The Winnipeg Tribune, one of western Canada’s oldest tabloid newspapers ran from 1890 to 1980. On September 24, 1977, the Winnipeg tribune started the comic book, “The Collectable Comics.” This weekly comic book contained comics from the Sunday newspaper one day in advance. These comics were a free supplemental to the Saturday edition of the Tribune. As such, no price is present on any of the issues. These issues appeared over a three-year period from September 24, 1977 (Volume 1, Number 1) through September 6, 1980 (Volume 4 Number 36). There were a total of 155 issues. The Winnipeg Tribune closed in 190 and the Collectable Comics ended with it.
Illustrated by Frank Bolle, the Raise the Titanic Best Seller Show Case comic strip was first seen on August 21, 1977. These eight Sunday Newspaper editions appeared in the first eight editions of the Trib Comic Book, The Collectable Comics. The Raise The Titanic Comic strip was the only comic to be presented a month after it’s newspaper appearance, nearly all the rest were a day early.
Volumes 1-6 of The Trib Comic Book have the same dimensions (7.25 inches by 10.25 inches). The next two issues, Volumes 7 and 8 are printed in larger format (8.25 inches by 10.75 inches). The changes in the volume dimensions caused a change as The Raise the Titanic! comic strip grew from it’s initial size of 6.5 inches by 9.5 inches to 6.75 inches by 10 inches.
The covers of these editions were made from the same paper as the rest of the book, unlike other comic books that traditionally had a glossy cover. As such, the papers is very fragile and care must be taken when handling them. The illustrations on the front cover were selected weekly from entries submitted by children. The requirements stated that the entries must feature a Tribune comic character, have dimensions of 7 inches by 7 inches and colored with felt pen or poster paint.
The middle two pages of the comic books contained puzzles and games. The “Cappy Dick” section had prizes for solving riddles and puzzles. The “Junior Whirl” section included connect the dot and story puzzles. “Hocus-focus” asked readers to compare similar pictures and find the differences. At the back of the book is a “Wonderword” puzzle where the reader’s goal was to find the hidden word and circle it.
Some of the other comics that also appeared in The Collectable Comics included Amazing Spiderman, Born Loser, Catfish, Doonesbury, Emmy Lou, Fred Basset, Marmaduke, Walt Disney’s Scamp, Walt Disney Winnie the Pooh, and Wizard of ID.
In addition to being collectible for the Raise The Titanic comics, these issues are the first eight issues of a short run comic book that contains many other collectable comic strips. This point attracts collectors from different areas of collecting. Certain issues are in high demand and command a premium. The price for the Raise the Titanic set will vary greatly by condition. These comic books are scarce, since most were discarded with the newspaper. They are often also found owner inscribed by the children who liked the puzzles and games. According to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, these comics books sell between $5.00 and $18.00 each, depending on condition and issue, if you can find them.
Doug of Dough Sulipa’s Comic World is very knowledgeable on this topic and has a limited stock of the Tribune’s Collectable Comics for sale. You can also sometimes find these on eBay and at Abebooks and on other book and auction sites.