September 1, 2016
Before the advent of the TV series, Batman books were few and far between. The Atlas annuals weren’t very easy to locate. Once Batmania took hold Batmerchandise was everywhere. The first Batman paperbacks I saw were these from 1966 which featured a handful of fun late 1940s/early 1950s stories at one or two panels per page.
There was another New English Library/4 square Batman paperback at the time featuring The Penguin along with a novel entitled “The three villains of Doom”.
These English paperbacks had front covers that were slightly different to the American versions upon which they were based.
August 1, 2015
How do you spell Dinosaur? Yes, I thought so. Back in 1958 DC comics evidently didn’t proofread the covers.
But they got it right inside on the splash page.
When Atlas produced their second Batman Annual at least they got the cover spelling of “dinosaur” right. But then they go and change the word “death” into “mystery”. When DC comics got round to re-printing this same story (in Batman Annual 6) they too corrected the spelling and this time changed the title to “Doom in Dinosaur Hall”. Evidentally “Death” was no longer allowed.
It’s interesting to note that the first DC comics Batman Annual came out in the summer of 1961. Our first (1960) Atlas Batman Annual would have appeared in the autumn of 1959 beating them by more than 18 months. Of course Atlas had already been producing Superman Annuals for years.
November 1, 2014
February 1, 2014
It’s well over two years since DC comics re-launched most of their titles. So, it was inevitable that Detective Comics No 27 would come round again. Of course, the May 1939 Detective Comics No 27 is famous for featuring the first appearance of Batman. Now, a mere 75 years later the character has entered folklore and appears in more monthly titles than you can shake a stick at.
It’s probably time to shake a stick at Marvel Comics too. This month a number of their titles have re-booted back to number ones. I can’t get too excited. It’s not like it’s the first time. Flicking through a few of the new issues they look as unreadable as ever. I will pick up the new She-Hulk No 1, but the current creators have some very big boots to fill……
December 16, 2010
Due to my habit of slipping newspaper cuttings etc inside books I do tend to stumble upon some odd things. This tatty Postcard dropped out of a NEL Batman paperback (which was probably the first place I ever saw a few of Batman’s Golden Age adventures in black and white one panel per page !).
The drawing pin hole evidentally signifies that this card was pinned upon my bedroom wall in 1966 !! Interestingly the reverse states that it was printed by Gerald G. Swan. He was of course famous in the late 1940s/1950s for pulp magazines and some extremely odd UK comics. Although I have a Wells Fargo book of his dated 1964 I am surprised his company was still in business as late as 1966 (although checking the Interweb I see he would only have been 64 years young then).
November 4, 2010
The most interesting thing about last week’s relaunch of “The Dandy” was that it DIDN’T have a free gift sellotaped to the front. Once upon a time a free gift was only found in the first three issues of new titles, or used sparingly in existing comics for special events or to boost flagging sales. Now the bottom shelves are full of plastic bags containing so many toys and novelties that the comics also included seem like the free gifts.
In November 1965 the free gift of a Guy Fawkes mask in “Buster” must have tempted me. I’ve preserved one of these cardboard masks somewhere pushed inside one of the many Annuals that still reside in my “library”. Of course, I couldn’t find it today so I hope the people at http://www.bustercomic.co.uk don’t mind me borrowing their picture. I’ve no idea if Guy Fawkes actually looked anything like that. I think I may have mentioned before (and perhaps I’m stating the obvious and it is common knowledge ??) that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this image wasn’t the inspiration for the early 1980s Lloyd/Moore “V for Vendetta” strip.
What I did find was this similar idea of a very odd cardboard Batman mask from around 1966. I don’t know if this came free in a comic or was just sold as-is. Actually, it is so odd that if it didn’t actually SAY Batman on the forehead no one would know what it was meant to be !!
October 1, 2010
I just couldn’t resist looking up Batman No 62 from 1950.
The Knight and Squire have a remarkable number of similarities to their transatlantic heroes. Obviously they live in a mansion with a secret cave beneath. To emphasise that they are in England Robin says such gems as “Jolly meeting you here old bean”. Later the Knight requests a tea break whilst they are chasing the crooks. The phrase “The blighter’s balmy” is evidentally referring to the weather ?? Batman and Robin disguise themselves as the Brits to save their secret identities. Everyone lives happily ever after apart from the villains.