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Margaret Bourke-White becomes the hero of Camera Comics, at auction

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US Camera Publishing Corp. was founded by a photographer and publicist Thomas J. Maloney. in 1935. The company first published American camera annuals followed by related hardcover books. A regular American camera magazine followed in 1938, becoming an important showcase for photography and its professional uses, and for photojournalism as a news medium. In 1944, US Camera Publishing Corp launched Comic camerawith covers and artwork like HC Kiefer, Louis Schröder, and Roland Patenaude among others. Beginning in Comic Camera #3the series featured the fictional adventures of a character based on the legendary photographer Margaret BourkeWhite. An obscure but historically significant series from the Golden Age, there is a group of Camera Comics #3, 6 & 9 (US Camera Publishing Corp., 1945-46) Condition: Medium GD/VG Up for auction at Heritage Auctions Sunday & Monday, September 18-19, 2022 Comic Book Auction #122238.

Camera Comics #3 (1945) featuring Linda Lens inspired by Margaret Bourke-White.

According to the photography specialist Gary Saretzkythe character of Linda Lens, who made her debut in Comic Camera #3, was loosely inspired by pioneering photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. Among many other accomplishments, Bourke-White was a photographer for both Fortune and Life magazines, and his photograph of a dam at Fort Peck, Montana was used as the cover for the 1936 revival of Life like a photo-centric magazine (Lifelaunched in 1883, was previously best known for his illustrations of Charles Dana Gibson among others). In 1930-1932, she became the first Western professional photographer allowed to enter the Soviet Union, taking now famous photographs of Joseph Stalin and other characters, among many other topics. During World War II, Bourk-White became a war correspondent, working in combat zones. The March 1, 1943 issue of Life The article “Life’s Bourke-White Goes Bombing” further propelled her into the public eye as she became the first woman to accompany the US Army Air Force on a bombing mission.

Interesting way, Comic camera wasn’t the only Golden Age comic to feature Margaret Bourke-White. Funny Famous #89 (cover dated December 1941) contained a one-page comic about highlights of his career at that time, and DC Comics’ Real Facts Comic #8 (May-June 1947) included a story chronicling his career, and on its cover included an illustrated version of Bourke-White’s iconic photo from May 1, 1943, Life article. The Margaret Bourk-White Collection at Syracuse University includes original art pages from another comic book story featuring Bourke-White that may not have been published.

The 1944 Alfred Hitchcock film Rescue boat featuring Tallulah Bankhead reportedly inspired by a December 1942 incident in which a ship Bourke-White was traveling on on a combat mission was torpedoed. In 1989, Farah Fawcett starred in the TV movie Double Exposure: The Story of Margaret Bourke-Whitebased on the book Margaret Bourke-White and the power of photography by Vicki Goldberg.

Featuring a character inspired by one of the most important figures in the history of American photojournalism, there is a group of Camera Comics #3, 6 & 9 (US Camera Publishing Corp., 1945-46) Condition: Medium GD/VG Up for auction at Heritage Auctions Sunday & Monday, September 18-19, 2022 Comic Book Auction #122238. If you have never bid on Heritage Auctions before, you can get more information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related questions.

Camera Comics #3, 6 and 9 Group (US Camera Publishing Corp., 1945-46)
Camera Comics #3, 6 and 9 Group (US Camera Publishing Corp., 1945-46)

Camera Comics #3, 6 and 9 Group (US Camera Publishing Corp., 1945-46) Condition: Medium GD/VG. Includes issues 3 (Nazi War cover – spine roll), 6 (FR/GD – top staple detached, top 1.5″ of back cover missing, spine split from bottom) and 9 (soiling, water damage, piece missing from top of spine) Approximate Overstreet value for the group = $150.

More information: EDIT: clarified that this is the return cover of #6 which is missing a 1.5″ strip at the top, and that the book is in FR/GD quality.

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Posted in: Comics, Sponsored by Heritage, Vintage Paper | Keywords: golden age, life

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