Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mighty Comic #46: The duty and the privilege

Ten years ago I was still some 40 issues short of completing my run of K.G. Murray's Mighty Comic when this copy of Mighty #46 fell into my lap:

As you can see, it is hardly a slab-worthy specimen - the cover is missing, it's been coloured in by pen on a few pages, and it lacks the modesty and decency of a choice Mammoth Annual or Gigantic Annual cover draped around its privacy.

But I've been very fond of this copy. Quite apart from fulfilling its duty by ticking a box on my must-have-before-I-die list, I've had a rather emotional attachment to it due to its provenance. It was given to me by a friend who had owned it since childhood, and who was in the process of divesting himself of beloved comics due to unfortunate personal circumstances. 

Nevertheless, I have been keenly seeking a complete copy ever since. I've come close a few times - the most recent was about a year ago when I was advised that a copy was being put aside for me, but for various reasons that did not eventuate.

So you may appreciate my deep pleasure in finally securing this marvellous specimen for my collection:

If you're reading this I'm sure I don't have to tell you how significant this cover is in the history of the DCU, just as I'm sure I don't have to tell you that it ranks highly amongst us KGManiacs, for whom the phrase 'parallel universe' means just a little bit more when it involves such key covers on KGM's.

My usual practice is to pass along my old copies of comics after an upgrade - it's quite a longstanding tradition now, a reciprocal arrangement amongst a small coterie of fellow collectors. But I won't this time around. I feel the rather sentimental duty of a custodian to keep the old copy in situ  - and, if and when my friend is ready and able to reclaim it, my duty will be complete.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Frizzin' sex objects: Falling in Love #76

Ya got love cheesy romance covers...! Check out the cover to K.G. Murray's Falling in Love #76:

This cover is adapted somewhat from the original, which appeared on DC's Young Love #106:

I'm not sure whether it was intentional or not, but notice that Sue's hot pants have morphed into a skirt on the Australian edition. My guess is it's an 'honest' colouring error rather than an exercise in prudery. Nevertheless, it does undermine the narrative thrust, so to speak.

The other point of interest is that the cover to Young Love #106 includes an inset reference to another story, apparently titled My Romance Was Ruined By Frizz. If that's not wacko enough for you, get this - the story is actually titled Imprisoned By Frizz, and also appears in Falling in Love #76:

I would have happily accepted an adapted splash page and caption to this story as an alternative cover to this issue.

Spy Stories Picture Library #2: Chatto swipes again!

The Unknown Enemy was originally published in MV Features' Secret Service Picture Library #16:

Once again, this provided the source material for a Keith Chatto crib, this time for the cover of Page Publications' Spy Stories Picture Library #2:

Personally I prefer the ribbon on Chatto's woman....

Black, The Blood of Evil uncovered: Terror Story Library #2

Black, The Blood of Evil was originally published in MV Features' Secret Service Picture Library #21:

The cover was cribbed by Keith Chatto for Page Publications' Terror Story Library #2:

Page Publications reprinted the story under another Chatto cover in Nightmare Suspense Library #8:

This cover would be recycled itself.

And later still, Black, The Blood of Evil was published in Mystery Suspense Library #3:

There are probably more publications with this story - possibly featuring a cover based on interior art. TBC.

Update 22/9/2018: I can confirm Black, The Blood of Evil was also published by Page Publications in Nightmare Thriller Library #4:

This wonderful Chatto cover is recycled from Nightmare Thriller Library #2. Scan and info courtesy Mark Muller.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Secret Romance Library: Various cover styles

Here's a sample of covers from K.G. Murray's Secret Romance Library series:

Secret Romance Library #6

 Secret Romance Library #13

Secret Romance Library #17

A snapshot of the various styles of covers found on romance comics, from photographic to painted to illustrated.

Come to think of it, they could also be found on horror comics of the period...

Storm Warning: Lover's World #8 - and the query over Unforgettable Love #1

The cover to Lover's World Library #8 features a rather modest, demure romantic image by Keith Chatto - certainly milder than the cover he produced for Lovers World Library #12:

Lover's World Library #8 carries the story Storm Warning, which I've made passing reference to before. In that post I noted the publication of Storm Warning in Unforgettable Love Stories #11. I also noted that it had previously been published in Unforgettable Love Stories #1. 

Now that I look at these issues more closely, I'm not so sure that Storm Warning was previously printed in #1 - compare the cover scan on AusReprints... #11...

...and I wonder whether the cropping on the right hand side of the cover to #1 has also chopped the second digit off #11, making it appear as #1.

Inconclusive - but it doesn't appear likely that 11 issues of a single Page Publications series would have been issued within such a short time frame as to carry a $0.50 cover price on each issue.

Update 1/6/2018: Storm Warning was published by Page Publications under a new Chatto cover in Personal Romances #1:

Update 31/8/2018: The cover to Lovers World Library #12 previously appeared on Lovers World Library #9

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

One Starlit Night: Three Page Publications editions

One Starlit Night was originally published in Famepress' Juliette Picture Library #1 in 1966. There are at least three printings of this story by Page Publications:

  Best Love Stories #1, c. July 1973

Revealing Love Stories #1, c.1973

Romance Experiences Library #4

Best Love Stories #1 and Revealing Love Stories #1 each feature a Keith Chatto cover. As they each have a $0.20 cover price it is difficult to be certain which one was published first. However, given Revealing Love Stories #1 features the racier image, I'm betting it was published after Best Love Stories #1.

There may have been other printings of One Starlit Night before Romance Experiences Library #4, but this issue bears the hallmarks of a last gasp effort. The cover is a slightly modified reprint of p.64:

It is quite possible that this cover was recycled for other Page Publications issues -  TBC.

I don't know whether Best Love Stories #1 was the first Page Publications printing of One Starlit Night. The GCD entry for Juliette Picture Library #1 doesn't have a cover image. If it is substantially different to Chatto's cover it would suggest an earlier publication exists.

Dating the Yaffa/Page digests from the early/mid-70's with accuracy is difficult as many issues don't appear to have reliable advertiser's date codes. However, after inspecting a few recent finds, I have identified a range of dates for 64-page (68-pages including covers) issues with a $0.20 cover price between November 1971 and June 1973. There may be date codes for such issues beyond this range, but at least this provides some guidance as to the publication of $0.20 cover price digests which don't have any other date information on them. Hence my guesstimate of the date above for Revealing Love Stories #1.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Romance and Death: The PG Murray way

Don't know what it is about this week in this here Junkyard, but I seem to have been inundated with low fat Romance and Death! To wit:

 Secret Romance Library #26 

Twin Hearts Library #181

Hand wringing and fainting? Well, Sheesh and Golly Gosh! Clearly these comics are unadulterated PG - pre-Goth!

Love Experiences #1 and Beautiful Love Stories #1: Chatto knows they've done it before...

Love Experiences #1 features a Keith Chatto cover for the story Love So Blind.

This story was also published by Page Publications under another Chatto cover in Beautiful Love Stories #1:

My copy of Love Experiences #1 above has a $0.15 price sticker over the original price. The original price may be anything up to $0.30, but I'm betting Love Experiences #1 was published earlier than Beautiful Love Stories #1 simply based on the cover art, specifically because of the expressions on the faces of Chatto's characters. On the Love Experiences #1 cover, it's quite possible our happy couple are about to experience coitus for the first time. The couple on the cover of Beautiful Love Stories #1 have definitely done it before. This trajectory is par for the course for Chatto's romance covers for Yaffa/Page.

I think Love So Blind originally appeared in MV Features' Dream A Romance Picture Story #16, but as you can see via the link, the GCD entry has scant information, not even a cover image. Since the cover art for Love Experiences #1 does not appear to be based on interior art for Love So Blind, I'm going to assume for the moment that it is based on Dream #16. This, and the original cover price for Love Experiences #1 will be revealed in due course.

Update 18/6/2018: Love Experiences #1 has a $0.20 cover price.

Update 9/9/2018:

Love So Blind was also published in Romance World Library #1:

This issue slots in between the others chronologically and narratively. Even if she changed the colour of her hair.