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Gerald George Swan was born in Wandsworth, London, on 23 January 1902. In 1921 he started a market stall selling books and magazines at Church Street Market. In the late 1930s he went into publishing, without much success, so that when war broke out in 1939 he had a large amount of unsold stock, which with wartime paper shortages restricting the publishing industry from printing new books, put him in an advantageous position in the market.

He moved into publishing comics in 1940, seeing a gap in the market - the Amalgamated Press were having to curtail their line, and American comics were no longer being imported. His first title was New Funnies (February 1940-), followed by Topical Funnies (April 1940-), Thrill Comics (April 1940-), War Comics (May 1940-), Slick Fun (June 1940-), Fresh Fun (June 1940-) and Extra Fun (July 1940-), all in a format similar to American comics. His page rates were not high, but he paid early, so in the lean war years creators were happy to work for him. Artists included Harry Banger, Jock and Bill McCail, William Ward, Frank Minnitt, Percy Cocking, Don Newhouse, Wally Robertson, Bert Hill and Murdoch Stimpson; writers included Elleston Trevor and John Russell Fearn.

After the war he changed to UK formats, and launched numerous titles including Cute Fun (1946-1951), Girl's Fun (1946-1954) and Scramble (1947-51). He also published many annuals, including Funnies Album (1942-57), Cute Fun Album (1947-1957), Comicolour Album (1947-55) and Slick Fun Album (1949-1955). He sold his business to World Distributors around 1964, and died in Brent, Middlesex on 22 October 1980. The rights to his comics were acquired in 1984 by comics historian Alan Clark.

TitlesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, pp. 159-160

External linksEdit

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