Hap Hazard #18

Hap Hazard #18

Hap Hazard was a publication by the relatively obscure Ace Comics. Issue #18*, boasting “16 extra pages,” was released in January 1948. While copies of Hap Hazard are relatively scarce, they were available at a comparatively inexpensive price point.

Operating as a comic offshoot to its primary pulp magazine business, Ace published numerous titles over two decades in the 1940s and 1950s. These short-lived titles spanned a wide range of genres, including westerns, war stories, horror, crime, romance, and superhero tales. ‘Ole Hap often served as filler material in many of Ace’s 1940s superhero titles, alongside characters with names long since forgotten, such as Lash Lightning and Captain Courageous.

In the realm of humor, Ace also released titles like Dotty, Vicky, Andy and Ernie.

Hap Hazard #13

Hap Hazard #13

The artist behind issue #18* has proven difficult to identify, despite the distinctiveness of their style. However, it’s noted that later issues of “funny picture stories” transitioning into teen humor, such as Scream Comics #16 and #17 from 1948, seem to share the same artist as Hap Hazard #18.*. Similarly, the last three issues of Four Favorites (#30-#32 from the latter half of 1947) display a similar artistic style. Although the covers and inside stories of Four Favorites are credited to Sam Singer according to the Grand Comics Database there are doubts about this attribution, particularly because the art doesn’t resemble Singer’s signed covers from earlier Hap Hazard issues. Furthermore, if Singer had a habit of signing his work, why wouldn’t he sign them all?

Issues #20* and #21* feature art by unknown artists.

Hap Hazard Comics #21

Hap Hazard Comics #21

Hap Hazard Comics #20

Hap Hazard Comics #20

Ace Comics ceased publication after the implementation of the Comics Code Authority. The publisher was disproportionately represented in Dr. Wertham’s “Seduction of the Innocent,” despite its smaller circulation. However, Wertham’s efforts and the introduction of the CCA couldn’t impede the growth of the paperback book industry. Ace Books, soon to become a leader in sci-fi and fantasy literature, found success in this evolving landscape.

* Sold Copy