Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
Doc Savage Comics #1 – June, 1940
Cover art by (Unknown) / Interior art by Jack Farr
“Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.”
That’s the famous credo of Street & Smith Publications’ Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze, who, along with the other influential pulp hero, The Shadow, celebrated his 75th anniversary in comics this past week at the San Diego Comic Con.
First, I passionately applaud SDCC for making room to recognize Savage and The Shadow in their busy programming schedule. Nothing irks me more than attending a pop culture convention that fails to celebrate the pulp heroes like Doc Savage, John Carter, Tarzan and Buck Rogers; characters that directly or indirectly inspired almost every aspect of any comic con.
By my reckoning, if a comic convention can make room for panels like “Wives of Comic Artists” and Jello brain-eating, then surely they can find an hour to spotlight and honor the pulp godfathers of popular culture.
That said, I was thrilled to attend SDCC’s “75th Anniversary of The Shadow and Doc Savage” panel last Friday, hosted by comic book historians Michael Uslan and Anthony Tollin.
Doc Savage has been a pop culture icon since his self-titled pulp magazine was published in 1933, although he wouldn’t make his comic book debut until 1940, as a secondary-feature in The Shadow Comics #1. Three issues of The Shadow later, Doc appeared in his own title, Doc Savage Comics #1, and went on to be a major inspiration to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster when they created Superman.
Bringing Doc and his far-reaching influence back closer to home, I was recently shocked to find out that there is a long-running Doc Savage convention, the “Doc Con,” right here in my own backyard of Phoenix, Arizona. It’s true – and to make it even sweeter, this October (their 18th convention) Ron Ely, star of the 1975 Doc Savage film (not to mention TV’s Tarzan from the 60s) will be the guest of honor. (Check out Doc Con’s awesome promo video HERE!)
To get more information on Doc Con 18, visit and “like” their Facebook page, or join their Yahoo group HERE. Their FB page says registration for the event will begin in late-July, and we’ll keep you posted as we uncover more details. In the meantime, learn more about Doc Savage and other pulp heroes at: thepulp.net.
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