Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Christmas Comic Covers - Part 9
For the penultimate blog in this theme let's kick off with a rarely seen Marvelman cover from Christmas 1954. As most comic fans know, Marvelman was created by Mick Anglo after the UK Captain Marvel reprint comic had to cease because the American original had been canceled. Marvelman was more or less a carbon copy of Captain Marvel, but nevertheless had a loyal following. My thanks to reader Dave Whitwell for sending me this scan.
Dave also sent me the scan above; the festive edition of Ally Sloper's Half Holiday from 1890, making it the oldest comic in this series of blogs. From what I've seen, this comic paper always had an edge to its humour, something British comics later lost somewhat. Artwork is by W.F. Thomas and you can read more about Ally Sloper here:
Over 100 years later, licensed comics were the norm. Egmont's very popular Sonic the Comic always had a bit more depth to its stories than most merchandise-inspired comics though, and a good selection of artists for its 100% British content. This dynamic Christmas 1998 cover is by Richard Elson.
Whist Sonic the Comic was the licensed comic hit of the Nineties, Marvel UK's Transformers was the big seller of the Eighties. This festive 1989 wraparound cover is by Andrew Wildman, just one of the many artists to provide brand new UK content to this title.
For the first five years of publication, Fleetway's Buster was a tabloid sized comic. This issue from 1964 was the last Christmas edition in that large size, and features a lively cover by Nadal.
This Christmas 1972 issue of Valiant is fantastic, summing up Dickens' A Christmas Carol in just four panels! Marvelous artwork as always by Mike Western.
Above, the Christmas Wham! for 1966, with artwork on The Tiddlers strip by Mike Lacey.
The early 21st Century saw Pete Nash use modern technology to the advantage of creating the independent computer generated comic Striker. Sadly, outside of Roy of the Rovers football comics have never had much longevity and Striker was no exception. This issue is from Christmas 2004.
Oink! had a relatively short lifespan too, but still managed to be one of the most memorable and inventive British comics published. This Ian Jackson cover is from Christmas 1987.
As a special Christmas bonus, here's a page that appeared inside that issue of Oink! designed by me. Yes, after 21 years it's your chance to once again cut out and make your very own Skinhead Fairy! Perfect for the top of your tree.
That's all the classic Christmas covers for now. Sorry if your own favourites haven't been included but I hope the diversity and age of the selections have proven popular. This theme isn't quite finished yet though. In Part 10: Christmas covers of today!