DescriptionAnimal Antics Ashcan Edition (DC, 1946) Condition: FN/VF. The newsstand edition of this series began a month after this ashcan was created, and ran for three years. This is the only complete copy of this ashcan known to exist (though see note on a cover below). DC only made three ashcans of their humor titles. Besides Animal Antics there exists a Funny Folks ashcan in the DC vault and five copies of Real Screen Funnies. Yes, that's Simon and Kirby's Newsboy Legion on the cover, with art taken from the cover of Star Spangled Comics #49. The interior is from Boy Commandos #12. No prior known sales. Overstreet notes, "A cover sold for $1,139 in 2010."
In the early days of comics publishing, the most common procedure to secure a trademark for a potentially valuable title was to create an ashcan edition of the proposed comic book (not to be confused with the modern-day term which commonly refers to mass-produced promotional booklets).
Companies would simply create the title's logo, affix it to a piece of existing cover art, and then shoot a Velox of it. (A Velox is a positive photographic print typically used by newspapers as a pre-press proof, which accounts for ashcan covers being black and white rather than color.) After the cover was created, it was trimmed to comic-book size and then stapled to the interior of a previously published book, or sometimes just some loose story pages. The ashcan was now complete. For all practical purposes it had the appearance of a legitimate comic book - and since the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) apparently accepted them as authentic comic books for trademark registration, no higher authority in the country existed to dispute this claim. Nor, apparently, did anyone ever seek to try.
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