Today let's look at a late product from the Funnies, Inc. comic book packaging company, founded by Lloyd Jacquet in 1939 as First Funnies Inc. One of the earliest heavy players in the budding comic book making business, and also one of the best-paying, they attracted a lot of terrific talent over the years, many of them working freelance at home, not a common practice in those days.
By the time they published the series that we'll look into today, the company was located at 500 Fifth Avenue in New York and still managed by Jacquet. There were only six issues of Juke Box produced, each one stuffed full of popular musical performers and writers, but like many post-war comics it didn't last. Once wartime paper restrictions were lifted, everyone flooded the newstands with too many comics and that generally helped to crush many comic book publishers altogether. A lot of subjects were tried out in the late 1940s, but few books held on for very long.
This first issue of Juke Box is very promising, well-drawn and written throughout, and we'll see most of it today. I plan to showcase excerpts from the other five issues in future WFMU blog posts as they are rife with interesting artists. So come along now and learn about Lindley Armstrong Jones (who he?), the habits and interests of Duke Ellington, fight crime with Benny Goodman, pen some hits with Johnny Mercer, and much more musical excitement - all after the jump!