Thursday, July 16, 2009


News of Yore 1950: Pittsburgh Courier Expands

New Sections In Pittsburgh Negro Weekly
(E&P, 8/26/50)

A 16-page magazine section and an 8-page colored comic insert, aimed directly at Negro interests, came out this weekend with the regular news section of the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Courier, national Negro weekly.

The new sections, reportedly a "first" in the Negro press, were launched at a luncheon for newspapermen and magazine editors at the Ambassador Hotel in New York this week.
In the magazine, spot color ads cost 20% more than black-and-white, plus special charges for color plates. Sidney Smith, advertising director of the Courier indicated it was not yet known whether such charges were sufficient to pay off, considering the added services required. Some spot color advertising has already appeared in the Courier.

Circulation at 310,000
Circulation of the weekly now runs about 310,000 in 16 editions, Mrs. Robert L. Vann, publisher, said at the luncheon.

New York newspaper and magazine men expressed special interest in the comic section. All the heroes and heroines, businessmen, soldiers, cowboys, athletes, private-eyes, pilots and glamor girls, were Negroes. Courier editors said eventually white characters would be added.
"These are not new comics," said George S. Schuyler, associate editor. "They have been presented over the years in our columns, and our readers are thoroughly familiar with them. It is the addition of color that makes them new, and of course more appealing."

[Allan here -- we've talked about the Pittsburgh Courier's color comics section here before (links: Torchy in Heartbeats, The Chisholm Kid, Don Powers, Sunny Boy Sam, Lohar, etc.); a tip of the hat to Nancy Goldstein, author of Jackie Ormes - The First African American Woman Cartoonist who providing the pics below from one of these rare sections]


I'd love to see someone reprint some of this work. Do you know who the artist is on Guy Fortune?
Sure do, see this post:
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