containing new material (Golden Picture Story Book) These evidently were aimed at the book trade and department stores, in the manner of Western Publishing's popular Little Golden Books. In 1967, Gold Key reprinted a number of selected issues of their comics under the title Top Comics which were sold in plastic bags of five at gas stations and various eateries; some locations removed them from the bags and sold them individually with...
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