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Landmark Comics, aka Anville Press, Goldman Periodicals and Global Distributions, is the fictitious publisher of the Landmark Universe and its associated properties. Ostensibly based in Empire City, Chamberlain, it is host to a wide variety of webcomic characters including Tachyon the Photonic Man, Selina the Moon Maiden, Kagaya Hime Miho-Chan and Masque, the Midnight Stalker. Debuting on MSN Groups in 2005, the site was initially founded to provide open source material to the online gaming community, quickly branching out into art and animation via Google, Yahoo and Wikia.
Landmark Publications was founded in January 1939 under the name Anville Press, one of a large number of fly-by-night operations attempting to cash in on the rising popularity of the comic book medium. Amongst its earliest titles were Big Thrill and Razzle-Dazzle, obscure humor anthologies featuring newpaper reprints. Neither book fared particularly well on the newsstand, although a later addition, Holy Dooley! enjoyed increasing success during the war years.
Anville merged with rival publisher Goldman Periodicals in June 1940, adding a new line-up to the regular cast, the most prominent being Major Triumph and Flash Harry Doolin. The newly formed company expanded into the market under both the Anville and Goldman logos for seven months, before finally settling on the Landmark indicia in February 1941. By this time, increased sales allowed Holy Dooley! alumni Glory Bee and Victory Girl to be spun off into their own magazines.
Throughout the 1940s, the company struggled to maintain its position against DC and Timely, particularly after superheroes went out of fashion at the end of the war. As the decade drew to a close, Landmark experimented with numerous genres, including teenaged humor, romance, crime and western. None of these proved especially durable, although Passion Romance Tales and True Crime Detective Case Files held their own against better known competitors such as Young Love and Crime Does Not Pay.
1950s: Global Distributions, Tales From The Beyond and The Comics CodeEdit
Around the beginning of the 1950s, Landmark assimilated a small distribution enterprise, planning to raise its profile within the ever-burgeoning newspaper industry. With sales picking up in the post-war comics boom, Landmark titles began to feature the Global Distributions icon on their covers, leading to some confusion as to the company's official name. US Postal documentation of the period often refers to the group as "Landmark-Global", although the indicia employed at least four different imprints (including Goldman and Anville) depending on the production schedule.
While records are spotty at best, Landmark seems to have entered the lucrative horror market with Tales From The Beyond in January 1951. Following the standard formula established by EC's New Trend, Beyond featured tropes familiar to modern audiences - gruesome crimes, walking cadavers, twist endings and frequent black comedy. Deals With the Devil and Vengeance From the Grave were amongst the more popular themes, with the occasional sci-fi yarn thrown in for good measure.
A sister title - Beware: Tales of Unknown Terror - was added to the schedule a few years later. After Fawcett Comics ceased publication in 1953, Landmark acquired the rights to Doctor Death, Countess Siroon and The Mummy, recasting them as "hosts" of the supernaturally-themed series. Clearly based on EC's New Wave, Beware ran 19 issues before being canceled during the Comics Code controversy in 1955.