Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Set Profile: 1940 Gum, Inc. Superman. Or is it 1941?

I'll be honest, while cards are my favorite hobby, they were not my first hobby. That goes to comic books- my brother read me my first comic when I was 5 days old, and I've never stopped. That's 30 years of reading comics (or, in those early days, having them read to me). I am primarily a DC reader, but I did not follow into the "New 52"...but that's a whole other topic that does not really impact this topic at all.

This set is one that I always wanted; I don't know a whole lot about it. In fact, I didn't even know who produced it for many years. I just knew there was a Superman set issued in the Golden Age. (DC's Golden Age is 1935-55). Superman, who is of course the first superhero, was introduced in 1938's Action Comics #1, and this set was issued in 1940- or perhaps 1941. The cards themselves say 1940, but most sources say 1941. I don't know which is accurate, and would welcome clarification. It is not unheard of to prepare (and copyright) a set in one year and issue it in the next.

I was surprised when I finally got some of these that they are original; I expected them to be pastes from comic stories, but they are not! A pleasant surprise. Interestingly, the backs of the cards state the copyright owner as Superman, Inc. I do not know why this is the case, as what is now known as DC Comics was then known as National Periodical Publications. Another mystery of this set.

There were 72 cards issued in the set, and, as far as I know, there would not be another DC Comics related set until 1966...but my knowledge base of non-sports cards is not anywhere near as high as it is for the NBA or NASCAR. I only have three of the cards from the set, shown below.
This was the first card in the set I added to my collection. (All three were added the same day, September 28th, 2014). I sure would not mind having some of those prizes mentioned in the Supermen of America Club on the back!
Come to think of it, I'd love to have one of the wrappers, too. (I'm one of those people who collects empty card boxes and wrappers- all of them, in fact, not just one example!)

I almost did not get this last card- it's in rather poor shape, with several creases. But, I knew I would regret it if I walked away without it. So, I didn't!

As an aside, I'm in the middle of a snowstorm as I type this. We may get more than 10 inches. Having Superman's Heat Vision sure would make clearing the driveway much faster! :) (And yes, I know that Golden Age Superman didn't have heat vision!)

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