Once upon a time, in the 1960s to be precise, digest-sized British comics featuring complete stories were plentiful, particularly from Fleetway/IPC. War Picture Library, Air Ace Picture Library, the Stupendous series (featuring The Steel Claw alternating with The Spider), Lion, Valiant and Buster Picture Libraries, Top Secret... the list goes on, or used to. Today, D.C. Thomson's Commando is the sole survivor of that type of comic.
Occasionally there would be reprint collections of some of the libraries, usually containing 224 pages such as the Battle Picture Library Holiday Specials of the 1960s for a price of 2/6d (12 and a half pence). A bargain, considering the regular 68 pagers cost a shilling (5p).
In the summer of 1969 IPC published a chunky compilation to beat them all. The Super Picture Special, with 448 pages for five bob (25p). Instead of sticking to one theme, this book covered the lot; war, sport, sci-fi, western, and humour.
|The back cover.|
Whilst some strips are from the early 1960s, I believe others may date back to the late 1950s.
I can identify the humour strips, and all are reprinted from Buster weekly, but with their names changed. Alfy Alien by Nadal/Juan Rafart was originally Milkiway, and was also reprinted in Smash! weekly in 1970 as Monty Muddle. Kip Carson (also by Nadal) originally appeared as Lazy Sprockett, but was also reprinted as Hymer Loafer in Valiant and Slumberjack in the Boys World Annual! Another Nadal strip, Norman Knowall was originally Big 'Ead! and was reprinted in Smash! under that name in 1970.
Here are the contents. What a great package of quality material...
|Art by Juan Rafart|
|Art by Nadal|
|Rick Random by Ron Turner|
|Art by Nadal|
Those were the days!