|Indicia from Feature Funnies #1 (Oct. 1937)|
There is something curious about the indicia in the first line, where it inexplicably reads "VOL. 9." This seems too deliberate to be a typo. Volume numbers were used regularly by periodicals of the time and reliably counted the years of publication. This would have meant that whatever "predecessor" would have begun in 1929.
What's interesting is that this year is the same in which George Delacorte launched Dell's The Funnies. That book actually continued in publication through 1939 and there are no similarities in the content between it and Feature Funnies (in fact, some of the strips in Dell's book later moved into National's). Famous Funnies by Eastern Color ran from 1934–1955.
The same volume designation appears in Feature Funnies #2. This opens up a whole lot of questions, especially because of something Will Eisner said, which nags me to this day. Eisner stated,