Thursday, May 03, 2018

The age of Power Comics!

The line of comics published by Odhams in the 1960s that became collectively known as "Power Comics" helped to make that decade so much fun. They weren't around for long (mid-1964 to early 1969), although it seemed much longer when we were living it, as childhood often does. They could be a bit rough around the edges at times in terms of editorial design, but that was part of their charm. On the other hand they also featured some of the best comics creators of the day, allowing people like Leo Baxendale, Ken Reid, Mike Higgs, Brian Lewis, Jordi Bernet, Louis Berjemo and many more to produce some of the best work of their careers. Plus they included Marvel reprints, bringing British kids a rush of Marvel at its best on a weekly basis. Now that was Thrill-Power!

I've posted about them numerous times on this blog, which you'll find with a simple search, so today I'd just like to re-post the covers of their first issues, all scanned from my collection. Funny, exciting, inspiring. Great days. I'm glad I was the right age to fully appreciate them!




Blackpool 1967, eating shrimps and wearing my Iron Man transfer.





10 comments:

Unknown said...

I can still see my mother ironing on the Iron Man transfer. Three decades+ later I purchased a 1967 Jimmy Olsen comic only to find on my return home this wonderful free gift carefully placed between the pages.

Cheers,
Ken

Manic Man said...

didn't really notice before but.. putting them together like this.. Wham (1964) comes with a gun. Smash (1966) come with another gun. Power (1967) yet another Gun but tried to downplay that fact.

Lew Stringer said...

A later issue of Fantastic had a free gun too, and a similar gift in Terrific. Cardboard guns were given away in loads of comics in the 1960s.

That's a great find, Ken!

SID said...

Alas this was before I discovered comics in 1969.

I recently compiled a list of comics I would have gotten regularly from the time of birth (1964) to now. Good stuff. The 60s and 70s were definitely good times.

Roberto Del Coraz├Án said...

Now that's some great Baxendale ! And a great way to promote the free gift. Modern publishers may take a hint from it : gifts should always be linked to the magazine content to make both the comics and the freebies relevant. (My editor is trying to do so and succeed at it most of the times, but it's giving him headaches ! :) )

Peter Valenta-Dickinson said...

Brilliant stuff Lew, glad you managed to locate Wham! #1. We met at the Brighton Con a couple of years ago. Think I mentioned that I have a number of the file copies of Wham which include small labels detailing how much Leo and Ken were paid! Happy days....Peter

Lew Stringer said...

Hi Peter, Yes I finally managed to win a copy of Wham! No.1 on eBay last year. I still have gaps in the run (about 20 issues missing) but I'm not that bothered about those now. Interesting about the file copies. I've heard of a few people who have those, - not for Wham, but for other Power Comics, and of course the bound volumes of various Fleetway comics were given away or acquired long ago. I sometimes wonder what actually exists in the IPC/Time Inc archives now. They've either destroyed or sold off the artwork, "lost" their file copies.... presumably there's material kept on film (or transferred to digital by now) but it wouldn't surprise me if there's nothing physical they have on file now at all.

(I'm talking about pre-1970 stuff of course. I know Rebellion have file copies of most of the comics they bought from Egmont.)

Mike said...

I've often wondered or worried about the paper archive for British comics, or lack of one. Could not the British Library host an archive, with estates handing over their collections, original artwork, file & bound copies? Keep one or two copies of the highest quality, scan them and make the scans available to the public?

Lew Stringer said...

The British Library should already have a copy of every mainstream comic ever published. I understand that, like newspapers, they are available to view with an appointment, and copies can be made for a fee.

Mike said...

Thank you, Lew, for that tiny ray of sunshine.

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