Harvey Kurtzman's Comic Book Debut in Tip Top Comics #36, at … – Bleeding Cool News

A big fan of Hal Foster’s Tarzan growing up, young Harvey Kurtzman entered a Tip Top Comics cartooning contest and was published in issue #36.
Best remembered for his work for Mad and other EC Comics, Harvey Kurtzman is one of the most important comic book artists in American comics history.  His one-panel comic in Tip Top Comics #36, cover-dated April 1939, was his first published comic book work, marking the beginning of a career whose influence looms large over the history of American comics. An issue of a historic comic book title published by important newspaper strip syndicate United Feature Syndicate, Tip Top Comics #36 is an underappreciated piece of comic book history, and there’s a Tip Top Comics #36 Lost Valley Pedigree (United Features Syndicate, 1939) CGC VF- 7.5 Off-white pages up for auction in the 2023 January 8-9 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122302 at Heritage Auctions.
This issue features early Tarzan Sunday newspaper strip reprints by the legendary Hal Foster and a cover credited by CGC to United Feature cartoonist Paul Berdanier. According to the book Masters of the Imagination: The Comic Book Artists Hall of Fame, Foster’s Tarzan was a particular source of inspiration, which may have been why he was reading Tip Top Comics to begin with — and why he must have been particularly pleased to be published in the title.  In 1938 at the age of 14, Kurtzman entered a “Tip Top Cartoon Club” contest, a regular feature of the title that gave cartooning tips and encouraged readers to submit cartoons based on a given challenge. It is said that winning the $1 prize and having his entry printed in Tip Top Comics #36 made Kurtzman determined to become a professional cartoonist.
Tip Top Comics #36 offers a fascinating glimpse at the earliest moments of one of American comics history’s most important artists. The copy up for auction is graded at CGC VF- 7.5 Off-white pages, with only 13 entries for this issue on the CGC Census and only one copy graded higher.  Prospective bidders who are new to Heritage Auctions should check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters before participating in this sale. There’s a Tip Top Comics #36 Lost Valley Pedigree (United Features Syndicate, 1939) CGC VF- 7.5 Off-white pages up for auction in the 2023 January 8-9 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122302 at Heritage Auctions.
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