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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

STARLORD cover gallery (1978)

Art: Ramon Sola
As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the short-lived Starlord weekly from 1978, I thought I'd run a gallery of all 22 covers. I've scanned them from my own comic collection, and the art credits (where I didn't recognise them) are from sources online. 

If you didn't already know, Starlord was launched as a slicker companion comic to 2000AD, and introduced us to Strontium Dog and Ro-Busters; characters that are still around today. After just 22 weeks, Starlord merged into 2000AD, but it's still remembered as one of the best comics of its day.

Starlord comic is Copyright ©Rebellion Publishing Ltd.
Art: Brian Bolland??? Anyone know for sure? 

Art: Kevin O'Neill

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Kevin O'Neill

Art: Ron Embleton

Art: Ramon Sola?

Art: Brian Lewis?

Art: Graham Coton

Art: Graham Coton

Artist unknown.

Art: Brian Lewis

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Artist unknown.

Art: Alberto Salinas?

Art: Kevin O'Neill

Art: John Higgins?

Artist unknown.

Art: Graham Coton

Art: Ian Kennedy

Art: Jose Luis Ferrer?

Art: Graham Coton
There was also a Starlord Summer Special published in 1978 while the weekly was still in circulation...

As a bonus, here are the free gifts from the first three issues of the weekly... 

The free foil badge was designed by Kevin O'Neill and there were six to collect, each one randomly attached to the front cover. 

Issue 2 gave away a cardboard slide that revealed info on the planets...

Issue 3 presented Starlord's equivalent of the old 'Battleships' game...



HannibalCat said...

Still have all of these, even managed to get the summer special recently, and I still love them. The original Strontium Dog stories are what sold it to me in '78, but Mind Wars has consistently great art and I have soft spots for almost all the other strips, especially Time Quake.

varszava_vavava said...

An excellent comic. Mind Wars was the best strip and rare example of a female lead in a boys' comic. I have read that Starlord was more popular than 2000AD - which may not have been as popular as we are led to believe...

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, I understand there was a possibility that 2000AD might merge into Starlord, but 2000AD was cheaper to produce than its sister paper, and tradition had it that the older title usually won top billing, so it became 2000AD and Starlord.

Now that Rebellion have the rights I'm sure we'll see a Mind Wars collection at some point.

Aaron Stack said...

Love the site, particularly the emphasis on British Comics.
Not sure where to post this question but thought I'd give it a go. Do you have any information on a Scream! Spinechillers Holiday Special story called "Mr Ugly?"
I remember reading a story in some B&W British comic back in the 80s about a deformed character who regularly gets taunted by villagers when he comes to visit. They track him to his home and discover it's filled with toys, then they destroy them. The deformed character returns and chases them away but is unfortunately shot and killed after saving a boy from drowning in a swamp. I think it was from Scream! but not exactly sure. Been looking for the story for years.
Sorry for the long post.

Lew Stringer said...

Never feel the need to apologise for a long comment, Aaron. Thanks for dropping by.

It does sound like a Scream! one-off, but I'm afraid I sold all my copies years ago so I can't check. Sorry about that. I don't have many 1980s comics apart from the ones I contributed to, although in recent times I have bought complete runs of Crunch and Buddy.

I'm sure other visitors to this blog would be more familiar with Scream! though. Can anyone out there help?

John Kerry said...

Just to satisy my curiosity. What happened to the annuals? I think there were three.

Lew Stringer said...

I don't have the annuals now, John, so couldn't scan those covers. Yes, there were three, dated 1980 to 1982. I'm sure there'll be cover scans online somewhere.

PhilEdBoyce said...

Always nice to see more Ian Kennedy artwork and that cover with the UFO and jet planes is lovely indeed. As a child I did notice how most of the establish IPC/Fleetway comics never had issue numbers, with Oink! being the exception, but then again it was independent. I know later comics they tried to launch in the late 80s kept issue numbers, but the older ones never did. I see Star Lord dropped them too after the first three issues. I wonder why 2000AD kept them on when no others did?

Lew Stringer said...

It used to annoy me a bit that IPC shied away from using issue numbers. I think their philosophy was that if a kid thought a comic was old, they wouldn't buy it. The absence of an issue number suggesting it might be new. Seems daft to me, as it never hurt D.C. Thomson's comics, most of which had cover numbers and outsold IPC's titles.

The other thing could be that as IPC tended to merge their comics more than their rivals did, they could pretend that, say, the first combined issue of Tiger and Jag was an equal partnership, when in fact it was really just another issue of Tiger with a few strips from Jag added. Easier to woo over the readers of a failed comic if they believe that the merger is two comics "joining forces" into a brand new comic, instead of the hard truth of Giggle, Cor!!, Jackpot, Nipper etc being victims of serial-killer comic Buster. :)

I think 2000AD was an exception because the staff had the knowledge that cover numbering worked as an incentive for collectors. They also used it on Tornado, although that didn't last long.

John Kerry said...

The real annoyance was when I was cataloguing my collection on (part of GCD).Some IPC titles were listed by issue number even when they didn't have one.

Lew Stringer said...

Some people prefer to think of them as having issue numbers as the dates confuse them for some reason.

SLOW ROBOT said...

Marvel UK - during the Dez Skinn era (1979-80) and immediately thereafter went through a phase of removing the issue number from the cover (but retaining it in the small print inside) and concocting cover text/ splashes which prominantly featured '1st' in big print... Presumably to fool casual observers into thinking it was a new launch.

Seemed to happen most on SPIDER-MAN.

Robert Carnegie said...

2000 AD being numbered by "Prog" made it sound science-fictiony, like something a computer would do, if you'd heard about computers. It probably was what Prog-Rammers rammed into the computer.

Being called "2000 AD" became slightly more eccentric as the millennium came and went, and anyway it should have been "AD 2000".

Incidentally, if you are stuck with issue numbers for record keeping but issue dates on covers, a Prog-Rammer tip is to try writing year, month, day, as one number, for instance 20180109 for last Tuesday. But it may not fit in the box. And several collections don't really require the century number.

Lew Stringer said...

The original dummy issue of 2000AD shows that it was indeed going to be called AD 2000 at one point, Robert. While that may have been accurate, I think 2000AD sounds far better.

It still happens today, Slow Robot. Toxic hasn't featured the cover number for ages, but the barcode does contain the last two digits of the issue number, so for example the current issue with 99 on the barcode is issue 299. Of course, that only works if one already knows the full number.

Fact is though, most readers of children's comics simply do not care what the issue number is, and never have.

B Smith said...

Someone in the art department was certainly a fan of that extremely condensed sans serif was used quite a bit on Warrior and other Skinn-related titles too. Quite understandable, as it meant you could possibly squeeze more words in....any idea if that was just the general style back then, or could it be pinned down to one person?

Lew Stringer said...

The font's name was 'Compacta' and I just think it was a highly popular choice in the 1970s because it stood out, was easy to read, and, as you said, packed a lot into the allocated space.

Back then of course, the fonts were on sheets of Letraset. Other highly popular ones of the '60s and '70s were Microgramma (the font used for the UFO tv show and related comics) and Futura Display (the font used for the Joe 90 title). You'd tend to see those fonts everywhere, in adverts etc.

Robert Carnegie said...

Cover number one rhymes visually with an early poster for "Star Wars". Nothing wrong with that though. I'll guess that 1960s and 70s science fiction novel covers may be influences on other pieces of art here - anyone spot more?

I'm not saying that comics artists can't produce original images, but that sometimes they don't choose to?? ;-)

Lew Stringer said...

Sometimes it's just coincidence.

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