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Joe Palooka   (1945)
Search for 'Joe Palooka' on eBay

Publisher: Harvey Comics

Publication Date: November 1945 - March 1961

Country: United States

Language: English

Notes:

The saga of sports comics depicts a classic struggle of competition: How does the underdog prevail? For most of a generation straddling World War II, sports comics themselves were decided underdogs to action comics, funny comics, and super hero comics.

The most successful sports comics centered on baseball and boxing. Basketball, football and hockey made fleeting appearances (with an occasional swimmer, tennis or track star thrown in), but tales of the diamond and the ring predominated. If a publisher desired to tap in to sports enthusiasm when launching a comic title, it was natural to tap the public's hunger for baseball or boxing.

Leading the sports charge was Ham Fisher's inimitable Joe Palooka, which started as a comic strip on April 1, 1930. The following year, he won the fictional heavyweight championship of the world. Touted as "America's comic hero," Palooka was a natural for Eastern Colors' Famous Funnies, a compilation of color Sunday newspaper comic strips, which commenced in 1934.

Boxing was at its peak, and the Palooka strip captured the excitement and uncertainty of the sport. But Palooka was not only a boxing champ; he fought everything, ghosts to Nazis. The character was the son every parent which they had: upright, principled, with high moral values and a calling to overcome evil.

True to his word, his values and his girl, Ann Howe, Joe was also compassionate and self-sacrificing. A humanitarian award in his honor was bestowed annually on a great American whose performance mirrored the high ideals that Palooka espoused.

Palooka was so popular he popped up everywhere. He christened Feature Funnies (Harry A. Chesler, publisher) as its cover boy, a role he frequently filled. In June 1939, when the publisher changed and the title of the series became Feature Comics, Palooka again graced the cover (issue 21). He made curtain calls on the covers of issues 24 and 27. Palooka also starred in twelve issues of Columbia Comics Group's Big Shot Comics, beginning with issue 1 (May 1940).

Columbia Comics launched a separate Palooka title in 1942. It only ran four issues. During this time, Joe was enlisted in the war effort against Adolph Hitler and the Nazis.

All this was preliminary. As the most popular sports comic strip in history, was Palooka primed for a breakout performance. With a strip that appeared in more than 600 newspapers, Palooka boasted 50 million fans daily.

Harvey Publications became involved in 1945, producing a giveaway publication for the Red Cross and an enormous adventure strip compilation. In November, Harvey debuted the popular hero under his own title. Issue #1 tells how Joe became world champion. The title ran through 118 issues, plus four special issues, before ceasing publication in March of 1961.

From the outset, the comic was a tremendous success. Each issue sold more than 1 million copies. Along the way, the comic's title changed frequently, known alternately as Joe Palooka, Joe Palooka Monthly, Joe Palooka Comics Monthly, Joe Palooka Adventures and Joe Palooka Champ of Comics.

Palooka was indeed the knockout champion of comics, but he wasn't invincible. The issues followed Palooka's career with cliffhanger developments that propelled the reader from one issue to the next.

Eventually the strip extended to more than 1,000 newspapers worldwide, with an audience of 100 million daily. In his day, Palooka's creator, Ham Fisher, was probably the most prosperous and well-known comic artist in the field.

Assembling a run of the Palooka titles, especially all the crossover appearances, would be a challenge. Collectors should be especially vigilant for additional Palooka strips in other titles. Fred Reed - June 4, 1999.

Number of issues cataloged: 119

Number of users with this title in their pull list: 1



Issue   Title   Story Arc   Cover Date
118
 
 
  March 1961
117
 
 
  December 1960
116
 
 
  September 1960
115
 
 
  June 1960
114
 
 
  March 1960
113
 
 
  December 1959
112
 
 
  September 1959
111
 
 
  June 1959
110
 
 
  March 1959
109
 
 
  January 1959
108
 
 
  1958
107
 
 
  August 1958
106
 
 
  May 1958
105
 
 
  March 1958
104
 
 
  January 1958
103
 
 
  November 1957
102
 
 
  September 1957
101
 
 
  July 1957
100
 
 
  April 1957
99
 
 
  February 1957
98
 
 
  December 1956
97
 
 
  October 1956
96
 
 
  August 1956
95
 
 
  May 1956
94
  Champ Of Comics
 
  March 1956
93
  Champ Of Comics
 
  January 1956
92
  Champ Of Comics
 
  Oct/Nov 1955
91
  Champ Of Comics
 
  August 1955
90
  Champ Of Comics
 
  July 1955
89
  Champ Of Comics
 
  May 1955
88
  Champ Of Comics
 
  March 1955
87
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  January 1955
86
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  November 1954
85
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  September 1954
84
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  July 1954
83
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  May 1954
82
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  March 1954
81
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  January 1954
80
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  November 1953
79
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  September 1953
78
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  July 1953
77
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  May 1953
76
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  March 1953
75
  Joe Palooka Adventures
 
  January 1953
74
  Joe Palooka's Battle Adventures
 
  November 1952
73
  Joe Palooka's Battle Adventures
 
  October 1952
72
  Joe Palooka's Battle Adventures
 
  September 1952
71
  Joe Palooka's Battle Adventures
 
  August 1952
70
  Joe Palooka's Battle Adventures
 
  July 1952
69
  Joe Palooka's Battle Adventures
 
  June 1952
68
  Joe Palooka's Battle Adventures
 
  May 1952
67
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  April 1952
66
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  March 1952
65
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  February 1952
64
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  January 1952
63
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  December 1951
62
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  November 1951
61
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  October 1951
60
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  September 1951
59
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  August 1951
58
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  July 1951
57
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  June 1951
56
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  May 1951
55
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  April 1951
54
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  March 1951
53
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  February 1951
52
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  January 1951
51
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  December 1950
50
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  November 1950
49
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  October 1950
48
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  September 1950
47
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  August 1950
46
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  July 1950
45
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  June 1950
44
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  May 1950
43
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  April 1950
42
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  March 1950
41
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  February 1950
40
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  January 1950
39
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  December 1949
38
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  November 1949
37
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  October 1949
36
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  September 1949
35
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  August 1949
34
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  July 1949
33
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  June 1949
32
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  May 1949
31
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  April 1949
30
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  March 1949
29
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  February 1949
28
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  January 1949
27
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  December 1948
26
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  November 1948
25
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  October 1948
24
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  September 1948
23
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  August 1948
22
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  July 1948
21
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  June 1948
20
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  May 1948
19
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  April 1948
18
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  March 1948
17
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  February 1948
16
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  January 1948
15
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  December 1947
14
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  November 1947
13
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  October 1947
12
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  August 1947
11
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  July 1947
10
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  May 1947
9
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  April 1947
8
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  Feb/Mar 1947
7
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  Dec/Jan 1947
6
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  Oct/Nov 1946
5
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  Jul/Aug 1946
4
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  May/Jun 1946
3
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  March 1946
2
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  January 1946
1
  Joe Palooka Comics
 
  November 1945







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