As I was writing about the Dell Giants, I remembered that DC also had a large comic book of its own during the Golden Age, The Big All-American Comic Book (December 1944). This one shot was 132 pages and had a 25 cent cover price.
While many of the All-American heroes appeared on the cover of this big comic, not all of them appeared in stories in the issue. The book leads off with a Wonder Woman story followed by an adventure with the Atom. Next up is Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys, Johnny Thunder, Hop Harrigan and The Whip. Even more All-American Heroes follow, with stories featuring Green Lantern, Ghost Patrol, Mr. Terrific, Wildcat, Hawkman, Bulldog Drumhead and the Flash. Whew! Just about every member of the JSA is featured here, and then some. Not only do the heroes appear in this book, but there a several humor strips with Mutt & Jeff, Scribbly, Fat & Slat and others.
For the 25 cent cover price, this book was a real bargain. The superhero stories were not reprints, so the readers really got their money’s worth with this book.
This is considered one of the early DC Annuals, and due to its size, is somewhat difficult to find in high grade. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (38th Ed.) has assigned a NM- vaule of $14,700 to this book, so if you want a copy start saving your quarters!
But there is a better way. DC was looking out for the Golden Age fans when in 2004 (60 years after the original was published) they included this book in its entirety in one of the largest DC Archives they have produced to date, the DC Comics Rarities Archives. Not only does this volume include the Big All-American Comic Book, it also includes the entirety of the 1939 New York World’s Fair Comic Book and the 1940 New York World’s Fair Comic Book. That makes this Archive a whopping 346 pages with a cover price of $75.00. Despite the price, this is my favorite DC Archive, and I’ve really enjoyed reading the material from each of the rare issues it reprints. This is a “must have” archive for the Golden Age fan.