DELL PUBLISHING CO., NEW YORK, NY
Cartoon Story® and Fast Action Story® books 1936-38

Beginning in 1936, Whitman, in an agreement with the Dell Publishing Company of New York, published four hard cover books similar to its Big Little Books®. For these books, Whitman made use of some of its authors (Buck Wilson, Peter Maple), artists (Henry Vallely, Hal Arbo), and authorized comic strip characters (Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon). The books were called Cartoon Story® books, and each book was given the same publisher’s number—#6833. The books sold for 15¢.

The four titles produced in 1936 (Dick Tracy, Detective and Federal Agent; Flash Gordon VS the Emperor of Mongo; G-Man on Lightning Island; Tom Mix in the Riding Avenger) were hard cover books. The four-color covers were varnished for durability. The back covers display advertising which lists the other titles in the set. The books are as tall as the Whitman movie scene books, but slightly narrower 4” x 5 1/2” x 3/4”). Like their Whitman counterparts, each book contains black and white illustrations opposite each page of text, and the 240 pages are glued to the spine.

Production of these books was discontinued after the first printing, then in early 1938, about the time Whitman changed its logo from Big Little Book® to Better Little Book®. Dell reprinted the four books without changing the copyright date. The books were
now called Fast-Action Story® books, were soft covered, and the price of each dropped from 15¢ to a dime. The price and a diamond-shaped logo were imprinted on the covers.

Subsequent soft cover Fast-Action Story® titles were produced during the Silver Age. These books were released in numbered sets. After eight sets and 33 titles, the production came to an end in 1943.

DICK TRACY, DETECTIVE AND FEDERAL AGENT
Cartoon Story Book®, ©1936 Chester Gould; Hard cover; Tall size: 4” x 5 1/4” x 3/4”; 240 pages; glued binding
Author/Artist: Chester Gould
Cover Artist: Unknown

GD1a: The original printing is identified by its hard cover and no Cartoon Story® book logo on the cover.
GD1b: The second printing, published in 1938, is identified by its soft cover, a 10¢ price on the cover, and its Fast Action Story® book logo.

COLLECTOR’S NOTES:
The content is the same story as in Whitman’s Dick Tracy, Special FBI Operative (SW154) Better Little Book®. Both were adapted from the daily strips beginning December 21, 1935, and ending February 17, 1936.



FLASH GORDON VS. THE EMPEROR OF MONGO
Cartoon Story Book®, ©1936 Dell Publishing Company, New York, NY; Hard cover; Tall size: 4” x 5 1/4” x 3/4”; 240 pages; glued binding
Author/Artist: Alex Raymond
Cover Artist: Unknown

GD2a: The original printing is identified by its hard cover and no Cartoon Story® book logo on the cover.
GD2b: The second printing, published in 1938, is identified by its soft cover, a 10¢ price on the cover, and its Fast-Action Story® book logo.COLLECTOR’S NOTES:

The content of this book was adapted from the Sunday comic strip pages, beginning October 20, 1935, and ending February 9, 1936—strips #92 through #108.


THE G-MAN ON LIGHTNING ISLAND
Cartoon Story®, ©1936 Stephen Slesinger, Inc., New York, NY; Hard cover; Tall size: 4” x 5 1/4” x 3/4”; 240 pages; glued binding
Author: Peter K. Maple
Artist: Henry E. Vallely
Cover Artist: Unknown

GD3a: The original printing is identified by its hard cover and no Cartoon Story® book logo on the cover.
GD3b: The second printing, published in 1938, is identified by its soft cover, a 10¢ price on the cover, and its Fast-Action Story® book logo.

COLLECTOR’S NOTES:
The content was written specially for this book. The story takes place in a shadowy, spooky mansion on an isolated island. A diamond is stolen and the G-man, who is visiting the island, solves the mystery.



TOM MIX IN THE RIDING AVENGER
Cartoon Story Book®, ©1936 Dell Publishing Company, New York, NY; Hard cover; Tall size: 4” x 5 1/4” x 3/4”; 240 pages; glued binding
Author: Buck Wilson (pseudonym for Gaylord DuBois)
Artist: Hal Arbo
Cover Artist: Hal Arbo

GD4a: The original printing is identified by its hard cover and no Cartoon Story® book logo.
GD4b: The second printing is identified by its soft cover, a 10¢ price on the cover, and its Fast-Action Story® book logo.

COLLECTOR’S NOTES:
In this story Tom engages in a range war, brings the arguing parties to a peaceful solution, and rounds up the troublemakers. Some illustrations are from BLBs (e.g. page 28 is from page 13 of Tom Mix in the Fighting Cowboy GW84).

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