Here’s one of those strange companies that started to appear towards the end of the WECA period. Its main title was The Weekender. For the first two issues it was known as The Comic Section of Illustrated Weekender News Reviews. The implication of the title was that it was some sort of newspaper or magazine insert but actually the so-called “news section” was included in the comic book itself. This news section was a dozen or so black and white pages of text and photos dealing with popular news items of the day.
We know that the cover for the first issue is from Zip Comics 45 and that the covers for issues Vol. 1 No. 4, Vol. 2 No. 1, and Vol. 2 No. 2 are from various Chesler issues along with much of the paneled contents from those comics.
I have no idea where the covers for Weekender Vol. 1 Nos. 2 and 3 are from, but Weekender Vol. 1 No. 2 does have original Canadian black and white content by Ed Shecter and a couple of Mickey Owens and the cover seems to feature one of the inside characters developed by Ed Schecter called Captain Victory, so it is probably original and by Ed Shecter, though it’s unsigned.
Because of this original Canadian material inside, this is the Weekender issue to find. One of the Shecter features is called “Marvo, Espionage Agent” which is the same title of a feature by the same artists in Joke Comics 10 (Sept./Oct. 1943?) but a different story. Jim Finlay was kind enough to provide pics of the Shecter page from his copy of Weekender Vol. 1 No. 2.
Shecter probably created his Bell work in the summer of 1943 when he had just turned 18. After this in the fall of 1944 he did work for Feature Publications’ Lightning Comics and then probably this Weekender work came out in late 1944 or early 1945.
Weekender Vol. 1 No. 3 with its strange cover contains Chesler colour reprints inside. There also seem to be at least three variants of this cover.
Later issues of Weekender were published by Super publications, perhaps again for distribution in the UK, though they had no British price indicators on the covers. These issues don’t appear to be numbered and don’t have a date in the indicia. The contents are funny animal and teen stories but I can’t find an American reprint source for them.
Connected to the Weekender, because its contents reprint the contents of Weekender Vol. 1 No. 3 is the one-shot issue of Lucky Coyne Comics which has a cover taken from Dynamic Comics 10.
There are two versions of this with one in which the indicia say it’s a Rucker Publication and the other where the indicia say it’s a Super Publication. The Super Publications version has an added 6 pence price tag on the front cover where the Rucker version had 10 cents. This probably indicates that the Super version was intended primarily for export to the U.K. and the Rucker version was intended for Canadian distribution. Super Publications seems to be directly connected to Rucker.
There is one of these Rucker/Chesler scrunch ups that is perhaps the hardest to find and that is the one-shot Rocketman issue that uses the cover from Punch Comics 9 (July 1944). Stephen Lipson has kindly provided me with a scan of the copy in his collection.
Scooter Comics No. 1 from April 1946 contains original teen and funny animal content. It doesn’t seem to be that hard to find and is one of the handful of WECA books that is listed in Overstreet. There was a follow up No. 2 published by Super Publications. Snuggy Comics seems to be another title by Super Publications that is connected to all these books.
Finally, the other “to get” Rucker issue is the unnumbered United Nations Battle Heroes which contains cover to cover black and white original historic war hero Canadian content. United Nations Battle Heroes also came out with a different cover signed by Harold Bennett under the title United Nations War Heroes and with blank inside covers.
It contains eight separate feature stories and half of these are signed. All of the signed artists had done work for Bell Features. There was a feature by Gordon C. Smith (who had done a couple of things in Commando Comics), one by Harold Bennett (who did a story in Active Comics 27 at around the same time) and two stories by Mickey Owens. These full, feature stories by Mickey Owens are distinctive because all the work that did for Bell Features was in the form of one page cartoon fillers.
United Nations Battle Heroes has a text ad for The Weekender on its inside back cover and a text ad I’ve reproduced below for an unknown and maybe unreleased title called Comic Crimes but the ad does say “Now! On sale at all newsstands”.
Perhaps it could be a pulp title given the real crime content that seems unsuited for war period comics, but I’m not aware that Rucker produced any pulps.
That’s the little that I know about Al Rucker Publications and I certainly welcome any clarification or additional input from anybody.