January 1, 2013
Although they are now 38 years old it still seems to be quite easy to get the 1975-version Atlas Comics for not too much money. Galactus knows why, but on an impulse I’ve just acquired a stack of them from eBay. And I’ve still got loads that I foolishly bought when they were new!! Despite supposedly having given up “collecting” years ago, and as I’m so near to a full set, against my better judgement I feel an overwhelming urge to locate the missing issues now that I have virtually the complete checklist right here. I’m only missing the (difficult to find in the UK ) one-shot Gothic Romances and two Monster Mags.
Marvel Comics had called themselves Atlas for a period in the late 1950s. The UK also had an Atlas Publications producing comics and annuals at the same time. Most likely due to editorial disarray and a belief that as long as it looked like a Marvel comic it would sell in truckloads Seaboard/Atlas only survived for 6 months in 1975. By the time the returns began flooding in, it must have been obvious that the comics weren’t selling.
In 2011 three of the Seaboard Atlas characters re-appeared with updated versions of The Grim Ghost, Phoenix and Wulf the Barbarian. I dunno if they’re still being published now though. And I don’t think they’re likely to resurrect Vicki…….
Out of the 70 original 1975 comics and magazines spanning 28 titles there were 4 issues of Vicki. The other comics may have been of variable quality but at least they were new, if a trifle derivative of contemporary Marvel material. Vicki comics were derivative of Archie comics and also reprints. The covers may have been new but the stories in the 4 issues had originally appeared in the 1960s in Tower’s Tippy Teen comics. Some of the Tippy/Vicki artwork was slightly re-drawn to make the clothes a little less dated, but they still looked like Archie comics from a decade earlier.
October 13, 2011
The “Golden Age” UK/Australian Atlas/K.G.Murray Superman No 29 published in August 1952 reprinted the cover story from Superman 73 dated Nov/Dec 1951. No sideways comics this time.
I like this exchange between Lois and Superman from the backup story “The Anti-Superman Club” (originally found in Superman 71).
September 29, 2011
The “Golden Age” UK/Australian Atlas/K.G.Murray Superman No 24 published in March 1952 reprinted the cover story from Action Comics 155 from a year earlier. The rest of the comic was made up of DC material from other places such as the Johnny Quick story that was originally found in Adventure 150.
Apart from the missing gun on the cover the oddest thing about this comic, (and presumably other comics issued by Kenneth G.Murray at the time) was that half of the comic consisted of two DC pages reduced and printed sideways. Not something you see every day.
April 25, 2011
Gosh, he certainly does look red on the cover. The muddy black and white interior artwork isn’t that marvelous either but I’ve scanned it anyway. It was difficult to read in the comic also, with the last story looking particularly washed out as if they were running out of ink in the printing press. I suffer for my art. Now it’s your turn.
I never liked Judge Dredd (or 2000AD for that matter). That comic began during a period when I had little interest in comics and was perhaps buying just a couple of Warrens each month. I wouldn’t return to purchasing UK comics on a regular basis until the 1980s and Warrior. I’d buy an issue of 2000AD perhaps once a year just out of curiosity. At the risk of enraging Tharg and his supporters, I don’t see that Mr Dredd has any personality to engage the reader. I wouldn’t care if he got blown up or not. I’m sure that was the idea. He’s just a cypher. Like in the Astro City comics that came much later it is the characters both good and bad inhabiting the Megacity that drive the plots. A couple of years ago I purchased a random issue of 2000AD which contained what I consider to be one of the better Judge Dredd stories. So to contrast and compare here is a UK SF comic strip from almost 50 years after the Red Comet. If nothing else it shows how the printing processes have improved immeasurably. Splundig Vur Thrigg.
PS: These comics below appeared in a forum earlier this year as jpg images. I decided to convert them into cbz files for my own convenience. As you seldom see copies of Miller and Atlas comics these days, let alone scans of them I thought they were worth putting back out to the Interweb again…….
PPS: The Marvelman comic is from 1959. The back cover has this advert for the Magic Tricks/Novelties Mail Order Company (and shop) Ellisdons. They were still going strong in the 1960s when I would send off for a variety of fab gear/tat that usually required a Postal Order of around 1/6d not forgetting the 6d post and packing. Do you remember the strange “throw your voice” device you had to hold in your mouth and be careful not to swallow !! Or the wonderfully named “Seebackroscope” ??
February 3, 2011
The first of the four Atlas “Space” Annuals was the most comicy (is that even a word?) of the lot. Plenty of Space Ace stories and even a smattering (is that a word either?) of half page humour strips along with the photos and articles.
Luckily it is only 64 pages short, and a small amount of bribery has resulted in acceptable scans of all pages. Just scroll down and click on the link. Simples.
January 21, 2011
Before my thoughts wander back to more sensible subjects (?!?) like crap 1970s pop music or offshore radio there is one more series by the Atlas Publishing and Distributing Company Ltd (to give them their full title) from the 1960s that at least deserves a mention.
In 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966 Atlas published a book presumably for teenagers and presumably on sale in time for Xmas (sorry I’m supposed to say “Christmas”) titled “The Book of Space Adventures” and subtitled “The latest developments in the world space programmes” which was quite a lofty claim !!
The 1963 edition must have been published in late 1962. It contained a number of factual articles and photographs of rockets and jet planes along with “Space Ace” adventure strips. The 1964 and 1965 editions followed a similar format only with “Ace Jordan” strips. Actually, thinking about it, these were probably Space Ace stories too. I don’t own a copy of the final 1966 book but I have found a picture of the striking and quite modern-looking cover.
As was usual for the times half the strips were in duo-colour (an odd yellow/blue in the case of the 1965 No 3 Annual) and the other half were “fully coloured”. Now their idea of colour and mine doesn’t quite correspond. They could well have been coloured by an infant class in school at break time using a combination of spit and blunt crayons such is the strange finished results !! This page is perhaps the best of the bunch. The rest have “scribble” backgrounds.