Our feverish maunderings about old comics did draw one great link, from Jamie Coville, this interview with DJ Arneson, who was the editor for Dell after Western pulled its licenses and the company essentially started a comics company from scratch in 1962. It’s a fascinating look at the business away from Marvel and DC. And it also provides a glimpse into a long ago Shangri-La before…approvals:

Was there a lot of having to go back to the licensor and getting it all approved with the Monkees?
No, there was no approval. We had the license to do it and there was no approval by the licensor. We did the comic and I don’t recall ever a licensor getting back to us. It all would have been after the fact as the book would have already been published.

Was all the licensors like that?
While I was there I don’t recall any licensed product that required approval by the licensor

You’ll recall that this occurred in the very same decade that man had the courage and focus to go to the moon. Coincidence? We think not.


  1. Thanks for this, Heidi.

    Veteran comic book artist Tom Gill (LONE RANGER, HI-YO SILVER)told me about being called into a Dell editor’s office in the 60s. Tom’s studio was producing the BONANZA comic book for a time, which ran for 36 issues between 1962 and 1970, encompassing both the Dell and Gold Key imprints.

    The editor pointed out that the compnay was concerned that some of the likenesses of the cast of BONANZA comic book were “off model.” I have to think that someone — if not the licensor, then an editor — DID care about the licensed content. If not its content, then its form.

  2. Hi Tryke,
    Not so spooky that you were afraid to read it, I hope. Fun to know there are still comics fans interested in, well, older stuff. Enjoy The Monkees and all the comics.
    DJ Arneson

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