And more Fantastic Tales

Nov 1, 2020

In 2015 and again in 2017 I discussed the odd fact that Thorpe and Porter’s Fantastic Tales numbers 8 and 10 both sported identical covers. This amused/puzzled me. If, as was likely this reprint series was published monthly (circa 1963?) you would have thought someone in the company would have noticed. If they couldn’t find any new artwork for number 10 then why not use a much earlier cover image rather than one issued weeks earlier that quite likely was still sitting on newsagents shelves.

In one of those earlier posts I said that although I owned both issues I could only find number 10. Whilst looking for something else I unearthed number 8 just the other day. I like tying up loose ends. I’d wondered if, as the covers were the same then the contents might be too. No, both issues do have completely different content. Here is a list of the delights to be found within issue number 8.

Davinci’s wig
Explanation please
Cave drawing
Luck of the Zanubis
Annals of the occult
Mirror of magic
Drobny’s domain
Pie in the sky
Mr Matthews mermaid
The road back
The vortex
From many lands
The anti gravity menace

Most of the contents had originally appeared in a couple of ACG comics published in 1958. There was one story that originally appeared in a 1958 DC House of Mystery. The most interesting story was The Vortex as the art was provided by the legendary Al Williamson. His neat style was quite a contrast to the majority of the other stories pencilled by the likes of Ogden Whitney or Kurt Shaffenberger in the ACG “house style”.

Odd fact. These exact same stories, but arranged in a different order had already appeared in a British reprint comic a few years earlier, namely Adventures into the Unknown 5 published by The Arnold Book Company (ABC). This series must have been printed and distributed by Thorpe and Porter. In fact later issues lost the ABC logos and displayed the T&P “tee-pee” stamp on the covers.

2 Responses to “And more Fantastic Tales”

  1. Niblet Says:

    A very ‘woke’ use of pronouns (they/them) by the panicked crowds in Trafalgar Square when referring to the airborne creature. Does the cover illustration relate to any of the contents of either version of the comic, or was it just a generic ‘Britain in peril’ scene designed to attract UK purchasers?

  2. “Britain in peril”? I think I’d prefer an alien invasion to the current Covid situation. That would really give the rolling news channels something to talk about! Most British reprint comics such as those from Alan Class used existing cover illustrations. Fantastic Tales is unusual in using their own artwork which bore no relation to the interior stories.
    PS: The Grand Comic Database is a useful place to visit whilst in lockdown. Looking at it seems they are missing 3 cover images. I wonder if I own them? Hmm. Better start looking. Something else to do during lockdown.

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