Classic Comics No. 25: Two Years Before the Mast

This issue of Classic Comics contained an adaptation of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.’s novel Two Years Before the Mast, published by the Gilberton Company, Inc. in October 1945. Ruth Roche adapted the novel to the comic format, Robert Hayward Webb and David Heames composed the cover art. The cover depicts sailors laboring under a ship’s rope while a captain stands by with whip in hand. Published in 1840, Two Years Before the Mast recounted Dana’s time spent as a common sailor on a merchant ship that traveled from Boston to California around Cape Horn. The book served to educate the public about the hardships of sailor’s lives. It also provided a rare description of pre-gold rush California.
Classic Comics was a series of comic book adaptations of literary classics published from 1941 until 1971. The series aimed to expose young people to classic literature through the more popular medium of a comic book. Classic Comics was first published by Elliott Publishing in 1941, but founder Albert Kanter spun off publishing to the Gilberton Company in 1942. In 1947 Classic Comics became Classics Illustrated. Kanter sold the company to the Frawley Corporation in 1967, who published the series until 1971.
date made
Gilberton Company, Inc.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 7 1/2 in x 10 in; 19.05 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Olivia V. Crisson and Phillip M.S. Crisson in honor of Peter Bozzer
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Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Comic Books
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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