Spine roll

January 1, 2013

Adventures into the Unknown 20

ACGs “Adventures into the Unknown” is claimed to be the first ever continuing horror comic, beginning in 1948. After the Comic Code was introduced, unlike EC who cancelled most of their comics in disgust, ACG more pragmatically continued publishing by replacing their vampire and werewolf stories with (often quite cleverly written) mysteries and ghost stories.

There were at least 20 (monthly?) issues of the UK version of ACG’s “Adventures into the Unknown” published between 1958 and 1960 by The Arnold Book Company and/or Thorpe and Porter/Strato Publications Ltd depending whether you look on the front cover or the back cover or at the indicia inside. Issue 20 was probably published in 1960. It has an advert on the back cover showing issue No 2 of the UK version of “Mad Magazine” and issue No 1 of “Mad” is documented as having begun in October 1959. As well as containing the entire contents of AITU 107 (April 1959) this magazine also includes the contents of Marvel’s (quite recent!) “Tales to Astonish” No 7 (January 1960) and two stories from “Astonish” No 5. You got value for your shilling in 1960, despite those “big 68 pages” being only in glorious black and white. Now, a mere 52 years later, you get a crumbling, yellowing artifact still only worth a shilling but now also suffering from the dreaded “spine roll”. Although it sort of survives digitally here the comic itself barely survives. It didn’t like being scanned and is now well and truly broken.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words….so thats just saved me explaining any of the above.

Forbidden Worlds

July 20, 2008

Thorpe and Porter sometimes called themselves “Strato” despite putting a “TP” logo (over the comic code stamp) on the front of their square-bound black and white reprint comics of the early 1960s. Being square-bound and glued many have suffered from the dreaded spine roll.

forbidden-worlds-5

For completeness here is the original ACG comic. The Thorpe and Porter edition has half of the ACG logo on the cover !! The contents are a mixture of ACG material along with DC Science Fiction from My Greatest Adventure, Mystery in Space, House of Mystery/Secrets or similar. Stupidly the reprint even reprints the letters page from Forbidden Worlds 77 in our Forbidden Worlds 8 even though some of the letters refer to stories featured in ACGs number 73 which wouln’t make much sense to British readers. I think there were only 10 issues of this reprint title. By the early 1960s Thorpe and Porter were importing the original ACG comics (along with DCs etc etc) into the UK.

Other reprint titles that were available from “Strato” in the UK at the time included Mystery in Space, Adventures into the Unknown, Out of this World, Justice Traps the Guilty, Blackhawk and one lone Superhero……The Flash. Issue No 1 began appropriately enough reprinting the original Issue 105 along with other DC fare…albeit in black and white.

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