Monday, 26 January 2015

1979: ON SALE THIS MONTH: THE NEW SPIDER-MAN COMIC Issue 311 (Marvel UK)


On sale this month in 1979: The first issue of the post-Marvel Revolution THE NEW SPIDER-MAN COMIC (aka Spider-man issue 311).  

This was the most radical overhaul of the British Spider-man comic since its launch in 1973.  The Titans-format era might have messed with the layout... but at least it kept the US pages intact (albeit pretty darn small).

Dez Skinn was convinced that the British Marvel comics would be more successful if they looked more like every other British comic.  So he dumped the glossy covers (which also, not coincidentally, saved a few bob as Dez didn't drop the price to compensate) and crammed as many strips as possible into each issue.

He managed that by taking the scalpel and cow gum to the US art and relaying the pages to cram many more panels onto each page.  Which allowed him to squeeze more, shorter, strips into every issue.  In the new post-revolution world, most of the strips ran no more than three pages (and sometimes, thanks to half-page house ads, less) per week.  

It's a pity he didn't devote the same level of effort to making the eye-straining Pocket Books (launched the following year) more readable by relaying the pages so that they had LESS panels-per-page. 

1990: EPI-LOG MAGAZINE Issue 2


From 1990: the second issue of EPI-LOG, the magazine of episode guides.

Want to know what's inside?  Just glance at the cover...

1993: OPENING SHOT TV DOCUMENTARY in THE EXPLOITS OF SPIDER-MAN (Marvel UK)


From 1993: some behind-the-scenes stills from Tim Quinn's (who also happened to be both the Editor of the very comic these appeared in... as well as the author of the gag strip below) OPENING SHOT documentary devoted to MARVEL UK. 

The documentary captured the British Bullpen at the height of the Genesis Explosion, a time when it genuinely looked like it might be a contender... even if some of the titles being churned out seemed a little - ahem - on the rushed side.  

Unfortunately.... it all collapsed when the bottom dropped out of the market at the end of the year.  

This reveals that the overall series, a spin-off from LWT's Sunday night mainstay THE SOUTH BANK SHOW, had the working title 'The Young Bank Show'.  I can't imagine why they changed that...

This is from THE EXPLOITS OF SPIDER-MAN issue 9, cover-dated 2 June 1993. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

1975: STAN LEE PROMOTES THE TITANS (Marvel UK)


From 1975: Smooth, sophisticated, Seventies super-salesman Stan Lee cranks-up the MARVEL UK hype machine to announce the impending launch of a new weekly!  

Such announcements (along with anything that hinted at a new look, format change, relaunch or free gift) were also most welcome and, in those pre-internet days, usually the first hint that something new was about to land on the shelves of the local newsagent.

Stan was, of course, hawking the new TITANS weekly, which used the new fangled landscape technology to cram two US pages side-by-side on one A4 page.  

The checklist below includes Marvel's adaptation of ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES, which includes a whole pre-title sequence which isn't in the film version (and may... or may not... have been filmed). 

1976: MARVEL UK TITANS-FORMAT WEEKLIES HOUSE AD


From 1976: Two landscape luvlies from the British Bullpen.  This MARVEL UK House Ad appeared in late May. 

1982: ALAN DAVIS WOLVERINE POSTER (Marvel UK)



From 1982: Alan Davis renders Wolverine for the centre-page spread in CAPTAIN AMERICA weekly issue 54 (3 March 1982). 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

1982: SCOOBY-DOO AND HIS TV FRIENDS Launch Ad (Marvel UK)


From March 1982: The launch Ad for MARVEL UK's new SCOOBY-DOO AND HIS TV FRIENDS weekly.  

The Hanna-Barbera tie-in was something of a landmark for the Annex of Ideas as it pointed to a future based on licensed properties and titles pitched at a younger audience. 

I've previously posted most of the covers... starting here.

1983: ON SALE THIS MONTH: SPIKE Issue 1 (DC Thomson)













On sale this month in 1983: the first issue of D.C Thomson's boys anthology weekly SPIKE.

This passed me by entirely at the time, it didn't really stand a chance of catching my attention up against Marvel UK and IPC's books.  I was never much of a DC Thomson fan (with the exception of a few issues of WARLORD and NUTTY) so there was no loyalty... and no appeal.  

It ran for 67 issues, between 22 January 1983 (today!) and 28 April 1984.  

Open the door... and twiddle the knob...

1979: RAMPAGE MONTHLY House Ad (Marvel UK)


From 1979: a full-page MARVEL UK House Ad plugging the wares of RAMPAGE MONTHLY, the UK's second regular outlet for Hulk stories (alongside the green-skinned weekly). 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

1979: MARVEL UK MONTHLIES HOUSE AD


From May 1979: A MARVEL UK House Ad for three of their blockbuster monthlies...STARBURST, RAMPAGE and THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN
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