1949 ESCO : King Feature Comics Exhibits

1949 Exhibit Supply Co. - King Feature Comics

The King Feature Comics series of collectible coloring cards were first released in 1949 by the Exhibit Supply Company (ESCO) in Chicago, Illinois. Commonly referred to as Exhibits, the cards were randomly dispensed from arcade vending machines for a penny. Each King Feature Comics card is printed with a copyright year of 1949. The card series was distributed as late as 1955.

Exhibit Supply Co. - The Billboard, August 13, 1949

The 32-card series depicts popular newspaper strip characters published by King Features Syndicate, Inc. An additional series of 8 characters were released that include properties licensed by other publishers. The black-and-white Exhibits are lithographed on thick cardstock suitable for watercolor painting. Each card measures approximately 3.375 x 5.625 inches, smaller than a standard postcard. The King Feature Comics Exhibits are unnumbered and the back of each card is blank.

The Superman Exhibit card is copyrighted 1949 by National Periodicals. The artwork was penciled by Wayne Boring and inked by Stan Kaye. A variation appears on the cover of Superman #53 (July–August 1948). Colored postcards were distributed by the Supermen of America Club and Fo-Lee Gum

1949 Exhibit Supply Co. - Comic Strip Exhibits - Superman

Most of the King Feature Comics Exhibit cards contain a facsimile signature of their creators. Casper, Superman, and later printings of Felix the Cat do not contain any credits. Due to the legal battle over Superman and Superboy, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were removed from story bylines in 1948 after Action Comics #118, Adventure Comics #126, Superman #51, and World's Finest Comics #33. Siegel and Shuster were restored to the credits after 28 years in Superman #302 (August 1976).

1949 Exhibit Supply Company : King Feature Comics
Brick Bradford
Bringing Up Father
Buz Sawyer
Dick of Dick’s Adventures
Etta Kett
Felix the Cat (Pat Sullivan)
Felix the Cat (No Signature)
Flash Gordon
Glamor Girls
Johnny Hazard
Jungle Jim
King of the Royal Mounted
Little Annie Rooney
Mandrake the Magician
Mister Breger
Ozark Ike
Prince Valiant
Rip Kirby
Rusty Riley
Secret Agent X 9
Snuffy Smith
The Katzenjammer Kids
The Phantom
Tillie the Toiler
Tim Tyler
Toots and Casper
Betty Boop
Dick Tracy
Lil’ Abner
Little Orphan Annie
The Yellow Kid: The First Comic Character

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