Today’s featured collectible is a pair of Star Trek mini comics:
It was surprisingly hard to dig up information on these comics. Here’s what I was able to gather:
These were from a series of nine mini comics (the rest all non-Star Trek).
The Star Trek comics in the series were excerpted from two Gold Key Star Trek comics.
They are often referred to as “Dan Curtis” comics, because the first comic in the series was a Dark Shadows comic. Dan Curtis was the creator of Dark Shadows, so “Dan Curtis Productions” is credited in the front of that first comic. Thus, although he had not a thing to do with these comics, because his name appeared in the front of the first comic people began referring to the whole series by his name.
They are commonly called “giveaways”. I found one website that says they were “intended to be sold with bubble gum, like baseball cards, but never used.” This forum shows that they were eventually sold for 25 cents each in vending machines.
According to this site the “WS” on the covers stands for “Watkins Strathmore”, a company that Western Publishing (parent company of Gold Key Comics) had acquired in 1957.
While the “Dan Curtis” name may be inaccurate, I’ll admit that “Dan Curtis Giveaway comics” flows a lot better than “Watkins Strathmore Vending Machine comics”.
Oddly, the second Star Trek comic, which is number six in the series, is dated 1971, while the other, which is number two in the series, is dated 1974.
Now that we know a little more about their history, let’s actually take a closer look at the comics themselves:
Story-wise, these comics were not very good, even allowing for their being severely abridged. Both of them, but especially the second, seemed like they were written and illustrated by someone only very vaguely familiar with Star Trek. However, the somewhat mysterious background of the comics themselves, the set that they’re a part of, and the fact that they’re some of the earlier and more unique Star Trek items available make them pretty neat Star Trek collectibles, in my opinion.
Coming Soon on Zach Trek: Remember the Randoms we’ve had so far? Forget about that, buckle in for something Fascinating!