Murray Comics—A Brief History by Kevin Patrick

The American reprint titles were a runaway success

Joining Climax Color Comic that year were KGM's new line of all-colour reprints of such popular American comic book series as Superman and Batman (both from DC Comics) and Quality Comics' Captain Triumph.

The American reprint titles were a runaway success, with Superman alone averaging sales of 150,000 copies per issue! Local artists often contributed back-up strips, either in the form of 2-3 page humour strips, or adventure stories like Keith Chatto's Lost Island, Hart Amos' hero Hurricane Hardy (who first appeared in Climax Color Comic) and Peter Chapman's Derek Prentice.

The increased production costs associated with producing full-colour comics forced KGM to fold Climax Color Comics and publish its American reprint editions in black & white. The popularity of such titles as Superman and Batman, however, ensured that KGM's comic book line would not only survive, but greatly expand, in coming decades.

This didn't mean that KGM abandoned locally made comics for good. In 1952, the prolific Hart Amos wrote and drew Magicat, a super-powered cartoon animal that lasted just three issues.

KGM also turned several of its popular men's magazine comic strips into spin-off comic book titles. The most popular of these was Devil Doone (47 issues/1948-1971), which debuted in Man Junior in 1945. Then came Flash Cain (c.1951-52/4 issues), which appeared in KGM's Cavalcade magazine and was illustrated by Phil Belbin. Joining these suave, playboy crime-fighters was the investigative reporter, Jimmy Smart (2 issues/c.1957), who first appeared in KGM's Pocket Man magazine, illustrated by both Phil Belbin and Peter Chapman.

The company's last Australian-made comic appeared in 1959. Smoky Dawson was based on the popular Australian Country &Western singer of the same name. It was initially drawn by Albert DeVine, who originally created the feature as a weekend newspaper strip. Andrea Bresciani drew later editions, before the comic folded with its eleventh issue.