March 9, 2008
Alan Class produced a range of black and white comics in the UK from 1961 to 1989..ish. I can’t be precise because Alan never put any date on any comic. All the comics were pretty much interchangeable despite the different titles like Astounding, Uncanny, Sinister Tales or Creepy Worlds. The contents were a mixture of 1950s and 1960s SF anthology material from the USA. This varied from ACG, Charlton, Atlas-era Marvel and sometimes Marvel Superheroes like early FF and Spiderman all mixed up without any continuity whatsoever. By the early 1970s Alan had used all the material in his posession and so just shuffled all the stories up and carried on publishing his magazines with reprints of reprints until slow sales and distribution problems ended the line in the late 1980s.
Here is Creepy Worlds 40 from the 1960s. The price throughout the 1960s was One Shilling for 68 pages. Note how Alan has invented his own version of a Comics Code stamp where he approves his own comic!!
By Creepy Worlds 152 the material was coming around again. The price has increased to 10p placing this issue somewhere in the mid 1970s. Alan had removed the word “new” from the cover and evidently thought twice about his “approved” endorsement.
Four or five years later we have reached issue 186 and Alan evidently assumed his readers had forgotten the earlier issues and the same magazine re-appeared, now costing 20p.
When these magazines were current very few comic fans seemed to bother to collect them. Now, in hindsight they are often the only place to read reprints from issues of ACG’s “Adventures into the Unknown”, early 1960s Charlton stuff and pre-monster Marvel/Atlas material from the likes of ”Marvel Tales”, “Journey into Mystery” and “Strange Tales”. Often very early 1950s “pre-code” stories from Atlas comics like “Mystery Tales” and “Uncanny Tales” would appear. My advice then is that if you see an Alan Class comic going cheap (and they usually do) then buy it..
For completeness here is Charlton’s Unusual Tales 29. It appears that here in the UK we had a far greater chance of reading this early 1960s Charlton material right through the 1960s and into the 1980s than comic buyers in the States !!!
Here is the cover from Creepy Worlds 245 from the 1980s. Note how Alan Class has used the cover from Charlton’s Out of this World 1 from 1956. Not wanting to waste a word for one issue only the title changes from “Creepy Worlds” to “Creepy World” !!
This is the back page from Astounding Stories 115. It seems that Alan Class is advertising for back issues of his own magazines!! The address is certainly the same. Perhaps he needed them to copy so he could re-issue them once more?? I wonder if he still has a collection of pre-war UK comics? I am aware that in 2007 Alan put his file copies up for sale at 30th Century Comics in London. There are sill some issues currently available.