Forget all that crap I said about horror and the importance of new genres during the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age is defined by one thing, and one thing alone: Format. The book that ushered in the wave of new formats was Wham-O-Comics #1, the first Bronze Age book.
In an effort to stand out, get new shelf-space and even perhaps get into different types of stores, publishers tried all sort of new funnybook formats. We had digest, magazines, treasuries, pocket books, mini-comics and even LPs with comics included. One of the first, and certainly the largest books to break away from the standard comic book format was Wham-O-Comics #1.
It’s funny that the first Bronze Age book came not from a comic book company, but from a toy company – as the Bronze Age was also one of tie-ins and crossovers. This book is like a old school anthology (with contributions from Wally Wood and John Stanley) blown up to incredible proportions, as it measured 21″ by 14″ and cost a whopping $0.98. It was published in 1967 and, while it may not have taken the comic book world by storm, it certainly suggested to other comic book publishers that it may be worth their while putting out funnybooks in all differents shapes and sizes. Before long, readers would have a wide selection of formats from which to choose. The Bronze Age was one of diverse format, and Wham-O Comics #1 paved the way.
For more of my babbling – stop by Seduction of the Indifferent.
Next: Self-Referential ‘Laugh’ter
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