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Conspiracy & Corruption in Comic Book Culture (Excelsior!)

True Believers! Prepare to have your faith shattered—this might sting a little bit.

The good news is that there isn’t exactly an overt occult Globalist agenda behind the initial boom of the pulp fiction magazines, but the reality of the boom might be all the more sleazy just as well. It’s no accident that the two largest and most successful comic book companies, Marvel and DC, were designed as power-house publication companies—that have since, as a matter of record, been engulfed by this media monarchy of esoteric symbolism and statist propaganda.

Marvel and DC were specifically intended to corner and predominate the pulp fiction market. Much to the disappointment of many fans—but hopefully will not prove a complete surprise—it is quite evident that pulp fiction/comic books as an industry was never a grass-roots movement, and was always a carefully calculated marketing/business tactic by New York media moguls, who were coincidentally also involved in the booming syndicated crime family mafia money floating around the city (and the country as a whole) during the alcohol prohibition of the 1920’s.

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Of course, when considering Marvel Comics today, most independent researchers will first point to the Disney buy-out. This is terrifying to most conscious comic book fans, as it rightly should be, since Disney is little more than a CIA-shell corporation at this point. To see cherished icons respected by children and adults alike (Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Hulk, et cetera) sitting right next to Mickey and Donald in their whimsical antics of mental indoctrination is disheartening to many True Believers.

However, it might disturb comic fans even more to know that there might have been a lot less that changed for Marvel (and the industry as a whole) with this buy-out than people assume. Instead of a seize of an underground comic market, this was merely the final, official step taken in the western media monarchy’s monopoly. Little, if any, authentic intention has instigated the comic book industry. What began as a way for wealthy entrepreneurs (a majority of the biggest characters of which are Jewish, on record) to make money from the emerging media printing market, eventually became a way for these entrepreneurs to scam fortunes off of the common man during the Great Depression with appealing dime-store comics.

Not coincidentally, the surge of the pulp fiction magazine era was directly correlated with the prohibition of alcohol, which directly stimulated the country’s syndicated mafia crime networks. The comic book industry as a whole seems to have been largely if not entirely instigated by money that had its own ties to Dean O’Banion(gangster rival of Al Capone in Chicago), and points directly to Lucky Luciano and the Genovese Family in New York. The evidence is brightly displayed for any inquisitive researcher to uncover.

The deep ties with the comic book industry and organized mafia is a tangled web of conglomerated media publication companies, and labor racketeering—many ties of which ended in federal indictments and prison time for some pulp fiction moguls and will be discussed here further on. A special thanks is due to David Saunders and his internet museum archive of the pulp fiction era, entitled Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, which heavily details the biographies and business dealings with the famous businessmen, artists, authors, and entrepreneurs of the industry.

On this site, as well as many others, Saunders is a curator of a successful art museum called the David Saunders Museum in New York, which namely focuses on the heritage and continuation of contemporary art. David’s late relative, Norman Saunders, is one of the most prolific pulp-fiction cover artists of the era. Saunders was not directly associated with this article’s research in any sense, but his own archived research proved to be invaluable, and well sourced.

While the comic book industry primarily focuses on New York City, the beginning of the comic book crimes began in Chicago, with “Moe” Moses Annenberg. Being Russian-Jewish immigrants to Chicago, Annenberg and his brother quickly took to organized crime in Chicago as young teenagers, running with the crew of gangster Dean O’Banion, who was eventually to be run out of the crime circuit by competing business done by none other than Al Capone.

In 1906, Moe Annenberg founded Chicago Newsstand Distribution in order to help circulate the papers of William Randolph Hearst. Receiving much success throughout his distribution business and his very low-key maintained crime syndicate connections (mafia syndicates of which had received enormous monetary wealth and political power through bootlegger alcohol smuggling during Prohibition), business eventually reared its ugly head as O’Banion’s gang clashed viciously with Capone’s in a street-war that was said to last five years. As bootlegging and racketeering profits hit their peak nationwide in the beginning of the 1920’s, networking for the Annenbergs was becoming more and more lucrative in Chicago, so they turned to their lesser used yet still established connections in New York City, through the printing media.

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Meanwhile, in New York, traveling salesman and serial con-artist, Warren Angel meets the equally savvy and conniving salesman, Paul Sampliner, and in 1924 they form Eastern Distributing Company, under the conglomerated umbrella of American News Company. In the same year, the Annenbergs begin solidifying their publication/syndicated money laundering connections in New York, through a man named Harry Donenfeld. Taken from Saunders’ internet website archive:

“In 1924 Moe L. Annenberg organized production of six million promotional brochures for distribution as inserts in Hearst publications. Surprisingly the vendor chosen for this massive project was Harry Donenfeld, a salesman at Marlin Printing, who was neither a printer nor an owner of a press. His only qualification was the trust of Max Marlin, Theodore Epstein and Frank Costello. This lucrative contract was the first big break for Harry Donenfeld. To handle such a project, he formed Elmo Press Incorporated, which he listed as a printer of ‘magazines and newspapers.’ Although legal documents named his wife and brother-in-law as partners there is a distinct echo in the name ‘Elmo’ of ‘Moe L.’ Annenberg. Another curious note was the 1924 NYC Business Directory listed the company at 32 West 22nd Street. That was the same address as the Tab Printing Corporation, where Theodore Epstein produced The Daily Racing Tab in affiliation with Moe L. Annenberg.”

Additionally, Epstein and Annenberg’s “Daily Racing Tab” was known to have syndicated crime gambling ties.

“Anti-racketeering prosecutors targeted the national wire service of Moses Annenberg, because they considered it the lifeblood of the gambling industry that nourished American gangsters. At that time gambling was controlled in New York City by a partnership of three mobsters, Lucky Luciano (1897-1962), Frank Costello (1891-1973), and Arnold Rothstein (1882-1928). It is hard to imagine how Moses Annenberg gained control of a nationwide monopoly of racetrack wire services without their complicity.”

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Additionally, while there are no direct implications at hand, the prevalence of certain gangsters of the era, in New York City, and the success of the pulp fiction magazine business would seem to indicate such names as, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Lepke Bouchalter, Jacob Shapiro and many others. If not directly connected, then these are the starting points for fleshing out the pulp fiction’s specified associations with mafia money by business associations. While there is clearly enough evidence at hand to elaborate on the networked crime between the two (after all, there was enough for a court to ultimately prosecute Moe Annenberg for his syndicated crime money dealings), the dirty little details of the syndicated mafia crime in New York City during the Roaring 20’s is not exactly abundant on the internet, and will require some deeper digging.

However, here is a taste—quoted from Saunders’ work:

“On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1929, the remaining seven members of Dean O’Banion’s North Side Gang were murdered. Shocking photographs of the carnage were featured in nationwide newspapers as the ‘St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.’ Two weeks later Al Capone visited Philadelphia. If the goal of his trip was to forestall further reprisals, the Philadelphia area with nearby Atlantic City, was a likely place to ‘bury the hatchet.’ He was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and released one week later. He then traveled to his home in Miami Beach, Florida, and hosted an impressive celebration party, which was attended by Ned Brown, William Kofoed and his twin brother Jack Kofoed, all three of whom were journalists at newspapers owned by Moses Annenberg.”

By 1928, the seeds had been planted and the plants were beginning to fruit, as Eastern Distributing received tremendous success in New York under Sampliner, Angel, and their hired “third musketeer,” so to speak, named Louis Silberkleit, who was later to become the co-founder of Archie Comics. Eastern Distributing had at this point begun to handle the distribution of many different publishers, including none other than the Annenberg-upstarted Harry Donenfeld, who had since received his own sizable portion of success in the industry. As success grew, Silberkleit hired a fellow by the name of Martin Goodman as an assistant. Goodman would go on to upstart Timely Comics, which was to become Marvel. Warren Angel eventually left Eastern Distributing to continue his success with other companies in the pulp fiction distribution, and Eastern Distributing eventually conglomerated into the media monopoly grab-all game that has constantly occurred since media’s birth.

Paul Sampliner went on to co-found Independent Comics, which eventually became DC Comics, and Martin Goodman followed in suit with the end of Eastern Distributing, attempting to compete with Sampliner’s success in the emerging “comic book superhero” market. Goodman churns out characters like Namor the Submariner, The Human Torch(unrelated to Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, but served as inspiration for Storm’s character), and eventually Captain Americawho had obvious and heavily admitted inspiration from the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, which would become the CIA, post-Project Paperclip).

It is a well-established historical note of the comic book industry—self admitted by the industry itself—that the most successful artists, writers, and businessmen of the companies were largely inspired by what they felt was a social, moral duty to inform the common man of the social struggle, namely with war. Because of this mindset, comic books were easily and readily wed with State propaganda from early on—another historical note that is even admitted by the industry.

The famous editor of Timely Comics, which was in the process of becoming Marvel, was Stanley Lieber, who was not coincidentally the cousin by marriage of Martin Goodman. Stan Lee, along with famous artist and co-author Jack Kirby, was to create the mainstay of heroes that Marvel Comics would become famous for, such as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, The Avengers, X-Men, Daredevil, et cetera.

The story goes that in collaboration with the CIA itself, Kirby’s artwork was used for a prototype science fiction them park, in order to create a fake movie produced by a fake company in order to rescue the diplomats of the famous 1979 Iran hostage crisis. While this does not necessarily hint to any sort of larger conspiracy, it certainly raises eyebrows, and proves as one example of the paper-thin veil between media and the Intelligence Communities. The whole story can be read here.

More ominous notes of peculiarity, in no particular sequence, was the inspiration behind the name for the X-Men. Largely unknown to fans, this “X” moniker stems from the infamous Huxleyian X-Club, which was an entirely real-life group of Darwinian, eugenicist scientists, helmed by Thomas Huxley, which served to directly influence the scientific community into what it is known in academia to be today. For brevity, this article will simply source researcher, Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media for more information on the X-Club, Thomas and Aldous Huxley, and the rest of the Huxley, Elitist-Eugenicist history.

To source a quote from Irvin’s research

“My investigation into Thomas Henry Huxley’s background (grandfather to Aldous and Julian) reveals him as the key promoter of Darwin’s theories, who was his friend and teacher, and through Huxley’s ‘X Club‘ they created academics who would promote Darwin’s ideas (not coincidentally, spin offs of this ‘X-Club’ include the X-men comic series (on eugenics and evolution) and Fourth World comics (on mind control) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby – the ‘Fourth World’ being tied to the UN’s Agenda 21 (See the UN’s website) and (UNCED) Fourth World Wilderness – ‘battle for the mind’ – conferences.”

Considering Stan Lee, while he doesn’t boast an overt CIA connection, seemed to be a traditional spoiled elite brat. Raised in a well-to-do family, he was easily handed his roll of editor just as Marvel Comics was beginning to take off, and has a hushed history of being quite the snob, even actively attempting to take the credit of the comic work done by his longtime co-creator, Jack Kirby (RIP—I still love you, Stan).

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To even this information out, and toss some more DC factoids in the mix, legendary comics author Alan Moore, of Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke, V for Vendetta, and From Hell, was a practitioner of Thelema and the occult, and was deeply inspired by Aleister Crowley’s work. Actually, Batman has received some interesting occult attention over the years, not only from Moore but also from legendary author Grant Morrison, who has been quite open about his work with sigil magick and the like; and as if that wasn’t enough, meet current hot-shot comic author, Tom King, who also just so happened to have an entire career as a high ranking CIA field agent before settling down to simply “write comic books.” King wrote such popular titles as Batman, and The Visionof Marvel Comics.

Even Scott Snyder, perhaps the most popular Batman author wedged in between Morrison and King, was groomed for the beginning of his prominent writing career at none other than Disney. As a brighter note to this comic book slaughtering at hand, True Believers will breathe a sigh of relief to know that no dirty details were dug up when conducting this same type of open source investigation into legendary comic creator Todd McFarlane (the best Spider-Man illustrator of the ‘90’s, and maybe ever; and more popularly known to create Spawn).

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In terms of what is currently happening today, things have only ramped up. Movies galore, full of military propaganda and occult symbolism, from Justice League to the Avengers series. Since Disney was popularly known as a Rosicrucian, it should be no surprise that any given Disney-Marvel superhero movie is absolutely bursting at the seams with both the military propaganda and the occult symbolism. An entire article series could be done–and maybe eventually will be done–on the verified, documented, and blatant occult symbolism that is rampant throughout the comic books themselves and all the current movies.

However, here is some food for thought. Considering the Avengers, for example, it’s more than a bit peculiar to note that the team is comprised of a weapons contractor billionaire that subsequently helped to fund and arm radical Islamic extremists; a bunch of intelligence agents (SHIELD) who are working for the Western Surveillance State (SHIELD); who also just so happened to be teamed up with Captain Propaganda—err, America—and a poor scientist who turns into a green monster, which can be suggested to represent eugenics-style, Monsanto-fueled genetic tampering; and of course, last but not least, there is the entire pantheon of Norse mythology.

As far as DC movies go, not only is Superman obviously being used to help force-feed UFO/alien propaganda to the masses; but Bruce Wayne is basically the Illuminati of Gotham. Indeed, this is tongue-in-cheek, and meant merely as a metaphor, but consider this: Bruce Wayne, a billionaire whose wealthy family helped establish Gotham City, is not a politician in any way, yet he funds nearly every aspect of Gotham to some degree, from schools and orphanages, to the policemen and other public funding services. Bruce Wayne helps run Gotham to a large extent, even though he is a private entrepreneur and is no politician whatsoever. It is certainly promoting a subtle acceptance of “Corporatocracy” at best.

Visionaries like Paul Sampliner, Martin Goodman, and Walt Disney all had certain key aspects in common: they were all successful entrepreneurs, none of them were afraid to play hardball business, and they were all known to consider their businesses as a sort of noble guidance suggested for the public through the characters they enjoyed—quite reminiscent of Edward Bernays and his Manufactured Consent.

Overall, comic books have always been very similar to Disney’s “imagineering” in the sense that instead of evoking the child out of the adult or growing person, the comic book hero is more so evoking the adult out of the child. As a young boy naturally projects his own ideas of future masculinity, so will he be attracted to the possible comic books heroes that he feels personal identification with. Once this identification is made, the person, knowingly or unknowingly, will develop a sense of relationship with the character (wearing t-shirts, keeping up to date on comics and studying the history of the character, etc), and the comic fan will subtly begin to pick up “advice” or “suggestions” from their comic book hero friend as they keep up with his adventures in the cartoon world.

With these mechanics in mind, it is no surprise that comic books have always been geared to children (and also young adults, as comics can be quite graphic, especially today). Ultimately, along with any of the other pitfalls a person may take to while identifying with a superhero for so long, they are ultimately eating the idea of the “Savior Myth” by the mouthful. Children are constantly suggested to either consider themselves helpless and seek out the designated heroes for help; or children will be conditioned to consider the common man entirely helpless and incapable of fending for themselves, and that the common man will always need designated heroes for their survival. For more information on this deep, allegorical line of thought, read here. Unfortunately, this line of thought, on either end, ultimately leads to eugenicist ideologies.

True Believers: do not feel the need to step into the backyard and make a bonfire out of your comic books—simply take this information in order to cherish these comics and their characters for what they really are: a marker of your confused and awkward childhood. This journalist will always love Spider-Man, no matter what bizarre occult symbolism is tossed in (see Madame Web, for example). In fact, a lot of this esoteric symbolism really enriches the storylines—and let it be emphatically stated that there are so many people in the comic book industry who are just genuinely in it for the love of the comics. This article is in no way trying to bash the authenticity that has come from comic book culture. More to the point, it is meant to sift the less authentic of the culture from the more authentic. This is alchemy of the comic book culture!

A special thanks is given to Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media, for shattering the illusions of the Psychedelic Entheogenic Community; and to the late Dave McGowan, for showing the world that the 60’s Anti-War Movement was a CIA-instigated, in order replace the real Anti-War Movement with druggie hippies who idolized music idols groomed by the CIA.

Hopefully, this article can prove to be a similar wake-up for all those fellow comic fans and True Believers out there. Consider these cherished superhero icons simply in a new light, and let the healing begin!

Update: Additional to the research at hand, it has been brought to The Last American Vagabond’s attention that there was some exquisitely ripened fruit of research that had not yet been picked here. 

Firstly, on top of the dirt that had already been accumulated against once-beloved Stan Lee, there is also an incredibly well-known and entangled court case involving Peter F. Paul and Stan Lee, both of Stan Lee Media, which was the company that Lee began developing with what was ultimately fraudulent financial backing. Not only did Peter F. Paul eventually land in jail for these crimes, but he as well received convictions for “conspiracy” and “drug dealing”. Stan Lee Media also collapsed as a result, and the investigation into this case even brought up the names of Bill and Hilary Clinton for ambiguous background business dealings between Peter Paul and the Clinton Campaign of 2000. An article on the matter can be read here.

Secondly, just going to show that the Entertainment Industry and Military Intelligence are not nearly as separate as people are led to believe: popular Marvel Comics writer, Ed Brubaker, is the son of a Naval Intelligence officer. Brubaker is known for his written work on popular titles such as “DC’s Batman and Catwoman, Marvel’s Captain America, Daredevil, and Ironfist, and his creator-owned Icon Comics series Criminal with artist Sean Phillips. His work has won him three Eisner Awards and two Harvey Awards for Best Writer. Currently writing The Fade Out with Sean Phillips and Velvet with Captain America artist Steve Epting, both at Image.” (Comic Vine)

Quoted from Brubaker’s own words in an interview with, “I’ve always been fascinated with the espionage world in general. My dad was in Naval Intelligence, and my uncle was a big mucky-muck at the CIA in the ’60s and ’70s, and so I was always, as a little kid, being around at weird cocktail parties full of spies and military people and things like that…” Especially to researchers fond of Dave McGowan’s research novel, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon. Family ties like these should certainly raise some eyebrows. The full interview can be read here.


Anthony Tyler
A journalist and author from Anchorage, Alaska, Anthony Tyler aims to twist the knife in both phony new-age ideals and scientific materialism by drawing attention to the rich heritage of esoteric science throughout history. Far from being “satanist,” the esoteric (i.e. occultism or comparative religion) marks the beginning of mathematics, astronomy, psychology, medicine, and even politics. Esoteric science represents a cache of little-known knowledge detailing how to decipher the human's unconscious mind--and the unconscious mind is essentially everything that the human mind is not considering at any given moment.

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