Camera Comics!

Smash! Boom! Pow! Watch out! The Dubois Library recently acquired two issues of Camera Comics

Published in the 1940s by the U. S. Camera Publishing Corporation, each issue includes real stories about figures in the history of photography, such as Eadweard Muybridge and Louis Daguerre, as well as jam packed action from characters such as Linda Lens (based on Margaret Bourke-White) and Kid Click. Hints, such as using a coat hanger to serve as a support for a camera tripod, or using an L-shaped pipe cleaner as a tool for cleaning out dust and bits of film from cameras, and advice, such as "tell only one story per picture, no more," were included in an effort to inspire the next generation of young photographers.

U. S. Camera Publishing Corporation was founded by Tom Maloney, who went on to publish the U. S. Camera Annual from 1939-1965, as well as the magazine U. S. Camera, and the influential books: Edward Weston's California and the West, Paul Outerbridge's Photographing in Color, and Ansel Adams' Born Free and Equal. Maloney's lasting legacy of photography publications, which also includes children's books and instructional manuals, has had a significant impact on American photography, but I have to say, my inner 9-year old loves the comics the best!

For more on Tom Maloney and his contributions to the world of American photography, see Gary Saretzky's 2004 article, "U.S. Camera: A Thomas J. Maloney Chronology" in The Photo Review, vol. 26:4/27:1 (available in the Dubois Library).