Maple Leaf Checklist

Of all the WECA books, those produced by Maple Leaf Publishing out on the west coast of Canada are in the most demand and are the hardest to find. In this post I want to initiate the question of the number and dates of all the Maple Leaf issues… especially that murky last year—1946.

Of all the WECA books, those produced by Maple Leaf Publishing out on the west coast of Canada are in the most demand and are the hardest to find. In this post I want to initiate the question of the  number  and dates of all the Maple Leaf issues… especially that murky last year—1946.  In that last year books were distributed both in Canada and Britain and some appeared only with the British 6 pence price on the cover perhaps indicating that they were distributed only in Britain. This last idea may be supported by the fact that some of these copies seem to turn up only in Britain.

Anyway, what’s below is only a first step that needs lots of correction and input from readers, but it is a necessary and much needed first step.

Better Comics

Here is the first Canadian comic, starting in March 1941 and running monthly for the first 7 issues up to September, 1941. From that time on it seemed pretty regularly a bi-monthly book, changing volumes after every ten issues until 1946. There is one book misdated in the indicia and that is Vol. 1 No. 10 which has Vol. 1 No. 6 in the indicia and is labeled as such, but incorrectly, by CGC.

The chart below is a provisional one but as accurate as I can make it and as with all the charts, I look forward to the opinions, amendments and suggestions from the people that read this post. The big question is whether or not an April-May 1946 issue was published.  There do seem to be two separate issues for June and July 1946 and maybe these account for the missing April-May issue. Without the April-May 1946 issue we do get the 38 individual issues of Better comics that the number of the final issue seems to indicate.

BETTER COMICS

BETTER COMICS

Vol.

No. Month

Year

  Vol. No. Month

Year

1

1

March

1941

3

1

Dec.-Jan.

43-44

2

April

1941

2

Feb.-March

1944

3

May

1941

3

April-May

1944

4

June

1941

4

June-July

1944

5

July

1941

5

Aug.-Sep.

1944

6

Aug.

1941

6

Oct.-Nov.

1944

7

Sept.

1941

7

Dec.-Jan.

44-45

8

Oct.-Nov.

1941

4

6

Feb.-March

1945

9

Dec.-Jan.

41-42

7

April-May

1945

10

Feb.-March

1942

5

10

June-July

1945

2

1

April-May

1942

6

1

Aug.-Sep.

1945

2

June-July

1942

2

Oct.-Nov.

1945

3

Aug.-Sep.

1942

7

3

Dec.-Jan.

45-46

4

Oct.-Nov.

1942

4

Feb.-March

1946

5

Dec.-Jan.

42-43

?

April-May?

1946

6

Feb.-March

1943

5

June

1946

7

April-May

1943

6

July

1946

8

June-July

1943

nn

37

Aug.-Sep.

1946

9

Aug.-Sep.

1943

38

Oct.-Nov.

1946

10

Oct.-Nov.

1943

 

Better Comics Vol. 7 No. 3
Better Comics Vol. 7 No. 3

Lucky Comics

Lucky Comics was the second Maple Leaf title, first appearing in June of 1941 and becoming bi-monthly with the third issue which was dated Aug./Sep. 1941. The first two years/volumes of 10 issues each appear straightforward but again that last year seems to be a bit messed up. Here’s the best that I can come up with at this point. By final count there were 34 issues of this title put out.

LUCKY COMICS

LUCKY COMICS

Vol.

No.

Month

Year

Vol.

No.

Month

Year

1

1

June

1941

4

1

Aug.-Sep.

1944

2

July

1941

2

Oct.-Nov.

1944

3

Aug.-Sep.

1941

3

Dec.-Jan.

44-45

4

Oct.-Nov.

1941

5

3

Feb.-March

1945

5

Dec.-Jan.

41-42

4

April-May

1945

6

Feb.-March

1942

5

June-July

1945

7

April-May

1942

6

Aug.-Sep.

1945

8

June-July

1942

7

Oct.-Nov.

1945

9

Aug.-Sep.

1942

8

Dec.-Jan.

45-46

10

Oct.-Nov.

1942

9

Feb.-March

1946

2

1

Dec.-Jan.

42-43

10

April-May

1946

2

Feb.-March

1943

?

June-July

1946

3

April-May

1943

4

33

Aug.-Sep.

1946

4

June-July

1943

4

34

Oct.-Nov.

1946

5

Aug.-Sep.

1943

6

Oct.-Nov.

1943

7

Dec.-Jan.

43-44

8

Feb.-March

1944

9

April-May

1944

10

June-July

1944

 

Lucky Comics Vol. 4 No. 34, The last issue of the title.
Lucky Comics Vol. 4 No. 34, The last issue of the title.

Rocket Comics

The title: “Rocket” Comics was a result of a contest to find a name for a title of a new comic initiated in Vol. 1 No. 1 (Nov.-Dec. 1941) temporarily called “Name-It” Comics. With issue 2 on it was called Rocket Comics.  Rocket Comics seem to be unusual because they only have 8 issues in the first volume while the three others have 10.

The Rocket Comics chart below is the one that I need the most to be filled in after the second volume. If, falling in line with the other Maple Leaf titles, the number of the final issue indicates that there were 30, then there are the right number (12) of bi-monthly slots between the end of the second volume and the final issue No. 30 published Sep.-Oct. 1946. However, I’ve put question marks where I need to know the Volume and number. The other issues after the second volume, I’m sure of.

ROCKET COMICS

ROCKET COMICS

Vol.

No. Month

Year

  Vol. No. Month

Year

1

1

Nov.-Dec.

1941

3

1

Nov.-Dec.

1944

2

Jan.-Feb.

1941

?

Jan.-Feb.

1945

3

March-Apr.

1942

4

3

March-April

1945

4

May-June

1942

?

May-June

1945

5

July-Aug.

1942

5

5

July-Aug

1945

6

Sep.-Oct.

1942

5

3

Sep.-Oct.

1945

7

Nov.-Dec.

1942

?

Nov.-Dec.

1945

8

Jan.-Feb.

1943

?

Jan.-Feb.

1946

2

1

March-Apr.

1943

?

March-April

1946

2

May-June

1943

5

10

May-June

1946

3

July-Aug.

1943

4

1

July-Aug

1946

4

Sep.-Oct.

1943

4

30

Sep.-Oct.

1946

5

Nov.-Dec.

1943

6

Jan.-Feb.

1944

7

March-Apr.

1944

8

May-June

1944

9

July-Aug.

1944

10

Sep.-Oct.

1944

 

 

Rocket Comics Vol. 3 No. 1.
Rocket Comics Vol. 3 No. 1.

Bing Bang Comics

Again, Bing Bang Comics provides solid data on the first two volumes with ten issues in each. After that the usual uncertainty or craziness of numbering begins. The final tally of issues for Bing Bang Comics must be 31 with the Nov.-Dec. 1946 issue. This would make that specific issue the last published Maple Leaf Comics and must also mean that there were 11 issues published after Jan.-Feb. 1945 and that fits the  double month slots up to Nov.-Dec. 1946 nicely. I don’t know the volume or number of the March-April 1945 issue and I haven’t seen copies of the three July to Dec. issues so that numbering displayed is a proposed numbering.

BING BANG COMICS

BING BANG COMICS

Vol. No. Month

Year

  Vol. No. Month

Year

1

1

Nov.-Dec.

1941

?

?

March-April

1945

2

Jan.-Feb.

1941

5

1

May-June

1945

3

March-Apr.

1942

2

July-Aug

1945

4

May-June

1942

3

Sep.-Oct.

1945

5

July-Aug.

1942

4

Nov.-Dec.

1945

6

Sep.-Oct.

1942

6

5

Jan.-Feb.

1946

7

Nov.-Dec.

1942

5

6

March-April

1946

8

Jan.-Feb.

1943

7

6

May-June

1946

9

March-Apr.

1943

3

29

July-Aug

1946

10

May-June

1943

30

Sep.-Oct.

1946

2

1

July-Aug.

1943

31

Nov.-Dec.

1946

2

Sep.-Oct.

1943

3

Nov.-Dec.

1943

4

Jan.-Feb.

1944

5

March-Apr.

1944

6

May-June

1944

7

July-Aug.

1944

8

Sep.-Oct.

1944

9

Nov.-Dec.

1944

10

Jan.-Feb.

1945

 

Bing Bang Comics Vol. 3 No. 30
Bing Bang Comics Vol. 3 No. 30

I’d like to thank Jim Finlay, Stephen Lipson, and Kirk Wallace for their knowledge about these books shared with me.

Default image
Ivan Kocmarek
Grew up in Hamilton's North End. Comic collector for over 50 yrs. Recent interest in Canadian WECA era comics.
Articles: 170

14 Comments

  1. With respect to Rocket Comics I think there are 31 issues ending like Bing Bang did with a Nov/Dec-46 issue.
    From the Stephen Lipson Collection we indexed a book “V4_4” on June 9,2013 dated Nov/Dec-46
    It included the following stories: Cosmo,Joe Turkey,Mono the Air Cobra,Callahan,The Hand, and a Letkeman story “The last days of Billy the Kid” to close out the book, title and WECA era for Maple Leaf.

    Perhaps Stephen could provide a picture of the cover when he gets a chance.

  2. Thanks for this great info, Jim. This adds another issue into the mix. Now with 38 issues of Better, 34 of Lucky, and 31 each of Rocket and Bing Bang, this would bring the total number of individual Maple Leaf books to 134 and maybe 135 if we count the Your New World one-shot. I hope that more people with give their two cents worth on this.

  3. Ivan and Jim excellent job on documenting this list for comic collectors around the world, not a easy task Kudo’s to you both

  4. Just read the article on the Maple Leaf issues. In the list for Bing Bang Comics there are question marks for Vol # March-April 1945. I believe I have a copy which which on the cover has April-May 45 but inside states Mar-April 1945 Vol 4 #1.

  5. Thanks, Tony. The aim of the post was to get a start on this and see if others could add new info so that we can get a little more certain as we go.

  6. Great piece of information Jim M. It looks like the covers and indicia on many Maple Leaf books don’t always agree. It doesn’t look as if this is an uncommon thing.

  7. I think that this is the issue just before the Bing Bang Vol. 5 No. 1 in the Bing Bang chart above, Jim, so that the question marks could be changed to Vol. 4 No. 1.

  8. I’ve scanned the front cover and inside page. How can I get it to you.

  9. “The big question is whether or not an April-May 1946 issue was published…”

    I tend to believe that there wasn’t a published issue of Better Comics for that month either. It does give us the correct number of issues with the numbering of the last Better Comics at the end of the run and is easy to believe that the switch to colour around that time may have delayed an issue in Maple Leaf’s schedule. It works for me and matches the total output that I figure also. My two cents, …good job with this checklist!

  10. You may be on the right track.
    While colour came to the Better series before the end of 1945 Better and Lucky moved in bi-monthly symmetry most of their lifespan, much like Rocket and Bing Bang did offset by a month for each group.
    I think there was an odd pair of monthly Betters (May-46, or Jun-46 AND Jul-46(V4_6)) so if there was no Apr/May-46 and if the issues of Rocket and Bing Bang that were first colour lends support to that it does makes sense.

  11. Thanks Jim M.. I’ve received great scans of Bing Bang Vol. 3 No. 2 which is March/April 1945 as the chart suggests, and Rocket Vol. 3 No. 2 Jan./Feb. 1945 and Vol. 5 No. 8 Jan./Feb. 1946. These all slot nicely into the chart spots above. Thanks Jim M.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: