Famous Funnies was the first regular newsstand comic book. The series had been preceded by a one-shot, Famous Funnies - A Carnival of Comics which had been a collaboration between printers Eastern Color and the Dell publishing company. That one-off was 36 pages long and featured reprints of then-current comic strips. It was either sold or given to customers (historians aren't quite sure which) at Woolworth's department stores.
Although a moderate success, Dell declined to continue with the title, and so Eastern Color did so on its own. Soon a 68-page comic, double the size of its predecessor but featuring the same sort of comic strip reprints, could be found on newsstands at a price of 10 cents. This was cheap enough to be available to even the poorest readers, especially children, even during that difficult economic time, and so the new title became a success. Its first print run was 200,000; it would reportedly sell 90% of this.
Over the years Famous Funnies would feature dozens of popular comic strips and characters, and contain not only reprints but all-new material as well. Celebrated artists Al Williamson did his first published work in the series; Frank Frazetta would also contribute a few covers and some interior art.