img_2383Once upon a time, the mighty Warner Entertainment was known as Warner Bros. and it wasn’t so mighty. In fact, in 1968, it was sold to Steve Ross’s Kinney National Company, a small conglomerate consisting of a Hollywood talent agency, parking lots, cleaning companies, and funeral homes for $64 million. A year earlier, Kinney had also bought National Periodical Publications, better known as DC Comics, publishers of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, not to mention Mad Magazine. The new company would soon change its name to Warner Communications.

Like most companies of the day, Kinney/Warner published a variety of in-house company newsletters, including Kinagram, Focus, Warnercom Ink, and WCEye, all designed to showcase the company’s different divisions, including DC Comics. I recently found a stash of WB and DC Comics newsletters and promotional flyers from between 1969 and 1985, each containing news or features of interest to comic fans and historians, including:



Yes, it’s Super-Kinney…a thinly disguised Superman sent to Earth to promote Kinney corporate culture. These strips from a 1969 issue of Kinagrams feature art by Curt Swan and is unique in that it’s a rare instance of Curt inking his own work…and of drawing Mad mascot Alfred E. Neuman. I am guessing that the strips were written by Mad writer and DC writer/editor E. Nelson Bridwell.




Super-Kinney 1970, guest-starring Warner Records star Frank Sinatra, art by Al Plastino and, again, I’m guessing written by Bridwell.




Speaking of E. Nelson Bridwell, a pair of features he wrote and drew for Kinagrams, “Kinney Kwiz” from 1969 and “A Mad-Type Look Behind The Scenes at Kinney National” from 1970.


A 1972 issue of Focus carried the news of the return of SHAZAM! The Original Captain Marvel.


Artist Carmine Infantino (write unknown) asks the musical question, “Hey! Why Are You Spending So Much Time on Comic Displays?” in this 1972 feature, lettered by Gaspar Saladino.


Ladies and gentlemen, your 1985 DC Bullets softball team, featuring Len Wein, Bob Smith, Bob Rozakis, Bob Greenberger, Paul Levitz, and other DC staffers.

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