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WITTY COMICS was published in 1945 by the Harry "A" Chesler publisher. Chesler issued WITTY under the surrogate imprint of Irwin H. Rubin (whether Rubin was Chesler's accountant, or the janitor, or a name Chesler picked out of a hat is a subject for further, more obsessive research), like several other Chesler titles. WITTY is an odd amalgam of subjects, as can be seen on the comic's logo, touting "Adventure, Humor, Spies, Flying." Likely the title was an umbrella used to gather together disparate strips that the Chesler shop -- a comic-book packager from its earliest days-- needed to clear out of the backlog. The stories in both issues are frankly second-rate, for the most part, which lends weight to the idea that the title existed to bundle the detritus laying around the Chesler shop.

One of the few distinctions of the title is the presence in issue #1 of "Ted Kane, King of the North Woods," by the singular Fletcher Hanks. The Ted Kane strip itself is a repackaging of one of Hanks' other strips, "Big Red McLane," for the Fiction House title FIGHT COMICS. The distinctively oddball Ted Kane strip leads off the book, a spot usually reserved for the headliner in Golden Age anthology books.

The balance of the title's content lends further weight to the idea of WITTY as a Chesler dustbin title, with most of the signed strips signed by obvious pseudonyms such as issue #1's Sky Hawk, signed by "Hy Flyah" or Secret Agent 7-X (itself a blatant if lame rip-off of the Alex Raymond/Dashiell Hammett newspaper strip "Secret Agent X9") signed by "G. Mann." The stories in both issues are a gold mine for fans who like to track down swipes, as they feature compositions and poses easily traceable to other, better strips and handy movie stills.

2 issues in this volume Add Issue Reverse sort

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