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  1. #76
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    Huh, that's really weird as I was definitely in to comics in a big way in the early 80s, but don't think I ever saw that particular one. Which is a shame as it would probably have led to me getting in to DC far earlier than I did. That's a superb cover too, and something I'd have definitely picked up if I'd seen it.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  2. #77
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    Today we have the even more successful spin-off from Krazy...


    Unlike most humour comics of the time, Cheeky Weekly didn't have a lot of individual strips. Each issue was essentially one long story, in which Cheeky would be walking around town where he'd meet a succession of characters/situations, or visit friends. This set-up allowed for loads of silly, corny but often very funny jokes (a regular fixture was the Knock-Knock Door, which allowed for some truly awful - but still funny - Knock Knock jokes). The individual strips were placed within each issues narrative, such as Cheeky watching a certain tv series at a friends house - in which case the strip would be the episode of the tv series - or Cheeky reading a bed-time book - in which case the strip would be the latest chapter of the book. It makes perfect sense when you see an issue, trust me!

  3. #78
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    Cheeky Weekly!! I used to get this every week, although I've not got any of them now - I remember the terrifying Ursula though, wasn't she the school dinner lady or something. And I've a feeling there was a 'Family in Space' sort of comic strip, I remember being really annoyed when for some reason I couldn't get one week's issue and therefore missed an instalment. Wasn't there also a Victor Drago (or similar name), another 'serious' rather than 'comic' strip?

    Really lovely to see a Cheeky cover again, thanks Mac!

  4. #79
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    I remember the teacher who used to start any conversation with Cheeky with the words "You, boy!"

    "You, boy! Where was Magna Carta signed?"

    "At the bottom!"

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Wallis View Post
    I remember the teacher who used to start any conversation with Cheeky with the words "You, boy!"

    "You, boy! Where was Magna Carta signed?"

    "At the bottom!"
    The jokes were as old as the hills, weren't they? And probably so predictable when see as an adult. But who cares? It didn't matter that many of them were awful...they still managed to raise many a laugh (from me, at any rate!) so they certainly worked. Cheeky is a comic I have very fond memories of, it's certainly one of my childhood favourites.

    And Alex, I agree about that cover. Which is exactly why I picked it up...however, it had been a year or so earlier when the first issue appeared with another fabulous cover painting that I got hooked. I think the problem with The Superheroes wasn't its content, but its timing. It was around this time that DC got their act together regarding distribution of their American comics to British newsagents...so readers had a choice of b&w reprints of, say, 10 year old stories here (albeit with some brilliant covers) for 40p each month or to buy 2-3 new, full colour brand spanking new up-to-date American editions at 15p/20p-ish each at that time. I think the American comics won!

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacNimon View Post
    And Alex, I agree about that cover. Which is exactly why I picked it up...however, it had been a year or so earlier when the first issue appeared with another fabulous cover painting that I got hooked. I think the problem with The Superheroes wasn't its content, but its timing. It was around this time that DC got their act together regarding distribution of their American comics to British newsagents...so readers had a choice of b&w reprints of, say, 10 year old stories here (albeit with some brilliant covers) for 40p each month or to buy 2-3 new, full colour brand spanking new up-to-date American editions at 15p/20p-ish each at that time. I think the American comics won!
    I can completely understand why too, but it's a real shame as whilst the local newsagents would happily stock anything by Marvel UK, or any DC stuff reprinted over here, they'd never get any proper US comics in, which I guess is why I discovered them at a relatively late age.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  7. #82
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    I've picked todays cover simply because I love it! It's one of my favourites, bringing back fond memories. At a time whenn Marvel in the UK was thought of as simply publishing superhero stories, they decided to experiment a bit by moving into the horror genre...


    Dracula Lives was released in 1974 and was a big success, lasting for 87 issues before the fact that they were running out of material to reprint forced its merger with Planet Of the Apes. Initially, this featured back-up strips featuring Werewolf By Night and the Frankenstein Monster, before later featuring the likes of The Living Mummy and Man-Thing.

  8. #83
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    I'd like to think that the build up to that Dracula cover involved the blonde gentleman (who was stressing out about attacks from the Werewolf and Mummy) opening up the coffin lid with a big smile on his face and jokingly saying, "Well, haha, at least we can be sure that Dracula's dead."
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  9. #84
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    Sometimes the most unexpected characters can get their own spin-offs, can't they? One example is one of the Beano's Bash Street Kids, Plug, who got his own comic in 1977.


    Plug, or to give him his full name Percivel Proudfoot Plugsley, had his character expanded and redefined from simply being one of the Bash Street Kids. He was a bumbling and self important character, who thought of himself as being extremely handsome totally oblivious of how he really looked. Other characters and strips included his parents, his dog Pug, Chunkee The Monkey, Gulp - The Intergalactic Goon with the Gigantic Gullet, Antchester United, Ava Banana, Hugh's Zoo and Plug Bugs. The comic had a fan club, Plug's Sports and Social Club which also reflected a new interest of the character.

    Plug was a more expensive comic than the other DC Thomson titles at the time (9p compared with the Beano's 5p) and printed on higher quality shiny paper with plenty of colour. It ran for 75 issues (featuring Vincent Price on the final cover) before being merged into the Beezer in 1979.

  10. #85
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    Antchester United! I can remember them playing a match against Dunbee! For someone who didn't like football it was funny in the same way that unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett wasn't somehow.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacNimon View Post
    I've picked todays cover simply because I love it! It's one of my favourites, bringing back fond memories. At a time whenn Marvel in the UK was thought of as simply publishing superhero stories, they decided to experiment a bit by moving into the horror genre...


    Dracula Lives was released in 1974 and was a big success, lasting for 87 issues before the fact that they were running out of material to reprint forced its merger with Planet Of the Apes. Initially, this featured back-up strips featuring Werewolf By Night and the Frankenstein Monster, before later featuring the likes of The Living Mummy and Man-Thing.
    I have a copy of this one I happened to buy in a job lot containing a Star Wars and a Blakes 7 mag. This was the one of the three i preferred to be honest.

  11. #86
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    Into the early 90s now, with a comic which was originally designed to be Marvel UK's answer to 2000AD. Overkill started life as a sci-fi comic which had a strictly no-superheroes rule, until subsequent market research proved that for people buying the title, superheroes were actually expected to appear in its pages prompting a change of policy.


    Overkill was published fortnightly from April 1992-June 1994, and generally reprinted British-created Marvel UK strips in an anthology format. The early issues reprinted material which had originally been published in a format that allowed them to strip any superhero pages without affecting the storylines. As John Freeman (editor) later said about the title...

    Overkill itself was intended as Marvel UK's challenge to 2000AD. With that in mind, Paul Neary (editor-in-chief) ordered no superhero pages from the US pages were to appear in the title, so the writers had to write those US titles "half and half" - 11 pages with superheroes and 11 pages without. No easy demand when he was also fierce enough about writing and art standards in ways that put the backs up many creators.

    Subsequent market research (that included watching a group of teenagers rip Overkill apart from behind a two way mirror) indicated our target audience expected to see superheroes in a Marvel Comic and it was shooting ourselves in the foot not to include them. The scheme was quickly dropped and Death's head soon took rightful prominence in Overkill as a result.

    We did have a limited commissioning budget on Overkill and early issues include strips not featured in the US editions by the likes of Dave Taylor etc. Charlie Adlard did a fab two-parter but I am not sure if it ever saw print?

  12. #87
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    ...early issues include strips not featured in the US editions by the likes of Dave Taylor
    I never knew he was so versatile a talent.

  13. #88
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    He's made a fortune from this comics rubbish - that oilrig he lives on is moored off the Costa del Sol, didn't you know?

  14. #89
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    Another great IPC humour comic today, from the early 70s...Cor!! ran for 196 issues from 1970-1974 when it was merged into Buster.


    It's the cover star, Gus Gorilla, that I remember best...whatever antics he got up to (usually because of someone trying to make a fool of him, or bully him etc) ends with him getting the upper hand, and a wee man in the last panel always appearing with the comment "You can't make a monkey out of Gus!" There were many other great characters though, such as Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, Whacky, Hire A Horror, Chalky and Teachers Pet. Some of the characters survived the merger with Buster and had a long life there, until Buster itself was cancelled about 25 years later.

  15. #90
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    Cover price 3 1/2p! What can you get for 3 1/2p these days! I heard a woman saying just the other day, "You can't get a penny sweet for tuppence these days."

  16. #91
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    Today, we have the resurrected 1980s version of the Eagle, which ran from 1982 - 1994. This particular issue is one of the earliest to feature Dan Dare on the cover in a manner reminiscent of the original comic, up until the 50th issue Eagle mostly had photo covers with some artwork.


    For the first 18 months or so of its existence, Eagle was printed on a higher quality paper and featured numerous photo strips rather than the traditional drawn comic strips. They changed the comics format 79 issues into its run when they added 4 pages, changed the paper quality to cheap newsprint, and changed the photo strips to traditional artwork. Characters featured in the comic were Dan Dare (obviously!) who was actually the original Dare's (great-?) grandson with this series being set even further in the future, Doomlord, Manix, and Computer Warrior. Eagle was published weekly for the first 472 issues, before becoming a monthly publication due to dropping sales in 1991. It was eventually cancelled with #505 in January 1994.

  17. #92
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    Ah the good old (well, new I suppose) Eagle! I collected that for, well, 5?6? years - certainly for most of the 80s. I've still got them all upstairs in fact, and as you say Mac, it was originally on really good quality paper, and I think was a slightly larger size than the standard comic. I don't think I'd ever seen photostories other than in girls magazines, not in any of the comics I got, so it was quite different at the time - although I expect if I hoiked them out and had a look, they might appear a bit limited in scope compared to the greater freedom of artwork. There were some really good strips in there though, Doomlord of course was a great early success, with its neat Malcolm Hulke-style 'twist' of the alien monster not really being monstrous at all - I seem to remember they made quite a bit 'thing' of launching Doomlord II a while later, and it also made the move to artwork later on. There was a good sense of humour in the Doomlord strips, with his 'mesmerised' landlady and the interest in Corrie...

    Dan Dare started off with a different artist to Cam Kennedy above - I can't think of the name, but to my untrained eye it looked very like the old style Dan Dare, whether deliberately or not. At some point they even did a 'flashback' sequence, where the Mekon digs into the history of the 'original' Dan Dare, revealing that he was a 1950s test pilot who had slipped into the future. They had a few frames from ye olde Eagle in the strip, which my Dad enjoyed.

    Good times indeed!

    P.S. Meant to say the other day, I remember my brother getting the Plug comic - another one that felt much more 'luxurious'. I guess that's what you pay your 9p for!!! Did I imagine it, or did the Beano do a sort of 'X Factor' style thing prior to the launch of Plug, a sort of competition to decide exactly which character would get his or her own spin-off comic?

  18. #93
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    Today, it's another DC Thomson adventure comic The Crunch.


    The Crunch first appeared in January 1979 and was an anthology comic featuring a range of genres ranging from standard adventure/thrillers (such as Mantracker) and sport to sci-fi and monsters (Jeff Sabor, Starhawk, etc). Other strips included The Waliking Bombs, Ebony, Arena and Hitler Lives. The Crunch only lasted 54 issues before being absorbed into The Hotspur in 1980.

  19. #94
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    Ha, I love that cover for The Crunch, a comic I'd never heard of before. I can imagine the outcry if they published a similar story nowadays though, with the tabloids probably freaking out about how a kids comic is making light of the holocaust, or some such nonsense.

    Concerning the Eagle, I loved that comic so much, and really believe that it had a big influence on how I turned out (for better or worse!). In Doomlord it certainly introduced to me the concept of an anti-hero being the lead character in a strip and I loved it to pieces, it was never quite the same when he (or later incarnations to be precise) became a good guy. Well, good alien, anyway!

    I've read some of them recently and there's a real sense of fun to the photostrips, with Sergeant Streetwise and Joe Soap being a ridiculous amount of fun, and it was something the comic lost when it became a more traditional drawn affair. There were still some good strips, I was always fond of Computer Warrior and the Thirteenth Floor, but it tended to take itself a bit too seriously, at least at times.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  20. #95
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    Another Marvel UK cover today, from 1985.


    Secret Wars was published fortnightly from 1985-1987 1987 reprinting the two mini-series, Secret Wars 1 & 2 and ran for 80 issues (to tie in with a popular toy range) when the serial reached its conclusion. They had managed to extend the length of the series run by incorporating some of the spin-off/tie-in material and change some of the original dialogue accordingly to give a slightly different version of the story than simply being a straight reprint. Various other Marvel strips such as Alpha Flight appeared as back-up strips.
    Last edited by MacNimon; 20th Jul 2013 at 1:48 PM.

  21. #96
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    I remember everyone at school being obssessed with Secret Wars! I wasn't, but they all were. It was incredibly popular.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  22. #97
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    I've got to admit that I've never read it either, Si! I was always aware of its existence but never got round to it. My daughter has a copy of it on her bookshelf in her room but I've always found more appealing things to read. Maybe one of these days...

    Next up is what is probably another long-forgotten title by the public at large, but is fondly remembered by those who read it at the time...


    House Of Hammer was published by Top Sellers, and created by Dez Skinn (later Marvel UK editor and Warrior creator) and its format - a combination of comic strips (adapting a different Hammer film each issue), articles and interviews - was later used as a template for the fledgling Doctor Who Weekly. Published initially from 1975-1978, with a later short-lived revival in 1982. The initial run lasted 23 issues with the final few issues retitled Hammers Halls Of Horror. Every month, we'd be treated to to articles, story and art by some of the best talent in the UK at the time...authors such as John Brosnan, Dennis Gifford, Ramsey Campbell, and Alan Frank, and such great artists as Brian Lewis (cover artist for many issues including the one featured here), Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Paul Neary and others. Dez Skinn resurrected the title as a companion magazine to Warrior in 1982 under his Quality imprint using the Halls Of Horror name; this lasted a further 7 issues between 1982-1984.

    An interesting article by Dez Skinn regarding House Of Hammer can be found here on his own site.

  23. #98
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    I suppose these sorts of comics have become obsolete with the DVD market. No need for adaptations if you can buy the real thing. It's a shame, because comic strip adaptations can be quite wonderful and better than the original if done well.

    I'd love to read these now!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  24. #99
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    Back to the 60s now. Odhams Power Comics (later taken over by IPC) were a big-selling range for a short time in the late 60s, publishing a mix of traditional British comic strips and American superhero comics. First there was Smash, which began as a traditional British comic; the Hulk made his first appearance in issue 16 followed by Batman as the cover star in issue 20, due to the popularity of the tv series. Batman remained the cover star for a couple of years, then was displaced by humour strip The Swats And The Blots. The comic also featured many other humour strips such as The Man From BUNGLE, Bad Penny, Percy's Pets and Grimly Feendish as well as adventure strips such as King Of The Ring and Destination: Danger. The superhero content had fell by the wayside by 1969, and the comic ran until 1971, when it was eventually merged into Valiant.



    There were other comics in the range; Wham! and Pow!, like Smash, featured a mix of British and American content, while Fantastic and Terrific concentrated on Marvel superheroes, with only token British back-up strips. However, at this time (1967-68) there was only a very limited amount of Marvel material available for reprinting - the Hulk, Fantastic Four , Avengers etc had only made their first appearances a few years earlier - and all these titles were effectively competing with each other, saturating the market. The material quickly dried up and the comics soon began merging with each other, falling from 5 titles to only one in the space of a year or so. IIRC, Wham was merged into Pow while Terrific was merged into Fantastic, then both Pow and Fantastic were later absorbed into Smash! In the end, the original comic in the range was the one left standing with a bit of a handful of a title...Smash and Pow incorporating Fantastic (below) (commonly jokingly known as Smash! Pow! Wham! incorporating Fantastic and Terrific!)


  25. #100
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    I yearn for the days when you could buy a WHAM! comic and a WHAM! bar for less than 20p.

    CHOMP bars were quite tasty too.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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