DescriptionReal Screen Funnies Ashcan (DC, 1945) Condition: FN/VF. The first appearance of the Fox and Crow was on this ashcan cover, and it's the only ashcan created using the same cover art as the newsstand issue! It's also the only DC ashcan to not sport a black and white cover. The interior is from Detective Comics #92. Five copies are known to exist. Overstreet notes, "A copy sold in 2008 for $3,000."
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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