December 8, 2011
Nedor At The Movies-The Rest Of The Story by Mark Heike
Okay, let the suspense come to an end. The Nedor-related costumed hero that made it onto movie screens in the 1940’s was none other than…Superkatt! Superkatt appears in a 1947 Columbia Studios cartoon titled “Leave Us Chase It, and was a headline feature in Giggle Comics, officially published by a company known as Creston. Now pay attention, because things get invovled here. Superkatt and a fair amount of other funny animal material was produced out of an art-packaging studio started in New York around 1940 by a man named Ben Sangor. Sangor’s best customer was Standard/Nedor/Better Publications, owned and operated by his son-in-law, Ned Pines.
Initially, the Sangor Studios produced all kinds of comic book material, as did all of the early comic production houses like the Eisner/Iger Studio, Harry “A”Chesler, The Bailey Shop, The Binder Shop, Funnies, Inc, and the rest. Most of the others had at least a few different publishers that they serviced; initially it seems as though Sangor had only the Pines group. As the super-hero boom of the pre-war years waned, the Sangor shop decided to specialize in funny animal humor books. As a result, they tended to attract artists and writers from the animation field who were looking to suppliment there income with comic book work and those who were between cartoon jobs, so they soon had far more creators than they had outlets for. To try to take advantage of this, Sangor began releasing funny-animal comics under a variety of house names, most notably Creston, but also Michel, Regis and possibly a few others. During this period, a writer who used the name Richard Hughes was pounding out scripts for much of the Standard/Nedor adventure line, including work on features like The Black Terror, Doc Strange, Fighting Yank and The Woman in Red; eventually spending some time employed by Pines as an editor. In 1949, Creston and the other imprints were absorbed into a new company called the American Comics Group, with Richard Hughes as it’s editor-in-chief. AGC would have a substantial run, continuing until 1967. The formation of ACG seems to be the logical breaking point between the Pines group of comics and magazines, and Sangor; since both companies produced comics simultaneously (but separately) from 1949 through 1958 – with ACG continuing for another nine years on it’s own. Previous to that, the professional relationship between the Sangor Studio and Standard/Better/Nedor seemed pretty incestuous; likely owing to the family ties by marriage between the principles of each. If anyone is interested in seeing more of the classic Sangor Studios approach to funny animals, AC has reprinted a Supermouse (no relation to Superkatt!!) story in it’s excellent Golden Age Greats Volume 10.