The early days of Bazooka and its comics were a mish-mash of suppliers, artists and licensed strips. However, I recently ran across an interesting premium issued by the Brock Company of Chattanooga that ties in a bit with the early Bazooka comics. Intrepid readers of this blog know that Bazooka originated as a candy created by Brock and that sometime between 1937 and 1947 Topps acquired the trademark, most likely after the end of the war, and applied it to their new bubble gum.
Close readers also know that Bazooka first used a comic strip called Bubbles when it launched in 1947 (Bazooka was manufactured by a Topps nom-de plume called Bubbles Inc.) . The strip was not especially well done nor was it all that funny:
Bubbles quickly gave way to some strips licensed from Fawcett Publications:
The 1947 copyright for Fawcett Publications puts it within the first year of Bazooka, which was a five cent product as Topps Gum filled the one cent niche at the time (Topps originally marketed separate products for each price point after the war, although this practice ended by 1949). I suspect Bubbles was only inserted in the initial wave of Bazooka issued in New York City that commenced April 23rd but I'm not 100% sure of that. The Fawcett strips possibly came a couple months later when they started national distribution on July 21st; the above is what I believe is the third version of the Bazooka wrapper, which would feature small changes almost annually if not more frequently, but it may date from early 1948 while holding the 1947 Doc Sorebones. Those comics were separate inserts and not printed on the backs of the wrappers by the way.
A year later though, at least one Fawcett character was featured on a premium issued by.....Brock Candy!
If you look at the 18 available subjects, they were not all Fawcett characters but rather from a variety of publishers dominated by Marvel/Timely. :
Some of the other booklets in the series have copyrights from 1949 and 1950 so the offer either occurred over a few years or began a couple years after 1948. In addition multiple firms utilized these mini comics to advertise but some others I've seen do not have the ordering details like Brock did or were entirely blank backed.
It's meaningless in the grand scheme of things but I like how a company connected to the history of Topps issued something also connected to Topps, albeit by the slimmest of threads.
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