Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BATTLE cover selection 1975 to 1979

Right from its early issues in 1975, Battle Picture Weekly used a combination of terse captions and striking artwork to deliver dynamic, eye-catching front covers. Admittedly, D.C. Thomson's Warlord had been the inspiration (see here), but IPC's Battle took it to another level, making previous kids' comics look sedate in comparison. 

Here's a selection of some of the best Battle covers...
Art: Geoff Campion
Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Geoff Campion

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Mike Western
Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Ian Kennedy

Art: Joe Colquhoun

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Mike McMahon

Composite artwork.

Art: Joe Colquhoun

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

All covers scanned from my own collection of comics.
Artwork © Rebellion A/S



12 comments:

qamar said...

For some reason i never got into Battle and I don't remember these covers. But looking at them now they do look amazing.

Lew Stringer said...

I didn't buy Battle regularly until 1980 but I've collected the first 200 or so over the last 12 months. I haven't had time to start reading them yet but flicking through them it's interesting that in 1976 the stories were almost as violent as those in Action, but somehow Battle evaded the gaze of the national press. After the Action suspension, Battle toned it down a bit too, but it was still quite a brutal comic. I guess they could get away with it in war stories. (Later on, it was really toned down in the 1980s.)

John Pitt said...

What a cracking selection of covers! I missed all of these, I started buying Battle in the early 80's and continued with it well into Battle Action Force.

qamar said...

Yes I did notice the covers seemed quite violent.

I was a big Action fan and remember feeling something was just not the same once it returned after the suspension. I suppose in a way it probably led them to work harder on good storylines in comics like 2000AD.

Thanks for the memories. Great to check in every now and again to read the stories behind my childhood favourites.

Lew Stringer said...

The heart had been taken out of Action by the time it returned. It made IPC nervous about the tone of future launches, which is why we had old fashioned comics like Speed, which were never going to work in the 1980s. 2000AD managed to stand its ground though, thanks to editors such as Pat Mills.

paul Mcscotty said...

I was never a big fan of war comics and never bought an issue of Battle at the time (and only a handful since that I got in bargain packs from its last few years of publication) but as others have said the covers here are amazing, especially the "GAS" cover which is pretty powerful and almost shocking (like war)

SID said...

Great covers, Lew and during Battle's heyday too.

I was never a great fan of war comics at the time but did get Battle-Action regularly when the two comics merged and stopped when "Action" finally disappeared from the title.

Lew Stringer said...

I had the first three issues, then one or two later until 1980 when I started buying it regularly. The 1970s were definitely the best period though, so I'm glad I've bought the first 200 or so. Now I just need time to read them!

Phil Boyce said...

Those are some amazing covers! I've never read an issue of Battle or Action but know all about them from blogs such as your own. Are these part of Rebellion's newly acquired back-catalogue, do you know?

On a side note, nice to see original comics covers from an actual collection getting scanned in so we can see them as intended, including the correct colour tones and paper shade.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes Phil, Rebellion own Battle now, but I think Titan may still have an existing contract to publish reprints at the moment. It's Rebellion who own the material though.

Thanks for the comment about my scanning, I adjust the levels very slightly if the paper has yellowed, to bring them closer to the original look, but mainly I try to preserve them looking like the original paper texture and colours, not some over-saturated assault on the eyes.

qamar said...

Another thing - I really missed the uncoated paper the old comics were printed on. Something about the smell, course halftones and print that was sometimes out of register. The coated stock seemed to take away some of the comics charm.

Also remember some of the first full colour painted artworks in 2000ad for Slain that must have really irritated the artist because the print came out so dark.





Lew Stringer said...

It's funny. When comics were newsprint, readers wanted them glossy and full colour. Now they're glossy I keep reading comments from people who preferred newsprint. I know what you mean, though. Reading is a tactile experience and I definitely think the old format had an advantage over the slippery gloss that reflects the light.

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