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Friday, November 11, 2011

Mick Anglo 1916 - 2011

Mick Anglo, creator of Marvelman, passed away on October 31st at the age of 95.

Although Marvelman was easily the character he was most associated with, Mick Anglo's career in publishing saw him enjoy a variety of accomplishments. He freelanced in commercial art when he left school, drew cartoons for overseas army newspapers during the war, and then became an author of western, romance and crime novels under the name Johnny Dekker as well as continuing to draw for various publishers.

Between 1950 to 1952 Anglo produced various comic strips for the Arnold Book Company (run by Arnold Miller) and for Arnold's father's company L.Miller & Son. In 1954 Anglo opened his own company, Gower Studios, to package comics for various publishers (ie: produce full comics to the specifications of a publisher, ready for printing). Mick Anglo's staff included Ron Embleton, Bob Monkhouse, and Denis Gifford. He also gave Don Lawrence his first break, years before Lawrence would go on to produce the stunning Trigan Empire series.

When legal problems between Fawcett Publications and National Comics (now DC Comics) forced Fawcett's Captain Marvel comics to close, Mick Anglo created Marvelman to fill the gap for the Captain Marvel UK reprints, with Anglo and his studio producing brand new stories. The similarities between Captain Marvel and Marvelman were plain to see, but readers eagerly took to the character (and its spin-offs Marvelman Family and Young Marvelman) and the comics continued into the early 1960s. Bearing in mind those comics were weekly, Anglo's output was considerable. Even today, Marvelman remains the most successful British superhero in terms of how many issues were produced (346 issues, plus the same number of Young Marvelman comics, and 30 issues of Marvelman Family).

Mick Anglo continued to produce more comics in the 1960s, including, amongst other things, becoming editor of City Magazines' TV Tornado in 1967, and Super DC for Top Sellers in 1970. He retired in the 1980s.

In 1982 Dez Skinn revived Marvelman (with Alan Moore as writer and Garry Leach as artist) for the new monthly anthology comic Warrior. Here things became darker, not only in the tone of story but also in reality, with Marvel Comics threatening legal action over the name of the character, with Marvelman becoming Miracleman for the American editions published by Eclipse Comics. The story of further developments is a saga in itself, but in 2009 Mick Anglo sold the rights of Marvelman to Marvel Comics. Since then, Marvel have produced a mini-series of reprints (Marvelman Family's Finest) and a few hardback reprints. No new Marvelman series has yet been announced.

For a feature on Super DC see here:


Anonymous said...

Fascinating! Looking at the original Marvelman art, it becomes even more obvious that he was a Captain Marvel knock off, down to the black dot eyes.

Thanks for this piece of history!

Jenks said...

Very sad to hear.

rnigma said...

"Anglo" is a perfect name for a British artist. Condolences to all who knew him.

Also... "WOOF"? [i]That[/i] was the sound that accompanied Marvelman's transition? definitely lacked the impact of the "BOOM" from the Shazam lightning.

Davy Francis said...

95 eh?William Steig was 97 when he died,Al Jafee's 90, and Will Eisner was about 88 when he went to that great studio in the sky, so maybe there is something life enhancing about drawing comics-maybe it keeps you young!

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