Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Silver Surfer #2: The Newton edition


Newton Comics' The Silver Surfer #2 is cover-dated October 1975:


The cover is from Marvel Comics' The Silver Surfer #2:


The story contents are as follows:

When Lands the Saucer! [Part 1], originally published in The Silver Surfer #2, October 1968 
Part Two of "When Lands the Saucer!" Let Earth Be The Prize!, originally published in The Silver Surfer #2, December 1968 

The stories appear to be reprinted complete and intact.

This issue includes a Daredevil poster with Newtonese colouring:


This is from the cover of Marvel Comics' Daredevil #50.

As you can see, my copy is missing the Swap Card.

This issue contains the following in-house advertisements for other Newton comics:

The Fantastic Four #8 

Newton Team-Up Annual #1

Dracula #5


This issue includes an advertisement for the Origins of Marvel Comics, a t-shirt offer, two letters pages and a contest with the expiry date 8 December 1975.  

I date this issue to 25 October 1975.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Silver Surfer #1: The Newton edition


Newton Comics' The Silver Surfer #1 was published 27 September 1975:


The cover is from Marvel Comics' The Silver Surfer #1:


The story contents are as follows:

The Origin of the Silver Surfer!, originally published in The Silver Surfer #1, August 1968 
Call Her... Medusa!, originally published in Journey into Mystery #96, September 1963 

These stories appear to be reprinted complete and intact.

This issue included a Swap Card:


The card is Hulk Series A (1 of 15) No. 1 featuring the cover of The Incredible Hulk #1.

This issue contains in-house advertisements for the following Newton comics:

Doctor Strange #4 

Conan the Barbarian #4 


The Silver Surfer #1 was advertised as Out Next Week in Hulk King Size Annual #1:


It was also announced as "from this month onwards" in letter columns appearing in other September 1975 issues.

This issue also includes a two-page Marvel Mailbag spread, an advertisement for Origins of Marvel Comics, a t-shirt offer and a competition with the expiry date 10 November 1975.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Keith Chatto on Sons of Bushido


This is Keith Chatto's cover to Page Publications' War in the Air #1:


The cover art is based on MV Features' Action War Picture Library #16:


Sons of Bushido was subsequently reprinted in the following Page Publications issues:

Wartime Library #6 

Air Combat Library #2 



The covers to Air Combat Library #3 and War in the Air #3 appear to be loosely based on the splash page to Sons of Bushido:


I daresay there are more such Page Publications reprintings of this story to be unearthed. 



Monday, October 28, 2019

Batman #35: The UK Nostalgia Comics facsimile edition


This is the cover to the UK edition of K.G. Murray's Batman #35:


Or rather, it's the cover to Nostalgia Comics' facsimile edition.

Nostalgia Comics was a chap named Bryan Whitworth. Bryan offered high quality reprints made to order for collectors to fill gaps in their collections. As I understand it, much of his material was copied from other collectors, and as he only printed them to order - or perhaps 2-3 copies only - he never held stock. 

Apparently his reprints are sought after in UK collectors circles as much as the originals. 

Apart from Batman I understand there are also facsimile editions of Captain Marvel/Family issues. 

I came across my copy some 10 years ago courtesy of another collector who I referred to as my UK correspondent on this blog on a number of occasions. The information above was given to me by him - I trust I haven't divulged information intended to be kept private.

I expect this issue was in demand in part for the contents, given it contains two classic silver age Batman stories: The Joker's Utility Belt! and The Return of Two-Face!.  

More information on the Australian and UK editions of this issue is available on Aus.Reprints.

At any rate, it's certainly one of the oddest items in the junkyard, and one I'm quite fond of.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Human Fly #1: The Yaffa editions


This is the cover to Page Publications' The Human Fly #1:


This is the cover to Page Publications' The Human Fly #3:


This is the cover to Page Publications' The Human Fly #4:


This is the cover to Page Publications' The Human Fly #NN:


Salut.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Jungle Action and Black Panther: The complete Yaffa cover gallery


Here's a cover gallery of my complete run of Page Publications' Jungle Action and Black Panther:

Jungle Action #1, c.late 1977
Indicia title: Jungle Action 

Jungle Action featuring The Black Panther #2, c. April 1978
Indicia title: Jungle Action 

Black Panther #3, c. February 1979 
Indicia title: Black Panther 

Jungle Action #2[4], c. October 1980
Indicia title: Jungle Action 

Jungle Action featuring:  The Black Panther #5, c.July 1980 
Indicia title: Jungle Action 

Black Panther #6, c.January 1981 
Indicia title: Black Panther 

Black Panther #7, c.August 1981 
Indicia title: Black Panther 

Jungle Action #NN, c.January 1982
Indicia title: Jungle Action 

Jungle Action featuring: The Black Panther #NN, c.1982
Indicia title: Black Panther

This is a difficult series to get a handle on, even with a full run of the initial series in hand.

The problem begins with the confusion evident in the Yaffa office as to whether this is a series titled Jungle Action, Black Panther or both, as you can see by the alternating cover titles and indicia titles. For example, the indicia title on #5 is Black Panther, but is Jungle Action on the unnumbered recycled reprint. The confusion stems from the fact that the Yaffa series is initially based on material originally appearing in Marvel Comics' Jungle Action but quickly switches gears into reprinting material from the dedicated Marvel Black Panther series, and proceeds to flip flop between the two.

The other significant problem is the missing #4. This appears to be the issue misnumbered as #2, which is a digest-sized reprint of #1.  It is definitely published after #3 and the information I have suggests it was published c.October 1980. However this dates it after #5 c.July 1980. 

The first three issues are regular-sized issues and the rest are digest-sized issues, #7 being a 'tall' edition.

There are likely more Yaffa editions of this series. It is possible that #'s 2 and 3 were recycled as unnumbered issues, but I have not seen any. Certainly #2 was recycled and retitled Jungle Beast. #3 may be similarly reissued and retitled. TBA.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Frankenstein: The complete Yaffa cover gallery


Here's a cover gallery of my complete run of Page Publications' Frankenstein series:

 The Monster of Frankenstein #1, c.February 1978

 The Frankenstein Monster #2, 1979

 The Frankenstein Monster #3, c.August 1980

 The Frankenstein Monster #4, c.March 1981

 The Frankenstein Monster #5, c.September 1981

 The Frankenstein Monster #6, 1982

The Monster of Frankenstein #NN, c.1982

The first issue is regular-sized, the rest are digest-sized issues - #'s 6 and 7 being the 'tall' digest issues. The unnumbered issue is a digest-sized reprint of the first issue.

As per the Marvel series the Yaffa series begins with the title The Monster of Frankenstein before settling into The Frankenstein Monster for the duration of the run.

The complete Marvel series is reprinted in the six Yaffa issues.

The Frankenstein Monster #3 was subsequently recycled and retitled Fiendish Frankenstein. Presumably there was a recycled retitled reprint of The Frankenstein Monster #2. TBA.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Spider-Man in The Wotcha-Ma-Callit Club


A few months after the cancellation of the Marvel strips in the Sunday Observer Comics supplement the following appeared in the pages of the Watcha-Ma-Callit Club:


Published 5 October 1975, the strip reprints Marked for Destruction by Dr. Doom, which had previously been serialised in Newton Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man #'s 4 and 5

Contrary to expectations there is very little tampering with the original panels, apart of course from the rearrangements on the page. The splash page is omitted but the banner from it is inserted as background information over the first panel. 

This story is serialised weekly until early 1976.

The next three instalments are of similar scale with three tiers of panels:

 12 October 1975 

 19 October 1975 

26 October 1975 

By November 1975 the strip has been reduced to two tiers:

 2 November 1975 

9 November 1975 

The strip regains its vertical profile for a couple of weeks but is still on a more modest scale than the first few weeks: 

 16 November 1975 

23 November 1975 

However, the trajectory is clear, and by 30 November 1975 the writing for the strip is on the wall:

 30 November 1975 

 7 December 1975 

 14 December 1975 

 21 December 1975 

 28 December 1975 

 4 January 1976 

 11 January 1976 

 18 January 1976 

25 January 1976

The end of the strip was rather ignominious. It spluttered to an end with just over two pages worth of material to complete the narrative, but clearly this was not a priority for the Newton office at the time as they had just weathered the shutdown and rebirth of the operation over the holiday break and just managed to get books back onto the market in this period. 

Back in May 1975 when it was time for the comic books to splash onto the market the Sunday Observer Comics supplement was summarily dropped. A few months later, as the returns from newsagents started to pile up, cover prices were raised and Swap Cards were instituted to generate interest, the flagship character was employed in the Wotcha-Ma-Callit Club to raise the profile of the  character and support the flailing comics line. There was one more strategy employed by the Sunday Observer in the fun pages towards this goal: Gentle John's Comics Corner...