Dell first printed comics in 1929 with "The Funnies", the first newsstand comic book with all-original material. In 1935 it contracted & distributed comic books created by Western Publishing and Lithography (better known as the company behind Golden Books). Licensed properties made up a majority of their output. The company was so popular that it refused to join with the other companies making up The Comics Code Authority & offered its own pledge to parents that "Dell Comics are good comics".
In 1962 Dell and Western Publishing broke up, an event referred to as "the divorce". As most of the titles were owned or licensed by Western, they used them to form Gold Key Comics. Dell Comics, once the most popular comics company, had to start up a new comic book company from scratch with the few titles they had left. Dell Comics ceased publishing in 1974.
DreamWorks Animation currently owns the Dell Comics archives.
Dell Comics with trope pages include:
- Disney Mouse and Duck Comics: Dell published pretty much all Disney licensed comics in the USA from 1940 right up to the "divorce" in 1962.
- Felix the Cat: The first 19 issues of the late 1940's comics were published by Dell starting in 1948, but distribution switched to Toby Press in 1951. They briefly revived the comic in the early sixties for 12 issues. Issues #15, 46, 77, 119, 135 and 162 of their Four Color anthology series feature Felix on the cover and have stories centered on him. Felix also made frequent appearances in their Popular Comics series.
- Turok, Son of Stone
Other Dell Comics provide examples of:
- Comic-Book Adaptation: What they published a lot of.
- Compilation Rerelease: The content of their Popular Comics series was mostly made up of newspaper comic reprints, with a new story occasionally sandwiched inbetween.
- Recycled In Space: Dell published three infamous series that featured Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and the Werewolf as costumed superheroes.
- Status Quo Is God: Most of their comics.