Randlecourt Printers

Sep 1, 2019

Surely this company (with its address of Melton Rd Thurmaston Leicester England) must be connected in some way with Thorpe and Porter. The two published “albums” both contain black and white reprints of Batman stories originally published between 1955 and 1965. I guess the books appeared here in the UK sometime circa 1966 to cash in on the Batcraze that happened once the TV show was introduced.

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Perhaps the original cover artwork wasn’t available as these books use the splash page artwork of the first stories for the book covers (with changes to the positions of word balloons). No one seems to have researched what the correct colours for Batman and Robin’s uniforms ought to be though. It annoyed me when I bought these books in 1966 and still annoys me now.


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Detective Comics 1000

May 1, 2019

We got there in the end. Despite supposedly finishing at issue No 881 in October 2011 I’ve finally got a copy of Detective Comics No 1000 in my hands. As usual it’s been issued with multiple (far too many) variant covers. Detective Comics No 1 appeared cover dated March 1937 although Batman’s first appearance within its pages was No 27 cover dated May 1939. Action Comics No 1 (featuring Superman) was cover dated  June 1938 and yet it still reached issue 1000 almost a year before Detective Comics did. Welcome to the wacky world of comics.

I just wish the contents were more like this particular “homage to the 1950s” variant cover.

The Eternal Triangle

May 1, 2019

 

This panel appeared in a recent Batgirl comic.

The Magazine Rack

Mar 1, 2019

It’s early days yet (although they claim to already have 34000 issues) but I’ll certainly be paying periodic visits to check out The Magazine Rack. I’ve filled in a few gaps in my Warren Magazine collection and old issues of Heavy Metal are always bonkers/interesting. Someone somewhere may still be interested in (very) old Computer magazines. I’ve been flicking through a few of the 650 Meccano Magazines.

Stanley Martin Lieber

Mar 1, 2019

28/12/1922 – 12/11/2018

How few?

Feb 1, 2019

There was a time when I subscribed to a dozen magazines a month. Back Issue, Alter Ego, Old Bike Mart, Radio User, Mojo, you name it. Slowly I’ve let the subscriptions expire and resisted renewing. The final subscription I still maintained was for a Titan DC reprint bimonthly. Today I received this email:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR DC COMICS SUBSCRIBERS
Dear Sir,
We regret to inform you that Titan Magazines Ltd is ceasing to publish all of the DC Comic ranges. Issue Vol3 No12 is the last issue of DC Universe Presents: Justice League.
Both Titan Magazines Ltd and DC thank you for your support and love for the DC characters and universe.

So (unless someone takes on the franchise) for the first time in my life there are no british reprints of DC comics available. I can’t say I’m surprised. The eight (mostly Batman) titles were becoming increasingly difficult to locate. Tesco stopped them years ago. Recently they (and the Marvel reprints) were even missing from W.H Sm*ths. Magazines across the board are failing. I thought I’d look around the Interweb to see how many comics were still being purchased in the States. It made depressing reading. Comic Book sales to comic shops for the month of November 2018 according to Diamond Distributors were as follows.

1Uncanny X-Men 01              176,125
2 Green Lantern 01                113,651
4 Amazing Spider-Man 10  103,636
5 Batman 58                               94,930
9 Avengers 10                              77,715
11 Justice League 11                 74,204
12 Fantastic Four 03               72,597
20 Superman 05                        54,727
68 Harley Quinn 53                 27,903
497 Elvira Mistress of Dark 02 397

I’m amazed that the X-Men are still top (although the fact that we’re back to another No 1 may have helped). Batman sells almost twice as many as Superman. The former fan favourite Harley Quinn must be close to being cancelled. My personal favourite, Elvira, only just scraped into the top 500 comics with a mere 397 issues sold. There’s a future collectors item. It’s surprising there is still a choice of over 500 different titles each month. I’m sure many if not most only continue due to the film franchises (or the vain hope that a low selling title is picked up by a film/TV company and becomes the next big thing). . PS: To put things in perspective. In the 1950s the Beano here sold approaching 2 million copies PER WEEK. Even in the 1960s/1970s comics in the UK sold around 200,000 issues per title PER WEEK. There was a massive decline of titles/circulation in the 1980s but issues sold still exceeded the figures in the USA now (and the population of the UK is a fifth of the size of the USA).

Not 1948

Sep 1, 2018


Doesn’t anyone proofread anything any more? The inside cover of the current issue (Volume 2 Number 10) of the Titan UK reprint titled Superman/Batman spreads disinformation about when the first appearance of Superman in the States actually happened. They’re only ten years out.

The 1950s K.G Murray Superman comics weren’t the first time reprints of Superman appeared in the UK. “Triumph” comic reprinted Superman for 21 issues beginning in 1939. The run from #772-793 includes four with a Superman cover appearance.

The Atlas annuals and Thorpe and Porter’s “Super DC” in the 1960s through Egmont’s magazines, pocket books and annuals in the 1980s right up to the current Titan reprints have all featured Superman here in the UK. Often forgotten about is Fleetway’s “Radio Fun” comics of 1959 to 1961 that featured Superman. Superman daily newspaper strips were adapted here into two page (or sometimes one-and-a-half page) stories. “Radio Fun” merged with “Buster” in 1961. So Superman also appeared in “Buster” for a few months too.


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They used the same image a few weeks later!?! Kids in the UK would assume Superman’s costume was all-red.
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PS:Buster comic began May 1960 and would go on to incorporate the following defunct UK comics, sometimes continuing with a couple of strips from the now-defunct title:
Radio Fun
Film Fun
Giggle
Jet
Cor!
Monster Fun
Jackpot
School Fun
Nipper
Oink
Whizzer and Chips
(and of course the above comics had also incorporated other titles themselves.)
The last Buster comic appeared in January 2000.

Yet More Gutsman

Aug 1, 2017

I’ve mentioned Gutsman comics before here and here. They aren’t the easiest comics to track down so when I bumped into these recently whilst visiting eBay looking for something else entirely I just had to acquire them.

These comics are pretty odd and unique being wordless, although there are a number of “word balloons” (filled with images not words!). And neat touches like games and paper dolls to cut out.

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Erik seems to have moved up a few gears since the Gutsman days. He’s now producing Graphic novels. In 2016 “In the Pines” was published and is available in German, French, Italian (and presumably Dutch/Flemish) but not currently in English (PS: An English version appeared in 2018) . His next graphic novel will be about Vikings in the year 900AD!!

Wonder Woman is back in the news with a new movie. Which gives me the perfect excuse to listen (?!?) to this comic book. If you’d like to listen to this comic book too then click here.

There were a number of these “Peter Pan” records and comics produced in the late 1970s. I enjoyed this one immensely and am now on the lookout for more.

Surprisingly the story in the comic book that accompanies this record is unique and not a reprint from an earlier DC comic. The artwork is surprisingly good too. According to the GCD it was drawn by Rich Buckler and inked by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano from a period when both were at the top of their game.