As noted in the previous blog post about Vulcan weekly, it only had a relatively short run (30 issues in Scotland, then 28 nationwide). However, after its demise, IPC still felt confident enough to publish a Vulcan Holiday Special in the summer of 1976.
The thing that's immediately evident is that the design and layout of the Holiday Special is a big improvement on the weekly. It's highly likely it was packaged by a different art editor. I would venture that if the weekly had looked as dynamic and exciting as this it might have lasted a bit longer.
|THE STEEL CLAW. Artist: early Belardinelli perhaps?|
Inside, the Special reprints stories of The Steel Claw, The House of Dolmann, Mytek the Mighty, Robot Archie, and Saber: King of the Jungle. All are edited versions to one degree or another of serials from Valiant, Lion, and Tiger, but again the design and any resizing is a step up on that which we'd seen in Vulcan weekly.
|MYTEK THE MIGHTY Artist: Bill Lacey.|
|ROBOT ARCHIE Artist: Ted Kearon.|
The highlight of the issue is a brand new six page Trigan Empire prose story, accompanied by new artwork by Don Lawrence (who also illustrated the cover). Click to enlarge..
There's also a couple of Sporty humour strips by Reg Wooton. These would have originally appeared in either Knockout or Valiant.
All in all, this one-and-only Vulcan Holiday Special is a great read and worth tracking down on eBay or wherever. Admittedly the Steel Claw story they chose to reprint isn't one of the best, and isn't by Jesus Blasco the regular artist, but the rest of the comic is good stuff.
There was also a one-off Vulcan Annual published that year and I'll take a look at that another time.