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Graphic Books was the epitome of the "Boom or Bust" years of early paperback houses. It was established in 1948 and it published its first paperback book in 1949; the same year Gold Medal, Pyramid, and Lion came onto the scene.
Its founders, Sam Tankel and Zane Bouregy, were lithographers, and they had written a book on the subject together. They obviously took great pride in their covers, which, in my humble opinion, were some of the best ever put out.
The first Graphic number was #11, and the last was #157. The Graphic Giants (35¢ books) ran from G201 through G223 (though one book was designated G101). Several books in the run were repeated using the same cover art; something that was also done with numerous titles at Dell and Avon.
The firm went out of business in 1957, a turbulent year for paperbacks. The big companies were getting bigger (New American Library, parent of Signet, bought out Lion Books); or they were spinning off different labels (such as Dell's Laurel Editions); and for the first time, most paperbacks printed in America sold for a price greater than 25¢.
NOTE: See Kenneth R. Johnson's Index for Graphic Books. Click HERE
Updated November, 2012