Red Comet revisited

April 25, 2011

Gosh, he certainly does look red on the cover. The muddy black and white interior artwork isn’t that marvelous either but I’ve scanned it anyway. It was difficult to read in the comic also, with the last story looking particularly washed out as if they were running out of ink in the printing press. I suffer for my art. Now it’s your turn.

Red Comet – The Interplanetary Marvel No 3 Atlas Comics UK

I never liked Judge Dredd (or 2000AD for that matter). That comic began during a period when I had little interest in comics and was perhaps buying just a couple of Warrens each month. I wouldn’t return to purchasing UK comics on a regular basis until the 1980s and Warrior. I’d buy an issue of 2000AD perhaps once a year just out of curiosity. At the risk of enraging Tharg and his supporters, I don’t see that Mr Dredd has any personality to engage the reader. I wouldn’t care if he got blown up or not. I’m sure that was the idea. He’s just a cypher. Like in the Astro City comics that came much later it is the characters both good and bad inhabiting the Megacity that drive the plots. A couple of years ago I purchased a random issue of 2000AD which contained what I consider to be one of the better Judge Dredd stories. So to contrast and compare here is a UK SF comic strip from almost 50 years after the Red Comet. If nothing else it shows how the printing processes have improved immeasurably. Splundig Vur Thrigg. 

Judge Dredd story – 2000AD

PS: These comics below appeared in a forum earlier this year as jpg images. I decided to convert them into cbz files for my own convenience.  As you seldom see copies of Miller and Atlas comics these days, let alone scans of them I thought they were worth putting back out to the Interweb again…….

Diamond Adventure Comics No 11 Atlas Comics UK

Captain Tornado No 86 Miller Comics UK

Marvelman No 328 Miller Comics UK

 

PPS: The Marvelman comic is from 1959. The back cover has this advert for the Magic Tricks/Novelties Mail Order Company (and shop) Ellisdons. They were still going strong in the 1960s when I would send off for a variety of fab gear/tat that usually required a Postal Order of around 1/6d not forgetting the 6d post and packing. Do you remember the strange “throw your voice” device you had to hold in your mouth and be careful not to swallow !! Or the wonderfully named “Seebackroscope” ??

More Red Comet

January 17, 2011

The more adventurous Newsagents shop in the UK of 50 years ago may have contained a few copies of the flimsy monthly comics from the smaller companies like Miller and Atlas along with the usual Fleetway and D.C Thompson weeklies. The more adventurous comic buyer of 50 years ago may well have purchased the odd issue of “Red Comet”. I wonder if they would have realised then that the material contained within was already 20 years old.

Red Comet appeared in approximately the first 20 issues of Fiction House’s famous Science Fiction anthology title “Planet Comics” circa 1941. It was only here in the UK 20 years later however that he got his own comic. The UK Atlas Publishing (no relation to the Timely/Marvel Atlas) produced at least 9 monthly issues in 1961/1962. They contained 28 pages of black and white reprints featuring Fiction House characters such as Red Comet, Auro Lord of Jupiter and Gale Allen at 6d a throw. (Although oddly, issue No 5 doesn’t contain a single Red Comet story despite him being the title character !). The covers are unique to the UK even though the original American Planet Comics covers were usually far better, often showing mini-skirted girls of the future (with 1940s hairstyles) being carried away by gruesome aliens. Looking at the back page advert there were at least six different Atlas monthly comics still being published in early 1962. Space Ace continued until 1963 and may have been their final comic although books continued to be published by Atlas later into the 1960s. I have a few copies of Space Ace and some of the Westerns along with the more well-known Superman/Superboy/Batman/SuperAdventure comics and Annuals I have mentioned in previous blogs. Space Ace was an interesting title as it was one of the few UK Atlas comics that wasn’t full of reprints from the USA. Although it began with UK sourced stories and art after a dozen issues it transformed into an english language version of the Spanish Johnny Galaxia. See here. I’ve never seen a copy of Atlas’ Planet Stories but I presume it would have been similar in appearance and content to the Red Comet ones containing Planet Comics reprints but who knows, it was all before my time. The best (nay, the only) book on this subject is Denis Gifford’s “Space Aces” from 1991. I may have to drag it out and re-read it to remind myself about this forgotten era.

Red Comet

February 25, 2008

red-comet-8.jpg

The Grand Comic Book Database project is an attempt to collate every Comic Book cover from every publisher. They currently have scans of 200,000 Comic Book covers that you can browse through by title/publisher etc etc at:-

http://www.comics.org/index.lasso

I’ve noticed recently more comic covers from other countries are starting to appear on the GCD but here is a cover they are unlikely to have. Red Comet 8 was published by Atlas Comics (no relation) in the UK in 1962. It contains black and white reprints of  stories from Fiction House’s Planet Comics from perhaps 10 years earlier. The cover however doesn’t seem to have been lifted from an issue of Planet Comics