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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Comics: THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL (1972)

From the very early days of Marvel UK here's the 13th issue of their first comic, The Mighty World of Marvel. Back then they were competing with traditional UK comics such as Tiger and Hotspur and MWOM had its own British "feel" in that it was printed on matt paper with white margins to the covers and spot colour on the strips. This issue even featured that old British comic tradition, the Christmas Greeting... but sadly no snow on the logo.

As most of you know, Mighty World of Marvel was (and still is) stuffed with American Marvel reprint, but the early issues featured brand new covers specially drawn for the UK. In this case the cover above is by Jim Starlin, inked by Joe Sinnott, who worked together on several early MWOM covers.

I doubt that the youthful-looking Stan Lee actually wrote that Christmas message below but it does the job, and plugs the Marvel Annual too (which was actually published by IPC, who previously had the Marvel license when they were running Marvel strips in TV21).

Other than the centre pages shown here, that issue of MWOM didn't carry any other Christmas material. Coincidentally, the issue of The Fantastic Four it reprinted (issue 6 of FF, from 1962) was the same issue that the Christmas 1966 issue of Wham! had reprinted, exactly six years earlier. I always liked that story as it featured the first team-up of Doctor Doom and the Sub-Mariner. Here's a bizarre scene from that issue in all it's cheapo green-hued glory featuring Sub-Mariner leaping into space shouting "Go! Go! Go!" Forgive 'em, it was the sixties!



The frame of Namor leaping towards us is one hell of a Kirby frame. Thanks for sharing. I've never seen this issue of M.w.o.w before now. Merry Christmas to you and yours Lew!!!

Lew Stringer said...

Thank you "HOMEFROMTHEPUB". Merry Christmas to you too. Don't drink too much this Christmas. ;-)

Mark said...

Hey Lew, sorry this is an off-topic comment, but I have a question about your work.

One of my favourite old books were the 'Big Comic Annual' reprint books.

They had 256 pages of reprints in them from the 70's and 80's.

Are you familiar with them? I wondered if any of your work (to your knowledge) ended up inside them?


Lew Stringer said...

None of my stuff in there. My first work for IPC appeared in Oink in 1986, and continued in various IPC/Fleetway/Egmont publications from then on (up to and including today's TOXIC) so none of my material would have been old enough for Big Comic to reprint.

Jim Whittaker said...

MWOM issue one was just about the first comic I ever read and I loved it! Such a discovery! That splash page of the HULK in issue one...
Have similar fond memories of Spiderman issue one and then the Avengers! The 1973 Marvel Annual

They were 10 years old then...could those early strips ever captivate the imagination of the kids again?? Or are they just too dated?

Lew Stringer said...

More details about the early days of Marvel UK here Jim:

As for whether those stories would appeal to kids today.... Panini have found that the reaction to Sixties reprints is divided and not enough in favour to support them. The Lee/Kirby FF tales are the only ones from that era they are currently reprinting sadly.

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