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Notable Comics of the 20th Century
This is Page 1
1900-1989
Page 2
1990-1999
This is not an exhaustive history of every Christian comic ever produced worldwide during the 1900s. It is a list of known professional publications deemed to be significant for historical, artistic, cultural, or circulation reasons.
1920s/30s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s

1920s/30s


"Christian Cartoons"
[USA] - Published in 1922 by the Sunday School Times Co. and the Bible Institute Colportage Association (later Moody Press) - 96 pages, 1 color cover with black & white interior - Written & Illustrated by Dr. E.J. Pace - Contains cartoon panels (and some sequential, comics-type images) from Dr. Pace's first six years at the Sunday School Times - Now out of print - No distribution/circulation figures available

"Gospel Cartoons" [USA] - Published in 1937 by Polzin Press, Chicago, IL USA - 28 pages, 1 color cover with black & white interior - Written & Illustrated by U.S. Abell - Contains cartoon panels (and some sequential, comics-type images) from U.S. Abell's work for Moody Monthly - Now out of print - No distribution/circulation figures available

1940s


"The Life of ... Visualized" Series [USA] - Life of Jesus Visualized originally published in 1942 and 1943 by The Standard Publishing Company as three softcover books which were gathered together in a cardboard wrapper or folder: (1) From Bethlehem's Manger to Calling of the Twelve, (2) The Ministry, and (3) The Triumphal Entry to the Ascension (shown here) - 50 pages each - Editor: Dorothy Fay Foster - Illustrators: Stemler, Lohman, Rolfsen, Fay, Frohliger - Other titles in the series includedThe Life of Joseph Visualized (1946), New Testament Heroes - Acts of Apostles Visualized (1947), Life of Esther Visualized (1947), and Parables Jesus Told (1947) - All now out of print - No distribution/circulation figures available - Find additional series information here.


"Tullus" Series [USA] - Begun in 1943 as a comic strip (appearing in three David C. Cook's Sunday School papers and compiled into 6 paperback comic book editions in 1974 (shown here), 1975 and 1993 - Created & originally written by Joseph Hughes Newton, later by others, with various artists - "Read by over 2 million children." (From back cover of the 1975 paperback compilation) - Find additional series information here.



"Bible Stories in Pictures" Series [USA] - First published in 1947 as comic leaflets by Concordia Publishing House and "distributed to more than 10,000 subscribers throughout the USA" - 4 pages in each issue - 1,132 pages total - Writer: Dr. William F. Beck - Illustrators: Ruth W. Rogers, Marion J. Pabst, Judith McCormack - Collected into a single 376-page volume and published in 2000 by the Multi-Language Publications Program - Second printing in 2001 and a third printing in 2004 - Now being translated into 8 other languages, including 16,000 copies published in Spanish and Albanian (From Bringing the Written Word to the World, March 2003)


"Sunday PIX" [USA] - First published in May 1949 as a comic strip/book-style addition to the David C. Cook Sunday School curriculum (Vol. 11, No. 44, November 1, 1959, shown here) - Still in print today, but no longer a primarily comics-driven vehicle - Features Biblical stories, stories of missionaries, and "heroes of the Christian faith" - Title changed to Bible-in-Life Pix in 1969, and to just PIX in the 1990s - Various writers & artists - Contained all new material until the 1960s - 12 pages average, including paper self-cover , but issues vary between 8-16 pages of comics and illustrated text features - Full color throughout - "Over 65 million PIX, used in the curriculum, have been distributed." [From Ralph Gates, Director of Cook Communications Ministries International, May 2001] - Find additional series information here.

1950s


"Billy Graham Presents" Series [USA]- 3 issues (Billy Graham with Cliff Barrows presents The Story of Naaman the Leper, Vol. 1, No. 1 (shown here), Cliff Barrows tells the Story of Daniel in the Lions Den, Vol. 1, No. 2, The Story of David and Goliath as told by Cliff Barrows, Vol. 1, No. 3) - Published 1951 to 1953 by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Grayson Company - Full mechanical color interiors + painted covers - 16 pages (17th page of story art on inside back cover of Naaman the Leper) - 7.125" x 10.125" - Art by Norman E. Hamilton- "They were often given away during children meetings held during Billy Graham evangelistic campaigns." [Information from the Billy Graham Center Archives] - No distribution/circulation information available


"Oral Roberts' True Stories" Series (19 issues) [USA] Published by the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association/Tele Pix from 1956 /1957 until 1959- Issues #2-19 are numbered #102-119 (Issue #108, Keeper of the Garden Tomb, shown here) - Began in 1956 as a 32-page series, apparently published quarterly, and became a monthly series in a 16-page format as of issue #113 (January 1959) - Full mechanical color interiors + painted covers on the early issues - Mostly professional, uncredited artwork - Charles Lowe Ramsay, Editor/Art Editor - Find additional series information here.


"Oral Roberts' Junior Partners" Series (3 Volumes, 29 issues total) [USA] - Published by the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association from 1959 until 1961 (Volume 3, No. 8 shown here) - This series replaced Oral Roberts True Stories - Published Monthly - Full mechanical color - 7" x 10.25" - Mostly professional, uncredited artwork - Charles Lowe Ramsay, Editor, Art Editor - Find additional series information here.

1960s


"Tournesol" [France] - Began in October 1960, published by Ligue pour la Lecture de la Bible (LLB) - Started as a pocket-size publication, 130mm x 180mm, 48 pages, with a 2-color cover and black and white interior
(Issue No. 1, Oct. 1960, shown here) - Now published 6 times a year - Publication team headed by Philippe Hochet (a contributing artist since 1978) - Although Sunday PIX [USA] began earlier, it is no longer a truly comics-driven vehicle, so Tournesol is now the longest-running Christian comics publication still produced on a regular schedule - No distribution/circulation figures available at this time - Find additional series information here.



"PLUS" [UK] - Began publication in January 1966 (Issue No. 331, Jan/Feb 1996, the 30th anniversary issue, shown here) - First published by Christian Publicity Organisation (CPO) - Originally created, written & edited by Alan Bird (first 240 issues) - Started as 8 pages in 2 colors, published bimonthly - In 2000 it merged with Eagles Wings and is still in print today, but no longer a comics-driven vehicle primarily - No distribution/circulation figures available at this time - Find additional series information here.

1970s


"Run Baby Run" [USA]- Published in 1971 by Logos International and David C. Cook Publishing Co. - "This special edition of 'Bible-in-Life Pix' is prepared by arrangement with Logos International, Plainfield, NJ, publishers of the book 'Run Baby Run' and David C. Cook Publishing Co., publisher of 'Bible-in-Life Pix' copyright 1971, of Elgin, Illinois and leading supplier of Sunday school literature." (From information on page 30) - 32 pages including paper self-cover, full mechanical color throughout - Artwork packaged for Cook by the Al Stenzel Studio - No distribution/circulation information available


Spire/Barbour series [USA]- 59 titles (reportedly), including at least 19 "Archie" titles, 12 biographical and autobiographical titles, 6 Bible story adaptations, 3 other book or movie adaptations, 9 "Kiddies Christian Comic" titles featuring "Barney Bear," and others - First books (The Cross & the Switchblade and God's Smuggler) published in Sept 1972 - 32 pages + cover, full mechanical color - Majority written/illustrated by Al Hartley - Overall sales of more than 40 million copies, including international sales ("at least 60% of which were true US sales" or 24 million comics) - 30-50% of that figure, or approximately 7.2 to 12 million copies, may represent just the "Archie" titles (From information supplied by Al Hartley to Breakaway Magazine in their October '92 issue, confirmed/expanded by a source working with Barbour, with "Archie" supposition by Nate Butler) - Find additional series information here.


"The Crusaders" series (11 issues) plus "Alberto" (6 issues) [USA] - Begun in 1974, published by Chick Publications - 32 pages + cover, all full color - Written by Jack Chick, illustrated by Fred Carter - Distribution information: "We don't keep cumulative numbers on those titles. But there certainly have been a lot of them sold. I've lost track of the number of times they have been reprinted." (From Sherry in Customer Service, Chick Publications, March 2001) - No other distribution/circulation information available


"LOGOS" Series [USA] - 4 titles, Merlin R. Carothers/Prison to Praise (shown here) and Nicky Cruz/Run Baby Run (a different comic from the one produced with David C. Cook in '71), Amazing Saints (Phil Saint) and Ben Israel (Arthur Katz), published in 1974 by Logos International - All 32 pages + cover, full mechanical color - Adapted/illustrated by Tony Tallarico - Find additional series information here.


"Eternal Truth" [USA] - Vol. 1, No. 1 published July, 1974 by Sonday Funnies Comic Corp., a division of Avalon, Inc. - 24 pages in black & white with a full mechanical color cover - Features an 18-page story titled "Hitchhiker," a 4-page text piece entitled "A Word from Brother John," and two 1-page comic strip adaptations of parables of Jesus - Written & drawn by Jim Phillips - No distribution/circulation information available


"Jungle Doctor" series [Australia] - 12 titles - Began publishing black & white comics with color covers in 1975, new color comics series begun in 1981, all published by Paul White Productions - 10 pages + cover, all full color - Written by Paul White, illustrated by Graham Wade, others - Find additional series information here.



"Dennis and the Bible Kids" series [USA] - Six 1977 titles (Jesus, shown here, Joseph, David, The Girls, Moses, More about Jesus) and Four 1980 titles (The Lord's Prayer, Stories Jesus Told, Paul - God's Traveler, In the Beginning) - Christian "Dennis the Menace" series published by Word Books/Waco, TX - Find additional series information here.



"Marx, Lenin, Mao, & Christ" [Holland/USA] - Published in 1977 by Open Doors Publishers/Open Doors International, Inc. - 32 pages of full mechanical color + painted wraparound cover - Credits: "Written by Mark and Peter, Illustrated by The Redondo Studio" (Cover painting by Nestor Redondo) - May have been published simultaneously in Holland, US, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Philippines - No distribution/circulation information available


"The Picture Bible" [USA] - First published as a book in 1979 by David C. Cook - 750 comics pages, full mechanical color, hardback and paperback editions - Written by Iva Hoth, illustrated by Andre LeBlanc - "The Picture Bible did not start out as a book. The original vision and use was for Sunday School curriculum. It was published in 13 stories per quarter and placed in the curriculum as a 'take home paper' for the children to be able to read over the Bible story at home. This has been part of the David C. Cook curriculum since the late '50s and continues to minister to kids today in the same way." (From Ralph Gates, Director of Cook Communications Ministries International, May 2001) - Find additional information here.




"Marc Alban" series [France] - 2 titles - Pursuit in the City ("Poursuite Dans La Ville"), shown here, and Threat Over Les Maurières ("Menace sur les Maurières") - Published in 1979 and 1983 by Ligue pour la Lecture de la Bible - 44 pages of full color comics - Hardcover (Pursuit in the City) and paperback (Threat on Maurières) - Text by J.M. Bloch and Claude Gaasch - Art by Jefko (Jean-Frédéric Kohler) - No distribution/circulation information available - ISBNs: 2-85031-048-4, 2-85031-095-6 - Find additional series information here.

1980s


"Heroes of Faith" series [Hong Kong] - 13+ titles (Man with a Mission shown here)- Published by United Bible Societies (UBS) beginning in 1982 - 32 pages + cover, full painted color - All straight Bible adaptations - Most illustrated by Johnny Yngente, Jr. (Philippines), with several of the newest by Graham Wade (Australia) - Distribution information: "In 1984 the Bible Society of India sold 1,041,000 copies of the first UBS Moses comic title. Over the next 5 years that one issue sold an additional 2,115,200 copies. During the period 1984-1989 a total of 5,451,300 copies of the Moses (I & II), David (I & II), Elijah, and Jeremiah comics sold. Between 1984 and 1994, total Indian sales of all UBS comics ranged from a low of 659,700 copies ('89) to a high of 2,930,000 copies ('94). Sales never dropped below 500,000 copies, were at a million or above 6 of those years, above 2 million the last two years, nearly 3 million that last year ... Since beginning their comics program in 1982, the UBS have distributed approximately 100 million copies of the 13 titles in their 'Heroes of Faith'" series in over 100 languages worldwide." [From UBS sources in 1996, 1997)


"Diabolus Seeks Revenge" [USA] - Published in 1982 by Regal Books / Gospel Light Publications - 90 pages, paperback - color cover with black & white interior - Written & illustrated by Tom Finley - A sequel, Wilbur, Master of the Rats, was published in 1983 - No distribution/circulation figures available at this time - ISBNs: 0-8307-0839-1,0-8307-0900-2




"GLAD - The Christian Humor Magazine" [USA] - 17 issues - Published as a bimonthly from 1982-85 by Word Centered Productions - 32 pages, black & white with color covers - Various writers and artists - Distribution information: "We had as many as 2,000 plus subscribers..." (From publisher Taylor Overbey, March 2001)



"The Man Who Changed the World" [UK] - First published as 4 separate A4 tracts (The Day that Changed the World, Zero Hour, Follow Me, and Action Man) from 1983-1985 (?) by Christian Publicity Organisation (CPO) - 32 pages, paperback, full color - Illustrated by Bob Bond - No distribution/circulation figures available


"Jeremiah" series [USA] - First published in magazine format (shown here) in 1983 by Beacon Hill Press - One issue, 48 pages, black & white with color cover - Book series (4 titles) begun in 1993 - 96 pages, black & white with color covers, paperback - Written and illustrated by Ron Wheeler - No distribution/circulation figures available at this time



"COSMICS" series [USA] - 4 titles - Published in 1987 by Tyndale House - 32 pages + cover, full mechanical color - Written & illustrated by Win Mumma - Distribution information: Individual title sales (through Tyndale): Moses, The Man Who Talked to Bushes - 7,131; Jesus, The Man With the Miracle Touch (shown here)- 7,374; Joseph, The Kid Whose Dreams Came True - 3,489; Samson, The Kid Who Never Got a Haircut - 6,511; Total= 27,998 - Approximately 200 additional copies (of all 4 titles, total) were sold through the original Christian Comics Catalog (Tyndale numbers from Win Mumma, CCCatalog numbers from Nate Butler, March 2001) - Find additional series information here.



"Pearly Gates" [Australia] - 2 books (Love is a Two-Way Street and There's One in Every Cloud) - Published in 1987 and 1990 - 96 pages, black & white with color covers, paperback - Written & illustrated by Ian Jones - No distribution/circulation figures available at this time - ISBNs: 0-7316-3935, 0-646-00507-3


"David", "Gideon", "Esther", and "The Christmas Story" [Belgium/USA] - Published in 1988, 1989, 1990 by The International Correspondence Institute (ICI)/U.S. Assemblies of God (AoG)- 48 pages + cover, full painted color - Written by Ron Barefield, Illustrated by Jerry & Faith McCollough - Distribution information: "The first two were printed by Lanoo in Belgium, and the second two by a printing house in the U.S. There was a trial run of 10,000 copies of David, 1,000 sent to ten different countries. Because of the positive reaction, 40,000 were printed, with 20,000 each in French and Spanish. After that the demand required several reprints of 40,000 each and then we lost count as the number of languages increased. Presently the four comics are in over 27 languages, and the total number produced is well over 100,000. We can't keep track, since in each country they can be reprinted at will. Personally we have produced them in Slovak and helped get them into Hungarian." (From Jerry & Faith McCollough, March 2001) - ISBN for Filipino edition of "Gideon": 1-56390-410-1


"Road to Abundant Life" ("Camino a la Abundancia") series [Mexico] - 5 issues (Issue 1 shown here)- Published in 1988 by Editorial Vida Abundante - 32 pages in wash tones + color cover - Written by Graciela Pedraza, Illustrated by Ricardo Castanon - Published in Spanish only - Find additional series information here.


"Dan Red Eagle" series [Canada/USA] - 4 issues (Issue 2 shown here)- Begun in 1989, published by Indian Life - 32 pages + cover, full color (1 &2), black & white (3 & 4) - Written by Clyde "Len" Cowan and Bruce Bezaire, illustrated by Bruce Bezaire and others - Distribution information: "More than 60,000 copies of the comics are in homes of Native people from Alaska to Mexico, with the majority in Canada." (Quote on web by Clyde Cowan, from 1996 or '97 when there were just 2 issues published)



"The King's Salt" [Netherlands/Denmark/Australia] - Published in 1989 by Scandinavia Publishing House and Word Australia - 48 pages + cover, full painted color, paperback - Written by Aad Peters and illustrated by Willem Zijlstra - Afterword by Norman Warren - No distribution/circulation figures available


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1900-1989
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1990-1999


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