Pulp Fiction Writer Who Controls Bees, Yellowjacket Comics Auction
Remarkably enough, Yellowjacket, the main character of Yellowjacket Comics, wasn’t the first Golden Age comic book superhero with the power to control bees. The Red Bee, a Quality Comics character who debuts in Hit Comics #1created by Toni Blum and Charles Nicholas, used erect bees. But while Quality Comics and all of its titles and characters are pretty well documented, very little is known about who created the Yellowjacket, or even who published it. An obscure Golden Age comic book title that manages to be both bizarre and highly entertaining, there’s a Yellowjacket Comics #8 (Frank Comunale, 1946) Condition: VG/FN Up for auction at Sunday June 26-27, 2022 Comic Book Auction #122226 at Heritage Auctions.
Vince Harley was a pulp fiction writer for Dark Detective magazine, and he also enjoyed beekeeping as a hobby. He inadvertently found himself in the middle of a jewelry robbery and the criminals who carried out the robbery brutalized him, then attempted to use Harley’s own bees to kill him. As the bees invaded Harley, they did not kill him, instead giving him super strength and control over the Yellow Vests. With Harley’s pulp fiction flair for the dramatic, he created a bee costume for himself and decided to become a costumed Avenger.
Yellowjacket Comics is often considered Charlton’s first comic strip, as although the clue publisher started out as Frank Communale Publishing Company (and later Frank Publishing Company), it became Charlton by the last issue. Frank Comunale Publishing Company is generally thought of as some sort of imprint of Charlton, but it is not. Frank Comunale was the editor and publisher of The Mattino of Americaa New York-based journal with Italian and English editions and launched in 1940. A 1946 article about her marriage to press day confirms that he is the head of the Frank Comunale Publishing Company of New York. Frank Comunale Publishing Company published a detective parade [1945pulpone-shotandtheshortlived1950sversionof[1945pulpone-shotetlaversionéphémèrede1950deChief detective, both via an NYC address. Given the address of the indices of Yellowjacket Comics and time frame, it seems likely that, like many newspaper (and other) publishers of this period, Comunale was enticed to use its paper quota to make a brief foray into comic book publishing, installations of the founders of Charlton in Derby, Conn., acting as the printer and possibly packer. Given the significance of this moment to Charlton’s entry into comics, further research into these details is warranted.
Yellowjacket’s co-creating artist and this issue’s story artist are assumed to be Ken Battlefield, based on known stylistic similarities, while the writer is unknown, making virtually every aspect of this series an interesting puzzle. An obscure Golden Age comic book title that manages to be both bizarre and highly entertaining, there’s a Yellowjacket Comics #8 (Frank Comunale, 1946) Condition: VG/FN Up for auction at Sunday June 26-27, 2022 Comic Book Auction #122226 at Heritage Auctions.
Yellowjacket Comics #8 (Frank Comunale, 1946) Condition: VG/FN. Alan Mandelart. The blanket is barely attached. Overstreet Value 2021 VG 4.0 = $84; Value FN 6.0 = $126.