So we recently obtained a bunch of these mini-books:
We’ve had other copies of these mini-books before…tiny squarebound booklets measuring about 5/8 by 7/8 inches, published in the mid 1960s. The format (at least in the superhero ones) was generally an illustration on one page with text on the facing page, though any attempt to actually read the darn things would risk the danger of, at best, cracking what passed as the spine, or possibly even pulling the entire booklet apart.
The line didn’t just contain Marvel superheroes, but other joke and story books as well, which are named here in this period article, and shown here in an article from the same publication a couple of decades later. It looks to me like this company, Creative House Publishing, licensed the properties from various comic publishers, mixed in their own in-house content (or obtained the joke and story and other content from sources I’m not aware of) and marketed them in this unique format via bubblegum machines and what have you.
Each title featured multiple variations on cover color…here you can see the multiple covers for the Nick Fury book. That brings me to this point: I had been under the impression, from information provided in Overstreet and online, and just from previously having copies of these in the shop before, that each cover was single solid color. You may have noticed that most of the covers in that first pic up there aren’t solid colors, like these two Nick Fury books:
And here’s a better look at one of the non-superhero presumed-variants:
I’ve not seen mention of these particular variations before. I doubt they’re counterfeits, because who’d go through the trouble, really? The person we obtained these from said that, according to his research, these may have been special promotional variations given to the distributors who handled these items, but I’ve yet to find confirmation.
And just for comparison, here’s a close-up of one of the covers with the solid color:
At any rate, I’ve done some research on these things, but apparently not nearly enough. If someone out there has more information on them, particularly regarding the significance of the spotted ‘n’ speckled cover color variations, I’d like to hear it.