Friday, January 27, 2017

Following the trail: Young Love, Romance Time, Gift of Love, Destination Paradise

Young Love #28 was published by K.G. Murray circa 1977. The cover and opening story first appeared in Charlton's My Only Love #6, June 1976.

This cover was recycled a few years later  - without the inset - by Federal for their one-shot issue Romance Time:

Apart from the cover there does not appear to be any other connection between Young Love #28 and Romance Time.

Romance Time was one of many one-shot romance comics published by Federal towards circa 1983. I expect that just as the cover was recycled from an earlier Murray comic, so too the contents were published in a variety of earlier Murray romance comics, but I don't have enough information to confirm this.

What I can say is that a later Federal romance comic - Gift of Love - may have borrowed the title from a one-page story in Romance Time.

"The Gift of Love" stands out not only as a single-page story, but because it is a poem with spot illustrations, rather than a comics story per se.

As you can see, the art on the cover of Gift Of Love is not related to the art in the story, but many of the one-shot Federal romance comics did sport covers based on the interior art of the issue - typically the splash page - with titles completely unrelated to the story titles.

For example, the cover to Destination Paradise is from the splash page of "Heart of Stone", the first (untitled) story in this issue, which originally appeared in Charlton's I Love You #121.

However, there is no "Destination Paradise" story in this issue, even though it is the title of a story which appeared in Charlton's My Only Love #6 - which takes us back to Murray's Young Love #28 where we started.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Nightmare Suspense Library #2: The guessing game

Here's another Page Publications digest-size comic I snagged recently - Nightmare Suspense Library #2:

I've checked all my usual sources and I can't find a reference to the original appearance of the story "When Mountains Moved", but I'm going to take a punt and say it originally appeared in Nightmare Suspense Picture Library #10 from MV Features. I say this because the pages include a job number "n10" as a prefix to the page number, and i'm assuming "n" refers "Nightmare" and "10" to the issue number. As per the link, there are two issues missing from the GCD gallery - #'s 10 and 13 - and my guess is that #10 included this story. 

Furthermore I'm guessing that Keith Chatto's cover is based on the original cover, as per other instances of this pattern

Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to find "When Mountains Moved" has been reprinted elsewhere by Page.

We shall see in due course.

Three Chatto covers for Night of the Blood Beast

"Night of the Blood Beast" was originally published in Tales of Terror Picture Library #3 by the UK publisher M.V Features Limited/Famepress:

This was reprinted by Page Publications at least three times - firstly in Tales of Terror Picture Library #2:

Secondly in Tales of Terror Picture Library #4:

And thirdly in Horror Suspense Library #2:

So Keith Chatto produced three different covers for the same story.

The first one is obviously based on the original cover.

The next two appear to be original - that is, not based on the source material, as the images do not resemble any such panels in the story, apart from the green monster.

The cover to Tales of Terror Picture Library #4 has long been a favourite of mine.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Avengers #7: The curious case of The Swordsman's helmet

There was a time Page Publications' The Avengers #7 was a bit special. For some reason, this digest edition presented an alternate cover to the US edition of The Avengers #19.

The interesting difference is not so much the colouring as the line work, evident in the Swordsman's helmet. The original has a sharp fin, whereas the alternate has a broader, flatter top. See below for image courtesy GCD:

As I understand it, the sharper fin was a modification by Don Heck over Jack Kirby's original, but I'm happy to be corrected on this.

All well and good. Until I discovered, some months ago, courtesy of an overseas collector, that the original version had been published many years before the Australian edition in the UK edition of Terrific! #28:

The colouring may be even poorer on this edition, but the linework is clearer for the purposes of comparison.

Again, all well and good. Until I happened to be browsing through my copy of Marvel Masterworks #19, and realised that the original version is the one which has been included in this volume too:

So it would appear that as far as Marvel is concerned, this is the image which is part of the official Avengers canon. Probably not intentionally, but effectively, this is the image most readers will be familiar with.

Well. sort of... because, on further digging, courtesy of GCD, I've found more instances in which the original image was used, before the Masterworks edition was published. For example:

No doubt there will be more International editions with the original cover image. And I expect there are other Marvel editions with the correct image, the Masterworks edition notwithstanding.

But it does mean the little Australian edition is not quite as exclusive as it once appeared.

Update 16/6/2019: As it turns out, it's not even an exclusive Australian variant - the flat top version was published before the Yaffa edition by Newton Comics on the cover of The Avengers #15:

I really should have noticed this earlier but I didn't get my copy of the Newton edition until recently. 

Note the colouring of The Swordsman's costume is close to the Terrific version.