The First Golden Age Christmas Cover

As we move full swing into the Christmas season, I thought I would look for the very first Golden Age Christmas cover to be published.  I guess I am using the term “Golden Age” loosely as the “official” start of the Golden Age was in 1938 (Action Comics #1), but when looking for certain “firsts” I tend to go back to the publication of Famous Funnies #1 (July 1934), credited as being the first successful newsstand comic book.

I didn’t have to look far, because Famous Funnies #5 (December 1934) features the very first Christmas cover to appear on a newsstand comic book.  Although not really a “classic” Christmas cover, it features Santa Claus, and that’s good enough for me!

Famous Funnies continued their tradition of publishing Christmas covers, and their 1935 issue (#17), 1936 issue (#29) and 1937 issue (#41) also featured Christmas covers.  These covers all feature the Jolly Old Elf, with #17 featuring many of the characters that appeared in Famous Funnies.  Number 17 is also considered the second comic book Christmas cover to ever appear on the newsstands.

I hope you enjoy these very early Golden Age Christmas covers from Famous Funnies!


About Bill Jourdain

Bill is the host of the Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast. Learn more about Bill in the "About Bill" page to this site.
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5 Responses to The First Golden Age Christmas Cover

  1. Pat Curley says:

    Star Comics #8 (1937) has an interesting Christmas cover, with Santa toting presents that include both Mickey Mouse and Popeye dolls, two characters that I presume Chesler had no rights to publish (and indeed they did not appear inside).

  2. Thanks, Pat. That’s an interesting cover, particularly with Mickey Mouse and Popeye toys, and I took the liberty of adding a link to it in your comment. Star Comics had some interesting covers, and some that would not be PC today.

  3. Pat Curley says:

    I actually have an issue of Star Comics in my collection (#7) and it’s a terrific book, with 16 pages of Fred Guardineer artwork, including an exquisite four pages of Dan Hastings (Buck Rogers clone) that has had me salivating for more for years (so far I’ve managed to read two other issues). Unfortunately they don’t come up for sale very often on ebay, especially the early, oversized issues. They’re interesting books in that they were clearly intended for the whole family, much like the comics in the newspapers. One of the features in Star Comics, King Cole’s Court, for example is a witty (and conservative) satire on FDR, and the issue I have features a takeoff on Roosevelt’s attempt to pack the Supreme Court with extra judges. Startling stuff in a comic, and yes, there was a lot of very un-PC art on the covers and inside.

    Didn’t you do a podcast where you talked about the Christmas covers in Batman? I loved those issues, as well as the ones on Action comics.

  4. I need to find some of those to read. I talked all about Christmas covers in my very first Christmas show, #29 – 12/19/05. I talked about my favorite Batman and Superman Christmas stories in the second Christmas show, #48 – 12/17/05.

  5. Pingback: Christmas in July – Golden Age of Comic Books

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