Originally posted by Peter Duffie:
If Rusduck died in 1959, how are issues 1-12 in the public domain?
I don't have the issues myself, but it could be one of (at least) two ways in the United States:
1. Wworks originally published from 1923 through 1977, and which were published without a copyright notice, are currently in the public domain.
2. Works published from 1923 to 1963, and which were published with a copyright notice, but for which the copyright was never renewed with the copyright office, are currently in the public domain. [This exception is how Dover was able to reprint Bobo's Coin Magic, for example. The vast majority of works published during this term had no renewal.]
[I'm no lawyer, so if you get sued because you relied on this, etc. etc., don't come whining to me.]
See: copyright terms