The Comics In The Classroom Kit was produced by King Features Syndicate in USA in 1947. The promotional kit was issued by King Features Syndicates ‘Puck – The Comic Weekly’ department, which were publishing syndicated comic strips in newspapers across USA at the time. The Phantom makes an appearance in the Kit.
The history of ‘Puck’ magazine is long and unrivalled. Puck, no longer in print, was a famous weekly magazine, making its publishing debut in Germany, 1871. The German periodical was short lived, but founder Joseph Keppler soon thereafter created a new satirical magazine; an English version called ‘Puck’. Pucks humorous comics and witty dialogue quickly became a great success. Its first edition sold for 16c and was 16 pages. For forty years, under various owners and editors, it endeared its readers and became one of United States most renowned weekly publications.
In 1916, William Randolph Hearst acquired the company, and under his management, the publication began printing a 32-page magazine with both B&W and color pages; consisting of illustrated advertisements and comic strips as well as editorials of current events. It is unknown exactly why the publication ceased in Sept of 1918.
Thirteen years later the ‘Puck’ name was revived and became a part of the ‘Comic Weekly Sunday Comic Section’ which ran in Hearst’s newspaper chain until the mid-1970s. For over a decade, the Puck name laid dormant again, until the early 1980’s when Hearst’s Los Angeles Herald Examiner picked it up again. Finally, in 1989 its 118-year stint had ended, leaving behind a long and rich history of excellence in publication history.
It’s likely that only one or two of these Comics In The Classroom Kits from Puck were mailed to principals and vice principals of select schools within the Midwest. The kits primary purpose was to illustrate to educational professionals the academic value of King Features Syndicate comic strips to children of all ages.
The Comics In The Classroom Kit is made up of 2 items, the flip open information folder (with attached instructional booklet for teachers) and the sample comic book containing various comic character strips.
The flip open information folder measures 9.5” x 7.25” and is printed in black and white. The inside of the front Kit cover contains a slot to house the removable sample comic book. Attached is a 19 page instructional booklet titled ‘Summary of Actual Classroom Use of Puck – The Comic Weekly’. It’s also dated 20th of April, 1947.
The 19 page instructional booklet is broken up into various sections:
- Summary of a Actual Classroom use of Puck – The Comic Weekly – 5 pages
- Why Comics are Useful in Instruction – 2 pages
- Adaptability to Different School Levels – 1 page
- Methods for Instructional use of Comics – 4 pages
- Analysis of Puck Comics in Relation to Instruction – 4 pages
- Biography (with a list of comic book educational references) – 3 pages
In the ‘Analysis of Puck Comics in Relation to Instruction‘ section noted above, amongst various comic strip characters, we see a reference to the use of Phantom comic strips in the classroom.
Sample Comic Book
The sample comic book measures 6.5” x 5” and is printed in monotone. The comic book (which detaches from the Kit) is titled ‘Puck – The Comic Weekly’, containing 16 pages and features 27 different comic strips.
The characters found within the sample comic book are: Snookum’s, Bringing up Father, Flash Gordon, Dick’s Adventures in Dreamland, Blondie, Steve Canyon, Little Iodine, Jungle Jim, Room and Board, Tim Tyler’s Luck, Buzz Sawyer, The Squirrel Cage, Uncle Remus, Tillie Toiler, Annie Rooney, Henry, Popeye, Dingle Hoofer, Barney Google, Little King, Donald Duck, The Lone Ranger, Seeing Stars, Believe it or Not, The Katzenjammer Kids, Prince Valiant.
The Phantom comic strip is also featured.
Thank you Christopher Smith for assisting with images and information.