Introducing Atlas Publications
Capitalising on the success of KG Murray's Superman reprints, Atlas Publications entered the comics field in January 1948 with Captain Atom, a full colour comic by Australians Arthur Mather and Jack Bellew (as John Welles). Wartime bans on imported periodicals were still in place at the time, creating strong demand for new local periodicals.
While early Atlas comics mimicked the look of Murray's contemporary comics, the company quickly created a strong identity by being one of the few Australian comics' publishers to consistently brand its publications on the cover. Until 1951, most of its comics were also printed in a distinctive landscape format that was better suited to its dominant newspaper reprints.
According to Australian comic historian John Ryan, Atlas was founded by Bellew and newspaper colleagues, George Warnecke and Clive Turnbull. However, their participation in Atlas is largely undocumented, suggesting some embarassment at their role in establishing the Australian comic industry and supporting claims that this publishing initiative was primarily itended as a platform for more reputable publications.