This is Bolderbast, part of the website.

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USA (Gladstone)
USA (Disney Comics)
USA (Marvel and Acclaim)
USA (Foreign market stories)
USA (Western)
USA (miscellaneous)
USA (King Features)

Production in USA (Gladstone)

General information

In 1986, after several years, Disney comics returned in the USA, published by the editor Gladstone. Gladstone began to produce their own comic work, starting with covers (mostly by Daan Jippes). From 1987 on, also own stories were produced, mostly by Don Rosa and William Van Horn.

Gladstone lost its licence in 1990, when Disney Comics took over. Gladstone regained the licence from 1992 to 1998, and produced some covers and stories in that period. For instance drawn by Pat Block and Vic Lockman.

Story codes

Gladstone used the code 'AR' for their own stories. AR stands for Another Rainbow, the 'mother' company of Gladstone.
For some reason, they started with AR 101.
In Gladstone's second run, their own production started with AR 200.

Story codes in Inducks

Gladstone did not give covers and illustrations a code. We use our own codes for them, starting with ARC.

contributions: Harry Fluks

Production in USA (Disney Comics)

General information

In 1990, Disney Comics (note the capital C) took over the publishing of Disney comics from Gladstone. They started a big production right away, not only of "mainstream" characters (Ducks, Mice), but also of TV characters (DuckTales) and recent movie characters (like Roger Rabbit).

When Gladstone regained the licence for Ducks and Mice, Disney kept publishing Disney Adventures and producing stories for it.

Story codes

Disney Comics has the habit to code all the stories, not only their own. So, Danish stories get a double code when published in a Disney Comic. The Disney codes start with a K or a J.

All stories from fiscal year 1990 (October 1989) start with the letter K, while stories from fiscal year 1991 and after (October 1990) start with KJ. The K or KJ is followed by a letter that indicates the publication the story was meant for.
Example: KJD 059-1 means:
K = Disney Comics story
J = fiscal year 1991
D = Donald Duck Adventures
059 = the 59th script or rights purchased in fiscal year 1991
-1 = (again) fiscal year 1991 and after
Stories in one shot magazines are being assigned codes that have no real relationship to the story or the year of publication and are useful strictly for accounting purposes.

It seems that the current production for "Disney Adventures" still carries story codes starting with "JZ". Even the non-Disney production ("Bone") uses these codes.

Story codes in Inducks

In Inducks, all codes start with a "K". If a printed code starts with a "J", the "K" is added in front of it (resulting into "KJ").

The extra "-1" is dropped from the code: "KJD 059-1" becomes "KJD 059".

contributions: Copywrite 5 (fall 1992), Harry Fluks

Production in USA (Marvel and Acclaim)

General information

Marvel got a licence for publishing (and producing) comics based on recent Disney movies and TV productions.

Acclaim later took over that license.

Per Starbäck gives more information about Marvel and Acclaim on the DCML site.

Story codes

It seems that the printed Marvel stories carry no code. Acclaim stories may have a code based on the first publication.

Story codes in Inducks

Marvel stories get a code starting with M. Covers and illustrations start with MC. In both cases, the rest of the code is based on the first publication.

Acclaim stories in Inducks have a story code starting with XU.

Production in USA (Foreign market stories)

General information

From 1962 to 1990, the Disney Studios produced comics for the 'Foreign market'.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Tony Strobl, Al Hubbard, Jack Bradbury, Romano Scarpa, and others drew a lot of 'Studio' stories, along with a bunch of new artists like Jim Fletcher and Glenn Schmitz.

New writers like Dick Kinney introduced new characters and situations, like Fethry Duck; Double-O Duck; Madam Mim & Magica living together in a castle.

From the late 1970s on, the Jaime Diaz Studios drew most of the stories. Some of the series: Disney's Goofy Classics (with Goofy as a famous historic character); A Goofy look at...; Mickey and the Sleuth; DuckTales.

Story codes

In the 60's, the code was built as follows:
1st digit = the last digit of the year
next digits = sequence number.
Example: #6178. This is the 178th story the studios made in 1966.
Sometimes, the code was preceded by an 'X' or 'XTRA' or a little square.

From 1970 on, the codes are preceded by an 'S'. Example: S#2106 = 106th story in 1972. From 1973 on, the story codes contained the last 2 digits of the year, to avoid ambiguities with the stories from 1963 etc. Example: S#73002.

Story codes in Inducks

In Inducks, the codes are always
S + space + 5 digits
The 4-digit codes from the 60s get an extra '6', and from the early 70s an extra '7'. Examples: "X 3123" -> "S 63123"; "XTRA 1234" -> "S 71234".

A few covers that we expect were made for the Studio carry a code starting with SC.

contributions: Harry Fluks

Production in USA (Western)

General information

For a comprehensive text by David Gerstein look at this webpage.

Story codes

Western has produced stories since 1941. They did not give the stories codes, but the comics were coded, mostly on the bottom of the first interior page (and sometimes in giant sized comics also on the 33rd page) since 1944.

Sometimes this code was wrong, e.g. in Uncle Scrooge #4, which was coded S.M.O.S. 521-5312 (They originally planned to issue the comic as a One Shot).

When reprinted, these codes sometimes were not removed, so they served as a story code.

In later reprints, all stories from an original comic got the code of that comic. This means that all stories that appeared in the same issue have the same code.

Sometimes, the Dutch reprint had a W or WR before the code: WR-WDC 147. WR = Western Reprint?

About the "weird" codes of 1960s Gold Key comics:
By Martin Olsen

The number continuity of Dell one-shots (the Four Color series) ends with # 1354, dated April-June 1962, a non-Disney comic titled Calvin and the Colonel. The next-to-last issue was Disney's Comanche # 1350, same date. (These were in fact issued in March 1962 as can be read from the code on the first page of the comic itself.)

The missing numbers in the Four Color series were probably a number of cancelled issues, or they may be issues originally scheduled as part of the Four Color series, but in fact published as series on their own with a new numbering for that particular series. We'll probably never know for sure.

The issues with code numbers 01-xxx-yyy or 12-xxx-yyy follow a new Dell numbering system. ALL Dell comics issued from April 1962 through 1972 when Dell cancelled the remains of their comic book line followed this numbering system (with a few exceptions close to the end of the run which carried only a 5-digit code number).

The xxx represents the title, and the xxx codes sorted numerically is equivalent to an alphabetical sorting of the titles. Highest xxx I know is 950 for a Movie Classic titled Zulu (non-Disney of course). The strict equivalence between the two sortings may have been obstructed if a new title would have to fit in between two consecutive numbers previously used. I don't know if this ever happened. I know of no difference between the 01- and the 12- codes - as I see it there is just one big system.

In late 1962 Dell gave up the Disney titles as well as Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, MGM and others. Whitman began publishing their own comics (in fact WDC&S - and Red Ryder Comics - had all the time been published by K.K. (Kay Kamen) Publications, though they used the Dell label, probably to avoid confusion). Whitman used the GoldKey label for their new line of comics. The titles were coded with 10xxx-yyy (for 12c books) or 30xxx-yyy (for 25c books). The 10xxx was changed to 90xxx in 1972, probably to ensure that a code would identify a comic book uniquely. The xxx identifies the title, and the yyy the year and month. The xxx were assigned chronologically, so that a new title would be given the next available number. (Of course, during the first months, several new titles were issued each month. I'm not sure whether or not the code numbers reflect the issue date within the month of the first issue.)
The lowest code number is 10000-210 which is Doctor Solar #1, cover date October 1962, issued July or August 1962.

Some titles had some issues at 12c (or whatever the price may have risen to) and some issues at 25c (or...). Chrismas Parade is one example. Another example is WDC&S, where 10 issues were printed with and without a pull-out poster. For example 10011-004 is WDC&S #355 issued without a poster, priced at 15c. 30041-004 is WDC&S #355 issued with a poster, priced at 25c.

Also some titles suddenly have a different title code. Donald Duck #96 and Mickey Mouse #95 are Album issues within the regular run. These issues must be considered "extras" as they don't fit into the regular bi-monthly schedule, and they carry the title codes previously used for "one-shot" Album issues.

The highest GoldKey title code I know is 90313 (no month), The Jungle Book, 1984. The original was a giant, hence coded in the 30-range, to wit 30033-803, so the 32 page reprint had to be given a new code in the 90-range.

Digests have 92xxx-yyy codes (WDCDigest has 92301-yyy), and other formats have other codes: The Jungle Book exixts in a tabloid version coded 6022-801, priced at 59c.

As for the Dell Four Colors, I believe the authority is an old article by Don and Maggie Thompson.

Story codes in Inducks

Inducks uses normalised story codes, defined as follows:
"W" + space + comic + (spaces) + number + "-" + sequence number + optionally a letter
The length of comic + (spaces) + number is always 7 or 8 characters.

Example: "W WDC 123-01"

The sequence number indicates the place of the story in the comics: -00 is the cover, -01 the first story, etc. For special pages like games and puzzles, we sometimes use an extra letter, like "W WDC 123-01A".

contributions: Harry Fluks, Martin Olsen

Production in USA (miscellaneous)

General information

The production of Disney comic stories has been licensed to various publishers over the years. Every publisher has its own coding system.

There are some items that were made for publishers that were not licensed. For instance material for fanzines, or even illegal material.

Story codes in Inducks

The items mentioned above get a story code starting with "XU". The rest of the code is based on the first publication.

This also goes for the licensed publishers of the 21st century, Gemstone and Boom! Kids. Their own production consists of covers, which we give a code starting with "XUC", and some stories. The Gemstone stories have a printed code starting with "GEM". We put "XU" in front of that (XU GEM 101, etc.).

Production in USA (King Features)

General information

King Features Syndicate started producing Disney newspaper strips in 1930. The first strips were written by Walt Disney himself: it's the only work he ever did directly for a comic story.

About the formats of Sunday pages:

Mickey Sundays started as full-pagers with Silly Symphonies (beginning with Bucky Bug) taking up 1/3 of the page and Mickey taking 2/3 of the page (4 tiers). However, some papers ran the Mickey Sunday as a half-page, which would in some cases mean a changed layout (3 tiers each with 4 panels), in some cases removal of some of the panels.
Later on, when the Silly Symphony page was upgraded to a comic strip in its own right, it got its own half-page, and Mickey was degraded from 2/3 to 1/2 page.
For tabloid newspapers two different versions were used, one was the full page en miniature, the other was a rearranged full size version of the half page of Mickey, usually with one or more panels removed. Silly Symphonies were also printed as full size tabloid pages.
From the mid-forties the Mickey Sunday page had a standard format in which the central panel could be removed, so the remaining panels could be rearranged in a tabloid format.
The 1/3 page (2 tiers) format was probably developed due to the wartime paper shortage. At least I know it only from 1943 on. At first the 1/3 pages were made by removing a couple of panels and rearranging the rest, but later on the standard was to remove the top tier of a halfpage. Notice how the top tier of almost all Sunday comic pages can often be considered a gag in its own right, and that it is not vital to the remaining part of the gag. At least one paper (Philadelphia Inquirer) printed 1/3-pagers in a different format with more panels missing.
The writers must have had quite a bit of work figuring out how a gag should be workable in all three possible formats!

Oddly, though, the Donald Sundays were designed differently, so a tabloid page of Donald will more likely be a complete page. The 1/3-pagers were done in a manner much like the Mickeys.

Scamp Sundays were arranged much like Mickeys, but later on they were designed as 1/3-pagers where the first panel og each tier could be removed, thus making a version which could be published as a half tabloid page with the art having a reasonable size.

I could go on and on, but I hope these few explanations clarify matters a bit. For each Sunday page title there is an individual history with periods of different formats. If any format should be defined for a given Sunday page, it ought to be the most complete version.

BTW, also Dailies were done in different formats. I have seen examples of (stats of) original art with two copyright notices, where obviously one version was intended to be printed with taller panels than the other. Again, the most complete version should be used as the standard.

Reprints of a Sunday page in comic books are often the tabloid page version, but in quite a few cases the comic book version has been re-layouted differently, most often with more panels missing.

Story codes

Most newspaper strips carry a copyright year and a date (without year). In January, often the copyright year is the previous year (!).

When reprinted in comic books, the newspaper comic strips are usually indicated by their publishing date, sometimes preceded by `WDP', `WDE', `KF' or `KFS'. The publishing date may be either in USA format (MM-DD-YY) or in European format (DD-MM-YY).

Note that a date does not identify a story or gag uniquely, since there were several newspaper series at the same time, like Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphonies, Scamp.

Story codes in Inducks

For Inducks, we "normalised" the story codes. All dates are indicated in the form YY-MM-DD (which is indeed not Millennium-proof, as opposed to the date fields!).

The codes are as follows:
letter1 + letter2 + space + date

letter1 = 'Y' for dailies, 'Z' for sundays
letter2 = 'D' for Donald, 'M' for Mickey, etc.

If a sequence of strips form one story, the date of the first strip is used.

There are three exceptions:
The Mickey Mouse daily sequences are coded "YM " + a 3-digit number.
The Mickey Mouse Sunday sequences are coded "ZM " + a 3-digit number.
The Sunday "Classic Tales" strips are coded "ZT " + a 3-digit number.
The 3-digit numbers are simple sequence numbers. This system is used here because the start and end dates of the stories vary in the various reprints.

contributions: Martin Olsen (About the formats of Sunday pages)
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