January 7, 2011
You have to feel sorry for all those comic book readers in the USA in the 1960s and 1970s. They really missed out on a lot of comics whilst here in the UK we enjoyed the best of both worlds. Along with a plentiful supply of imported Marvel and DC comics we had hundreds of our own weekly and monthly comics and magazines ranging in size from the newspaper-sized Big One to the umpteen pocket digests. And our comics had a much more diverse subject matter than the Superheroes and Funny animals that by then once more dominated the american market. We had many comics that concentrated on sport in all its many forms. Some pocket digests, and the odd comic such as Rover and Wizard still contained text stories rather than sequential strips.
I really ought to read the cover story to see what the significance of the bow and arrow is. Perhaps all their “ray guns” needed a recharge and good old british ingenuity saved the day ?? Seeing this cover again jogs my mind back to when I used to get this comic delivered every monday by the local newsagent along with my parents’ Daily Sketch. Being full of text stories it was a comic my father approved of unlike those trashy american ones.
Both Rover and The Wizard were long-running D.C.Thompson comics that had amalgamated in 1963. By 1969 the “Wizard” part of the title disappeared ready for its re-launch as a seperate title in 1970. Just to confuse things even more, when the Rover finally folded in early 1973 it re-re-merged with The Wizard this time being called The Wizard and Rover until its final demise in 1978.
At the time I didn’t find it the least bit strange that I was buying such chalk and cheese comics as Not Brand Echh, Marvel Collectors Item Classics, Jimmy Olsen, ACG’s Forbidden Worlds, Alan Class comics, Commando, The Eagle, TV21, Rover and Wizard, The Topper or Tornado etc ad infinitum sometimes all on the same day in the 1960s. I guess you really had to be there……