February 1, 2015
Charlton Comics “Out of this World” ran for 16 issues from 1956 to 1959. British black and white reprints appeared first courtesy of Thorpe and Porter. Of course being 68 pages and square-bound additional stories, often from other Charlton comics or even other publishers were also used. For some reason the Grand Comics Database, using logic only a Gallifrayan could understand, believes that the British reprints were issued five years before the original Charlton comics when the Thorpe and Porter comics clearly use the Charlton covers and logo.
The cover image of the Thorpe and Porter reprint had to be stretched to remove the bizarre Charlton “win a swimming pool” competition.
Soon after the Thorpe and Porter series finished in the early 1960s Alan Class began his own series of “Out of this World” (and further issues would be re-reprinted in the 1970s).
PS: Out of this World 6 contains the classic Ditko tale “The Little Things”. Even the powers that be at Charlton must have thought it was one of their better stories as it featured on the cover when it first appeared in “Out of this World” 16. And even if you don’t like science Fiction comic strips there is always the back cover of the Thorpe and Porter reprint to enjoy. The inside back cover contains a classic Ellisdons Novelty advert and the back cover gives you a useful checklist of all the British Classics illustrated comics published up to that point.
May 6, 2008
Alan Class Comics’ UK science fiction anthology comic “Out of this World” ran for 23 issues in the mid 1960s. If you look the title up in the Grand Comics Database Cover Gallery they claim that issue No 1 came out in 1962. I believe it was later than that.. possibly 1964 or 1965. I bought these comics new off the spinner racks in 1966 and 1967. In fact I continued to buy similar Alan Class reprint comics with titles like “Suspense” and “Uncanny” until the company ceased publishing in 1989. “Out of this World” consisted of 68 black and white pages for a Shilling. (That was 5p in pre-decimal money.) That was also the same price as a 36 page Marvel or DC comic…but the US comics did have the luxury of colour.
Matters are complicated by there being no date EVER on any Alan Class book. And without the problems of a date on the cover there was always the possibility of repeat printings or even unsold warehouse stock appearing in the shops a few years after the original print runs. With Alan Class comics anything is possible.
You’d think Alan would have reprinted the Charlton books in order using the Charlton covers, but no that would be too logical. These books contained a mixture of Charlton SF stuff, Captain Atom, Marvel monsters…even early adventures of the Mighty Thor with the covers often giving no clue to what was to be found inside.
For example what is most interesting about Alan Class Comics “Out of this World” No 17 is that it contains (for possibly the first time in the UK) a reprint of Spiderman’s Origin story from “Amazing Fantasy” 15.
Lets just enlarge that last panel. I wonder if Stan Lee and Steve Ditko realised quite what an impact Spiderman would have. Still, its a powerful line for a then obscure story in an obscure “Fantasy” Comic Book.
“With great power there must also come – – great responsibility!” A few Politicians should heed that!
Postscript. There was a second series of “Out of this World” that ran for 10 issues. The GCD have definitely got their dates mixed up here. They have No 1 being published in 1964 and yet the cover clearly shows a price of 20p. That places the comic AFTER 1971 when decimal currency began. I think 1974 is more likely the correct date for these.