Thursday, 18 September 2014

2014: SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

1 April 1978

April 1987

Today is decision day… and whatever the outcome, history will be made.  

So here's two very different, but patriotic, covers to make the occasion.  

1980: WESTERN GUNFIGHTERS SPECIALS (Marvel UK)

Summer 1980

Winter 1980

Summer 1981

Science Fiction was still the hot property in the playground during 1980 and 1981 (fuelled by the release of ESB, MISSION GALACTICA and the belated TV debuts of Battlestar and Buck Rogers), so it's slightly odd that the British Bullpen were so convinced that kids really wanted to read about cowboys.

MARVEL UK even announced a monthly WESTERN GUNFIGHTERS title in 1981… although it never actually launched and the project was quietly dropped.   

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

1988: FLASH GORDON in AMAZING HEROES Magazine


This special issue of 1980s fan magazine AMAZING HEROES (issue 137, 15 March 1988) was devoted to the many facets of FLASH GORDON, including the new DC Comics interpretation (which I posted about here many moons (of Mongo) ago).  

1984: SPIDER-MAN WINTER SPECIAL (Marvel UK)


MARVEL UK'S Winter (or "Christmas" herein) 1984 SPIDER-MAN SPECIAL, published in the album format (square-bound with card covers and colour interiors, albeit not particularly well presented) reprinted the 46th issue of the US WHAT IF book.

1992: DEATH'S HEAD II LAUNCH AD (Marvel UK)


This launch add for the DEATH'S HEAD II limited series, the title that kick-started (in all but name) the GENESIS 1992 line from MARVEL UK, was one of a series of one-page House Ads for the "Big Guns" promotion (a marketing push for edgier/ violent fare such as Cage, Silver Sable, the Punisher and Deathlok).

The campaign obviously worked as the initial DHII series was a massive seller (M-UK went back to print with a silver ink second edition) and kick-started the whole G92 project (none of the characters appear in this series but the back pages contained various House Ads and previews teasing the first wave of titles).

This ad appeared across the US line, this particular one is from (of all places) the one-shot CAPTAIN AMERICA movie adaptation.  

1997: STAR TREK in MARVEL VISION MAGAZINE







This is a 1997 article on MARVEL's roster of STAR TREK titles that appeared in their in-house "fan magazine" MARVEL VISION (issue 20, August 1997).

This was, of course, Marvel's second crack at the franchise following their ill-fated 1980-82 run which dropped out of warp speed after only eighteen issues.

MARVEL VISION was the successor to the long-running (over a decade!) MARVEL AGE MAGAZINE which itself, after a hiatus, replaced FOOM magazine (albeit with much wider distribution).  

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

1989: DEATH'S HEAD HOUSE AD (Marvel UK)


This was a one-page strip-cum-House Ad that appeared across the MARVEL UK range in late 1988/ early 1989.  It was, of course, plugging DEATH'S HEAD's US-format monthly.  

1983: SCHOOL FUN House Ad Campaign (IPC)


15 October 1983


22 October 1983


29 October 1983


5 November 1983

These are the IPC House Ads that launched 1983's new humour weekly: SCHOOL FUN.  They petered out after the fourth issue...

2000: STARLOG UK Issue 1


By special request, the launch issue of the British edition of the venerable STARLOG from May 2000.

I must confess that I didn't buy this at the time and I don't know much about the details.  US imports of Starlog had been appearing in newsagents for over a decade (I was a regular buyers around the time that ST: TNG launched in 1987) so I don't know if this was effectively competing with the US edition… or whether it replaced it.  

The print dimensions were wider than A4 which is why the edges are cut off on my A4 scanner.

Monday, 15 September 2014

1983: SCHOOL FUN Issue 1 (IPC)


It's back-to-school so, to mark the occasion, here's the first issue of IPC's ill-fated SCHOOL FUN, an October 1983 launch which tried to make - ahem - school fun.  It ran for 33 weeks, two holiday specials and one annual.

The Kings Reach Tower mandarins were smart enough to throw in a little star power: two of the strips were based on characters from CORONATION STREET and GRANGE HILL.

Swift failure can probably be attributed to kids not wishing to be reminded of school when they're not in it.  It merged, as so many comics did, with BUSTER in May 1984.
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