Hap Hazard was published by the obscure Ace Comics. Issue #18* complete with “16 extra pages,” is from January 1948. While copies of Hap Hazard seem relatively scarce, they are comparatively inexpensive.
Using the label as a comic offshoot to its main pulp magazine business, Ace published dozens of different titles over two decades in the 40’s and 50’s. The short lived titles ran the gamut of genres, from westerns, war, horror, crime, romance and superhero. ‘Ole Hap was filler material in many of Ace’s 40’s superhero titles, which featured characters with long since forgotten names such as Lash Lightning and Captain Courageous.
My copy of Hap Hazard #13 is on the left with art signed by former Disney animator Sam Singer. Hap Hazard #14 was done by one of gga art fan favorites Al Feldstein. Despite the Singer signature, I believe the art looks an awful lot like Feldstein. But I digress (it is amazing in the Google age such mysteries still perplex the inquiring mind)!
The artist behind number #18* has proven hard to identify – despite its very distinctive style. I notice later issues of “funny picture stories” turned teen humor Scream Comics #16 and #17 appear to be the same artist as Hap #18* and are from the same 1948 period. And the exact same thing with the last three issues of Four Favorites (#30-#32 from later half of 1947). The Four Favorites covers, as well as the inside stores, are credited to….yep, Sam Singer (according to the Grand Comics Database). But I’m not sold – the art on these covers doesn’t appear to me at all like the Singer signed covers in earlier Hap Hazard issues. Additionally, if he had a habit of signing, why not sign them all?
I also own copies of #20 and #21 (below) of unknown artists.
Ace Comics actually stopped publishing after the introduction of the Comics Code Authority. The publisher was seemingly dis-proportionally (in relation to its smaller circulation anyway) represented in Dr. Wertham’s the Seduction of the Innocent. But Wertham and CCA couldn’t slow the growth of the paperback book industry, and the success of its soon to be sci-fi and fantasy leader, Ace Books.
* Sold Copy