In 1951, at the near peak of comic book sales in the United States, the two Goss high-speed rotary newspaper presses at Spartan Printing and Publishing, a new facility in southern Illinois, printed six million forty-eight-page comics a month (“Sparta Plant” 1951). The presses at Spartan required thirty-five thousand pounds of cyan, yellow, magenta, and black inks each month to keep up the demand for the four-color “funny books.” Spartan Printing was not exceptional: it was one of a series of presses across the United States that contributed to the one hundred million new comic book issues that were printed and then distributed to shops throughout the country. About a hundred employees at Spartan ensured that those copies of Archie, Dick Tracy, Black Cat, and other titles were trimmed, bound, and loaded onto trucks headed for a post office in St. Louis, Missouri (O’Keefe 2006).

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