Superior Comics Question

I have a question for you pertaining to a comic book that I recently purchased titled “TALES FROM THE CRYPT” #20 and whether or not it is a version released in Canada. There’s a maple leaf in the upper left hand corner of the cover and it says it was published by a comic book company called Superior Co. Is that a real company? If so, would you also let me know W-H-E-N it was published, specifically the Y_E_A_R?!!! Thanks Again!

(question has been edited for this blog post)

Superior Publishing was a comics publisher based in Toronto that was active between the years 1947 and 1956.

Superior Comics are usually distinguishable by the blue Maple Leaf in a circle logo - such as the one seen on this Superior Comics edition of Ellery Queen #1 from 1949.

After WWII, the Liberal government re-introduced an import ban that included US comics. Canadian comics publishers were allowed to reprint and repackage US comics, and this lead to a boom in Canadian comics publishing as many companies sought the reprint rights to popular US comics (instead of creating original ones). Superior was the leading company at the time to do this, but unlike their counterparts, they also published original comics as well.

Superior acquired the rights to repackage EC Comics in 1949. Although the import ban was eliminated in 1951 (and American comics flooded over the border again to the delight of many – forcing many Canadian companies that were only reprinting US comics to close), Superior continued to reprint and repackage many US titles – including EC titles — until the mid-1950’s.

By 1955, the anti-horror comics sentiment had spread far and wide in North America, and Superior ceased production on all horror comics publications (original and reprinted) completely that year. They limped along for an additional year with romance and war comics before closing their doors in 1956 and effectively ending comics publishing in English Canada for decades.

Here's what the US edition looks like, courtesy of our sponsor CGC Comics.

The US edition of Tales from the Crypt #20 (the first issue of the title, incidentally) is cover dated October/November 1950, so I would surmise that since Superior had the rights to repackage EC Comics from 1949 on, that the Canadian edition was issued shortly afterward, but I’m afraid that I don’t know the exact lag time between first US publication and the Canadian repackaged edition. So to answer your question – it was published in late 1950/early 1951.

John Bell has some great information about Superior Comics and the post-war Canadian comics scene over at the Collections Canada website.

Hope that helped!

3 thoughts on “Superior Comics Question

  1. HI there, It’s me again and I would like too know from you if “TALES FROM THE CRYPT # 20”, has a monetary value to it. The comic book has a BLACK&WHITE signiture logo in the upper-left hand side cornnor. The condition of the comic book G-R-A-D-E-S 8.5 according. I’m not an expert on grading.,but this comic book looks great for it’s age. The comic# 20 of tale from the crypt is a reprint from the SUPERIOR PUBLISHING CO. of Toronto,ontario of Canada. I think that the comic book was publihed around the end of 1950 and the beginning of 1951,not really sure of the time lap??? The TALES CRYPT has that black/white maple leaf in the upper right hand cornnor as I mentioned earlier. and also has the number 20, with three letters C D L as well. P.S. This copy-reprint # 20,also has a P-E-N- hand written signiture-signed? (of : JOHN) NOT REALLY SURE?? P.P.S. I look ed on the internet to find a value for this # 20 Tales From The Crypt reprint of EC comics of america,made by superior publishers Toronto,Canada! I don’t know if the signiture is genuine?(JOHN)on the front of the cover? I looked on the internet for the GOLDEN AGE comics and most of these sites said that they were out of stock for # 20 EC and # 20 from SUPERIOR COMICS. I hope that you and your family have a joyous,peaceful,and loving holidays. Thanks Again!, Jean Guy Michaud. I HOPE TOO HEAR FROM YOU SOON WITH SOME GOOD N-E-W-S-. Sorry about that, I meant the upper left hand side for the signiture logo of the black/white maple leaf plus including the C D L as well.

  2. Hi there, It’s me again and I would like to know the P-R-I-C-E- for this comic book? the comic is from late 1950-1951,and it’s publisher is (SUPERIOR PUBLISHER). The comic book that I’m referring too is a Tales Crypt #20 1950-1951?,not sure exact lag. There’s a black and white maple leaf in the upper left hand corner. And the letters C D L as well under the maple leaf logo. The title of this tales from the crypt comic book is titled (STRANGE) in the left hand side of the binders’ comic book. There seams too be a signiture on this comic book. And the signiture appears too be(JOHNNY) on the top of the comic and comes down about a quarter of the comic book. The comic book seams to grade in fine-to very fine. Well what I’m trying to ask you can you give me a monetary value,or an approximate pric for one of these comic 1950-#20-Tales From The Crypt? The signiture is singed in (BLUE INK) with a regular pen. At this time I don’t know if this signiture is authenic or not. I just can’t seem to find a price $$ for this Canadian issue from Superior Publishers. I would appreciate it if I knew it’s value, because (The Overstreet Price Guide in America does’nt list it) P.S. Thanks Again! by for now and hope too hear from you soon with GOOD NEWS!

  3. Unfortunately there is no exact science to pricing Canadian reprints of EC Comics. To most they are worth considerably less than the Overstreet Guide price for the originals, although there are some collectors out there that are looking specifically for Canadian reprints and might be willing to pay a premium. Therefore it’s key to assess an accurate grade for your book and then go from there.

    If there’s no visible last name (like Johnny Craig), then the writing on the cover is probably NOT an autograph by anyone associated with the book, I’m guessing it was put there by a previous owner, which isn’t uncommon for books of that vintage. Other than books from authenticated pedigree (original owner) collections, which this is not, writing on cover is a defect that will lower the grade of your collectible.

    Finally, I don’t know where you live, but you might want to show your book to some local comic book store owner or to comic book dealers at a comic book convention and they can assist with determining a grade and helping you price your copy.

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