Conundrum has a long history of publishing comic books. In fact, our comic strips predate the invention of the comic book. Starting in 1905, Milton Foods began printing comic strips on cookie packaging to boost sales. These comic strips were republished in the early Conundrum Comic books.
The Golden Age
During the Golden age, comic sales boomed. The once experimental marketing project became a successful product in its own right. Most of Conundrum’s key characters were born in the Golden Age, including Achilles, Bombshell, and Merlin.
The Silver Age
The Silver age saw a drop in sales, so in order to get revenue back up, Milton Langway began bundling sales of comic books with cookies, and marketing his comics to mothers as a wholesome alternative to other comics. This strategy would create a mark of shame for the company. Conundrum Comics would forever be remembered as a “mom comic,” a comic only your mother would buy for you.
The Bronze Age and Reality Comics
Despite that stigma, Conundrum comics would find unprecedented success in the bronze age. In 1979, the magician Dr. Zurga, became world renowned after the live television broadcast of his illusion in which he teleported himself across the Grand canyon. Zurga parlayed this event into a television show based on his real life adventures. Milton Foods had a long history of advertising with the Independent Broadcasters of America, the network that produced Zurga's program. Through this relationship, Langway was able to convince the IBA and Zurga to sell him the rights to produce Dr. Zurga comic books.
Zurga brought a huge audience to Conundrum comics. After this success, Conundrum expanded its line of "based on real events" comic books by signing adventurer Max Lancaster and scientist Jake Solomon.
Not to be outdone, the creative staff was able to capitalize on this new found readership. They focused on improving story quality and adding more exciting fictional characters like Falstaff, Knight’s Shadow, and the hero team, Ultimate Guardian Force.
The Modern Age and the End ?
Sadly, that success wasn’t long lived. Conundrum’s writers couldn‘t adapt to the gritty realism of the modern age, and the last issue rolled off the presses in June 1994, marking the end for Conundrum Comics, OR WAS IT!?
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