Speed – the weekly comic for boys, 1980

The final issue of Speed before its merger with Tiger. 25th October. 1980.

Speed was launched on 23rd February 1980, edited by David Hunt, and published each Monday by IPC magazines. Aimed at boys, the comic featured strips about sports, daredevils, racers, and included articles and profiles on high performance vehicles of land, sea, and in the air.

Some of Speed’s regular comic strip characters. 1980.

F-15 A Eagle. Speed 20th September. 1980.

USS John F. Kennedy. Art: John Cooper. Speed 27th September. 1980.

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2000 AD Progs, Star Pin-Ups, Poster Covers, and thrill-power galore!

Mutie and the Beast star pin up. 2000 AD Sci Fi Special. 1987.

TVTA is pleased to present an utterly thrill-tastic selection of 1980s and 90s Prog covers, Star Pin-Ups, Poster Covers, and more from British comic publication 2000 AD – featuring art by Carlos Ezquerra, Kevin O’Neil, Ron Smith, Massimo Belardinelli, Dave Gibbons, Jim McCarthy, Cliff Robinson, Brett Ewins, John Ridgway, Henry Flint, and Loaf.

Rejoice, brothers (and sisters) of Death!

Many readers of 2000 AD will know about Judge Death and the Four Dark Judges…

TVTA.

Brian Bolland.

But how about the Sisters of Death: Nausea and Phobia?

Below panels from Judge Dredd: The Dead Man. The Sisters of Death – Nausea and Phobia. Art by John Ridgway.

Feeling ssssick yet? If Nausea and Phobia are a bit too much for you, there’s always mutant vampire bounty hunter Durham Red…

Durham Red. 2000 AD Sci Fi Special 1989. Artist credited as SW?

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British comic book promotions in 1983, and a look at some Frank Langford ads

2000 AD Weekly Order newsagent form. 1983. UK.

Hope you’re staying healthy and well, vintage mates, as we continue on through the 2020 pandemic, into glorious May, and a new monthly edition for TVTA #110!

 

Today’s post is a surefire blast from the past which will take anyone who was around in Britain in the 1980s on a most pleasant stroll down memory lane.

From a lot of 1983 British comics which I ordered weeks ago – but which was only delivered this week – due to the pandemic – TVTA is pleased to present a range of comic book free gifts and promotions, plus some superb advert goodies from British artist Frank Langford.

Frank Langford (1926-1996)

Frank Cyril Langford was born Cyril J. Eidlestein in Stepney, London, on 2 June 1926. His earliest work in comics was in Roxy in the late 1950s. His highest-profile work in British comics was “The Angry Planet” (1963) in Boy’s World, some pages of which are signed “Eidlestein”, and the title strip in Lady Penelope (1966-69). From 1969 to 1973 he drew romance comics for DC in the US, in titles such as Secret HeartsYoung LoveYoung Romance and Falling in Love.

Angry Planet

“The Angry Planet” Boy’s World 1963

Langford also drew “Doctor Who” for Countdown (1971) TV Action (1973) and the Doctor Who Holiday Special (1973), “The Persuaders” (1973) for TV Action, and the daily strip Jack and Jill for the Herald and Sun (early ’70s).

Print adverts

He had a long-standing sideline in advertising strips, from ads for the W.R.A.C., Lyons Maid Ice Cream, Corgi Toys, KP Outer Spacers, and Philips Video Games Club – to name a few. Info adapted from UKComics.Fandom

Frank Langford – Philips Video Games Club

Philips Video Games Club with Terrahawks game. 1983. UK. Art Frank Langford.

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’46-’93, comic book art and covers

Good evening, vintage mates…

and good evening, Dr. Manhattan…

In this instalment, we showcase 1940s and 1960s covers for French comic Lisette; a fistful of DC war story comics including three excellent Weird War Tales covers; a 1979 Look-In magazine; some MAD from 1993; and one of the greatest graphic novels ever created – DC’s Watchmen.

Featuring artwork by Roger Bussemey, R.J. Sornas, Neal Adams, Russ Heath, James Warhola, Joe Kubert, Ross Andru, Romeo Tanghal, Dave Gibbons, and others.

Thanks for looking 🙂

Lisette N°26. 1946. France.


Weird War Tales 74. 1979. Cover by George Evans.

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Federal Comics – how 1980s Australia received its DC Comics superheroes

Supergirl. Australia. 1984.

Supergirl N°6. Cover by Howard Bender and Dick Giordano. 1985. Federal Comics. Australia.

Wonder Woman N°5. Cover by R.A. and D.G. 1985. Federal Comics. Australia.

Action Comics N°11. Superman. Cover Eduardo Barreto. 1985. Federal Comics. Australia.

In today’s post, TVTA looks at some outstanding comic book covers and adverts from the DC Comics Australian Edition publisher.

The Federal Publishing Company Proprietary Limited, based in Waterloo, Australia, was granted special permission by DC to reprint and publish a host of DC titles under the name Federal Comics to Australian readers.

TVTA is pleased to present some of these examples, featuring artwork by Dick Giordano, José Luís Garcia López, Ross Andru, Romeo Tanghal, Jerry Ordway, Terry Shoemaker, Howard Bender, Karl Kesel, Keith Giffen, Larry Mahlstedt, Mike Machlan, and Eduardo Barreto – this post offers a glimpse at how DC Comics characters were presented to an Australian audience in the mid 1980s.

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DAN DARE – Pilot of the Future (Disembark here for EAGLE comics 1982-1985)

Eagle Cover 10 July 1982. Art confirmed by @IanKennedyArt1 as done by Ian Kennedy.

This post will take a look at a short period in the history of British comic book Eagle and one of its most famous characters Dan Dare. Eagle was founded by the Reverend Marcus Morris and was first published in 1950 to 1969. The character Dan Dare was created by Frank Hampson and made regular appearances until 1969 when Eagle, struggling by then, was merged with Lion comics, thus bringing an end to the sky heroics of ‘Pilot of the Future’ Dan Dare.

But fast forward to 1982… and a secret project team at IPC Magazines led by Barrie Tomlinson, David Hunt and Gil Page was putting together the final touches of its plans for the relaunch of Eagle and its greatest hero Dan Dare! The new format had already been decided: a shift from traditional art stories to photo-stories – a format that had proved itself a hit with pop magazines like JACKIE.

Daring to dabble

Dan Dare was to escape the new photo-story format and remain rendered as he had always been – in quality lines and ink drawn by quality artists. Not that Dan escaped change entirely! The original 1950s Dan as created by Frank Hampson was completely removed from the relaunched storyline and replaced with Dan’s Great-Great Grandson who took on the name ‘Dan Dare’ and his mantle ‘Pilot of the Future’, with adventures now being set 200 years into the future of the original storyline.

Below: Operation Eagle. From the 1983 Eagle Annual

Just some of the steps taken in relaunching a comic and one of its legends.


Not plain sailing

What began as an exciting relaunch for Eagle in 1982 quickly gave way to choppy waters. Dan Dare lost its lead artist Gerry Embleton just four months into the relaunch. The following year in 1983 the title made the transition from the photo-stories back to traditional comic art. This was followed by the change to a new size format and cheaper newsprint – and all against the background of the 1980s British printer’s strikes when Eagle saw the mergers of fellow IPC comics Scream! which integrated into Eagle in 1984, and then Tiger which merged with Eagle in 1985. 

The creative team for the Dan Dare strips during this topsy-turvy ’82 – ’85 period included the writers Pat Mills and John Wagner, with intial artwork coming from Gerry Embelton and Oliver Frey (Frey also did the work on the ’84 and ’85 Annuals). Then came the prolific art of Ian Kennedy (announced as the new artist in the July 31 issue, 1982), and finally the art of Carlos Cruz from the period 1984/5. Writer and artist credits are seldom printed in many of the later issues I own, so if I’ve missed or miscredited anyone let me know in the comments.

Final flight

Although I’m only covering the period ’82 – ’85, it’s worth concluding the history of that relaunch to say that Eagle, and all of its fellow IPC comic titles, was eventually purchased by the publisher Robert Maxwell in 1987. Five-hundred issues of this later Eagle were published until dwindling sales forced a change from weekly release to monthly. Later issues contained reprints – although new Dan Dare stories did appear written by Tom Tully and drawn by David Pugh. Eagle flew on for a while longer up to 1994 when it, and its famous pilot Dan Dare, once again disappeared from the sky.

Onto the images then. 1982 – 1985. And what a treat! TVTA is pleased to present a stellar selection of artwork and covers related to this exciting relaunch period for Eagle and Dan Dare!

Enjoy.

Dan Dare and the Return of the Mekon by Wagner / Mills /Embleton. Eagle 10 July 1982.

Dan Dare and the Return of the Mekon by Wagner / Mills/ Frey. Eagle 17 July 1982.

Dan Dare and the Return of the Mekon by Mills / Wagner / Kennedy. Eagle 31 July 1982.

Page mixing traditional comic art with model photography. Mills / Kennedy / models by J. Baum. Eagle 28 May 1983.


Cover artwork 1982 – 1985


Title mergers

Eagle and Scream!, 1984

Eagle and Scream! 9 Feb 151 1985.

The stories ‘Monster’ and ‘The Thirteenth Floor’ from SCREAM! merger announcements with Eagle. 25 Aug 1984.

Eagle and Tiger, 1985

Eagle and Tiger. 14 Sept 1985 182.


Eagle Annual 1983


Dan Dare print advert. Eagle. 1983.


TVTA Fun Bonus!

While going through the dozens of Eagle issues I own from this period, I managed to put togther the four-part double-page series ‘Doomlord’s Alien Datafile Poster’

Pheww!! What a monster when all put togther…

Doomlord’s Alien Datafile. Four-part double-page poster collection in Eagle comic, 1985.

And lastly…

A Mekon and Treen target simulator to use with the free potato gun as given away in the September 24 issue of EAGLE, 1983, ‘Mash Up The Mekon’

Space Fleet Target Simulator. Eagle 24 Sept 1983.


That’s all folks. Thank you for flying into the future with us 🙂


Resources: 1983 Eagle Annual, Fleetway. Various Eagle comics, IPC, 1982 – 1985. Wikipedia entries for Eagle and Dan Dare. Images copyright belong to the current owners of Eagle and Dan Dare and are used here for information purposes. Image scans made by TVTA from personal comic collection.

Further reading: excellent Dan Dare article from Down The Tubes

Clash of the Titans: the official illustrated adaptation of the 1981 film

“And to make certain that Argos is destroyed, let loose the last of the Titans! Release the Kraken!” Zeus. Clash of the Titans by Beverley Cross. 

TVTA takes a glance at the 1981 Look-In Film Special for the official illustrated adaptation of the film Clash of the Titans, adapted from the Beverley Cross script by Mary Carey with art by Dan Spiegle.

ITV Books, 1981, Great Britain.


 

 



Thanks for looking 🙂