FEATURE BOOKS was started by the David McKay publishing company in 1937, and was the first comic book to devote complete issues to different characters. At first they mostly reprinted the popular newspaper strips of the time, such as Popeye, Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie, The Lone Ranger, and even Secret Agent X-9 (although not any of the arcs by by Dashiell Hammett). But they eventually started to publish original adaptations of novels and in 1946, they began a run of some of the most incredible and collectible private eye comics to ever pop up. Issue #48 marked the classic adaptation of Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, featuring Sam Spade, followed by two Perry Mason adaptations in issues 49 and 50. Number fifty-one boasted a reprint of the very first Rip Kirby continuity, and Rip returnedwith another collection of reprints in issue #54.
And that was that. The rest of Feature Books' run consisted of reprints of non-P.I.s like The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician.
But just try and find any of them these days. Suffice it to say that if you do spot any of the issues pictured above at some flea market or garage sale, SNAP THEM UP!
List compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.
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