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.


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.


More Fantastic Tales

Jun 1, 2017

If I needed confirmation that I have TOO MANY COMICS here it is! A couple of years ago I pointed out the oddness of a couple of Thorpe and Porter comics from circa 1962/1963. Fantastic Tales No 8 and Fantastic Tales No 10 both sport identical cover images! The question was, were the whole contents of both issues identical too???

At the time I only owned issue No 8. I have recently acquired issue No 10, but am still none-the-wiser! Of course I’m unable to find issue No 8 (It’s within one of two hundred boxes). And stupidly I never thought to list the contents of that issue (or even open it, let alone read it!).

So, just for the record this is the rubbish/bonkers stuff that appears in issue No 10.
The Greater Evil
Bells and Noises
My Strange Godfather
The man who wasn’t there
Doctor Marlin’s menagerie
Annals of the Occult
The strangeness of Mr McGillicuddy
More Annals of the Occult
The Booster shots
Return of the Pequod
Yet more Annals of the Occult
The Old Man

Most of these black and white reprints were originally presented in ACG’s Forbidden Worlds 58 and Adventures into the Unknown 88 both cover dated September 1957. There were a couple of Charlton tales too. One whose origin I can’t identify and one which originally appeared in Out of this World 3 cover dated March 1957. (Oh, and I  mustn’t forget the adverts for T&P Classics Illustrated comics, sand-kicking Charles Atlas and Thorpe and Porter Western paperbacks).

Fantastic Tales

May 1, 2015

Fantastic Tales 8

I’m puzzled. Did issue 10 have the same contents as issue 8 ?!?



Fantastic Tales 10

This article found inside an old copy of “Paperbacks Pulp & Comic Collector” magazine sheds some more light onto the beginning, middle and end of this Leicester based publisher and distributor. Most of the article refers to paperbacks rather than comics. However the Grand Comic Database has recently begun to expand it’s listings (and sometimes cover images) of these increasingly forgotten UK comics.

Thorpe and Porter


PS: As well as producing their own comics, and tearing off thousands of comic covers to create the “Double Double” publications, Thorpe and Porter are most well known as the people who imported and distributed Marvel/DC/Dell/Charlton/ACG (and others?) comics to British newsagents in the 1960s and early 1970s. Marvel had the foresight to print covers with British prices already on. DC and the rest made Thorpe and Porter work. I wonder how many (or how few) people Thorpe and Porter employed to stamp the prices onto the covers of (predominately) DC comics back then. First it was 9d, then 10d, 1/-, 5p, 6p, 7½p etc.  That must have been a mind-numbingly thankless task. It was evidently done manually, rather than by machine as each cover would have the price in a different place. Mostly a light-coloured area was chosen, which usually meant the hero’s face! Can YOU spot the Thorpe and Porter British price stamp on these covers?

Superman 174

Lois Lane 119

Metal Men 34

Here it is enlarged…..

Thorpe and Porter 1 shilling price stamp

And enlarged again………..

close up

Out of this World 6

Out of this World 6 Thorpe and Porter 1960

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.

Out of this World 15

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). 

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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.

The Little Things in black and white

The Little Things in colour

Out of this World 16

Eerie number one

Dec 1, 2013


If you count a few hundred “Mads” and a number of “pocketbooks”, Thorpe and Porter produced a couple of thousand (mostly black and white reprints of American) books and comics between the early 1950s and the mid 1970s. I believe there were only three issues of “Eerie” circa 1952. This British version contained the contents of Avon’s “Eerie” No 1 and to fill up the remainder of the 68 pages, SF/Fantasy stories “Dara the Viking” and “The weapon out of time” from Avon’s “Strange worlds” No 2 and “Crom the Barbarian” from Avon’s “Out of this World Adventures” No 1. But not all issues of Eerie No 1 appear to be the same !?!


The copy available on the Interweb doesn’t contain the strips from “Strange Worlds” or “Out of this World Adventures”. It consists of black and white versions of the whole of Avon’s “Eerie” No 1 and No 2 between different inside and back covers. Either this was a “copy-and-paste” job (which is doubtful considering the source of the file) or my copy has been tampered with (looks original to me), or there were actually two completely different versions of this comic !!! Looking at the “Classics Illustrated” ads It appears that my copy is the earlier of the two. The images on the blog are from my issue. Here is the “other” issue.

Thorpe and Porter comics 1952

Many Thorpe and Porter titles disappeared after a few issues, but Kid Colt, Tomahawk, Laurel and Hardy and Korak had respectable runs. The “Classics Illustrated” issues were very popular. Here is the back inside cover and the back cover from my “Eerie” number 1.

CI 1952

Classics illustrated UK advert 1952

Spine roll

Jan 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.

Space Comics

Sep 1, 2011

Being completely underwhelmed by the avalanche of No 1 DC comics I find myself reading a comic from before I was born.  Issue 75 of the Arnold Book Company’s Captain Valiant, Ace of the Interplanetary Police Patrol….or is it called “Space Comics” ?  From what info I can find, this comic began with issue number 50 (!?!) and after a few weeks as a monthly was published twice a fortnight until the final issue, number 81 in 1954. Other Arnold comics such as Black Magic and Justice Traps the Guilty were more often published monthly, and often consisted of 68 squarebound pages rather than 28. The usual suspects of Mick Anglo and Denis Gifford etc were involved in this issue. The Arnold Book Company was headed  by Arnold Miller, son of Len. Mick Anglo would soon be opening his own studio and launching the Marvelman franchise for Len Miller. 57 years later it would be raining.

Space Comics 75 ABC Comics (Arnold Book Company) April 1954

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

Super DC

Sep 21, 2008

Super DC was another UK black and white anthology of various DC characters published by Thorpe and Porter under the guise of “Top Sellers”. Issue No 1 appeared in June 1969 and it continued monthly until No 14 in July 1970. I believe there was also a hardback Annual for Xmas 1969.

The back page of Issue No 4 reminds us of the “proper” DC comics imported by Thorpe and Porter. Although I never knew of anyone being able to order specific titles. Most newsagents just received an assorted bundle of comics for their spinner racks.

I can’t imagine that even if you did create an interesting new foe for Batman it would be seen by anyone outside of the “Top Sellers” office.

As this comic was “magazine” sized rather than the usual american comicbook dimensions there was often cut-and-pasting with the original panels re-arranged to fit the available space for the UK reprints.

Forbidden Worlds

Jul 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.


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.


I couldn’t resist buying this comic recently. I owned a copy when it was first issued in the mid 1960s and immediately wished I’d spent the money more wisely. It was quickly disposed of. Now it just seems a nostalgic purchase. I was a big fan of “The Man from Uncle” and “Danger Man” on TV and “James Bond” on the big screen at the time and this was evidently a cash-in on the fad for secret agents from the UKs Thorpe and Porter.

There was only ever this one issue of “The Man from S.U.N.D.A.Y” with very good reason. The art is supposedly by Mick Anglo who had spent the previous ten years drawing  a quite acceptable  “Marvelman”. Perhaps he drew “Charles Rand” in the dark as the character’s heads, arms and legs don’t seem in the right proportion to their bodies.

To the best of my knowledge “Charles Rand” never appeared anywhere ever again. So he must therefore be the World’s most secret Secret Agent.