First Friday

Update: One Year Later...

Cover to Detective Comics #27 © 1939 DC Comics.
Pencils, Inks: Bob Kane. Text, Colors, Typography: Unknown.

Here in the Philadelphia area, as in other cities around the country, the first Friday of each month is known as (wait for it)
First Friday. The art galleries in Old City are open late, and more recently the suburbs have joined the fun with exhibits, live music, and open-air dining as well.

I'd hoped to run a series of virtual galleries here on the blog under that title, celebrating firsts in the comics world on occasional Fridays — and for a while I actually did, beginning with a bunch tied to Batman's 70th anniversary. When the original version of this post went up, however, I was still dealing with what at the time I called The Great Purge, which had erased all 50-odd posts to date on Apr. 1st, 2009. Problems that I attributed at the time to Blogger persisted even as I got everything republished and continued with new posts; eventually, assembling the First Friday posts only to have them go unseen was just too frustrating. Yet I optimistically resurrected First Friday the next year, only to have an even Greater Purge occur on Apr. 1st, 2010, when a deplorably jealous jerk from my decade in the comics biz deleted the entire blog in a despicable act of destruction. I'd taken to saving the HTML of the blog periodically and soon reconstructed it one more time, but while I didn't want to give the vandal(s) any satisfaction I decided that it made sense to reserve republication of the heavily historical comics material in First Friday for the upcoming blog devoted specifically to my professional comics-oriented writing, since that material seemed to be the main trigger for this demented individual's behavior.

So all that's left of the original First Friday post is the first paragraph above and the cover to Detective Comics #27, which introduced Batman to the world, as a sort of memorial to what was. Cover dating later settled into a convention of two or three months ahead of an issue's release date, but in the Golden Age the span was shorter, and a variety of sources have 'Tec #27, dated May 1939, distributed in April; Mike Voiles' Amazing World of DC Comics website, which truly lives up to its name, gives an approximate on-sale date of April 18th, 1939. For more images and insight commemorating 70 years of the Gotham Guardian, you can head on over to The Comicologist (sorry for the tease; when it goes live, there will be a link here).

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