Sunday, 12 April 2015

"Make Mine Class!" Is NOT Revolutionary Declaration. Just Saying.

After getting the Class Comics donation from Chris yesterday I have to say I got a little depressed!  You might wonder why?

As Chris pointed out, there is a whole generation -actually, I think probably a couple since Alan stopped publishing in the 1980s!- who will not see Class Comics or know the excitement of seeing so many diverse genre types (unless they buy Black Tower comics!) -newsagents don't even stock comics now.

I visited a few to see who was "On board with 2000 AD" and the newsagent across the road has removed the poster.  He doesn't stock the comics or anything other than the toy/promo related mags that might feature a rare strip.  In fact, I couldn't find another shop with the poster or 2000 AD.

Class Comics, like John Spencer All Original Comics, the Tarzan Comic Weekly are all gone.

It made me think that I need a plan to make even more aware of the Class Comics legacy.  Once we hit Autumn I'm hoping to feature much more on this blog.  "Pure nostalgia!" they say.  Too bloody right. Comics do not have to be Marvel or DC and in colour.  Most of us in the UK were brought up on black and white comics with the odd colour page. 

I just say "Make Mine Class!"

I'm hyper now!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Thank You

A great big "Thank You"  to Chris Tolworthy for his donation of Class Comics!


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Hey -I Got Amazing Stories -Sinister Tales No. 177....or is it No. 69?

Well, yesterday my copy of Class Comics Amazing Stories -Sinister Tales no.177 arrived. Not bad condition either and £1.99.

The book contains, behind the Don heck cover of Mandrake The Magician #1:

Mandrake -Menace of the City Jungle  King Comics)

Lightning -While Our Hero Sleeps...!  (Tower Comics)

A Caveman Named Smith  (Atlas Comics?)

The Phantom -SOS Phantom  (King Comics)

Mandrake -The Flying Phantom!  (King Comics)

The Little Lost Planet  (Atlas Comics?  Ditko art)

Now, in my interview with Alan it was pointed out that he would mix-and-match covers and strips since there was limited material available.  So I was not surprised to learn that the cover had been used in a pre-1971 UK decimalisation edition of the same title.

Interesting is that Sinister Tales 69 cost 1/- (1 shilling which became 5p after decimalisation)  so the 20p cover price would have made it 4/- in old money!  Decimalisation ripped us off? Of course it did.

I was surprised to see three different sites list the contents of both issues as being the same.

This issue actually contained only two strips from the later no. 177 -the Mandrake and Lightning stories:

"Mandrake the Magician" by Dick Wood, Werner Roth, Don Heck, and André LeBlanc
"The Frightened Man" by Bob Powell (?)
"I Died Tomorrow!" by Pete Morisi
"While Our Hero Sleeps...!" by Steve Skeates and Chic Stone
"The Empty Chair" by Joe Orlando
"They Crawl by Night!" by Vic Carrabotta
"The Punishment of Paul Phillips!" by George Roussos (?)
"Something Strange on the Sand!" by ?
"The Man Who Crushed Rocks!" by Reed Crandall
There is a big difference, though.  I do not have no. 69 but I did look through a copy someone was "willing" to sell me for £15 -it was £1.50 but when I showed interest: "Oh, that's a rare collectible, mate and it should be £15 -that's what that should read" and my response?  "Really? £15.00? If I ever get brain damaged and have money to waste I'll pop by!"


Distracted then...right.  Alan had changed printers to Caldra House and for a 48 pages black and white comic I was quoted 11p per copy by them -which was cheap.  The cover and colours on No. 177 are not as bright and clear as on No. 69.  The same can be said for the internal reproduction standard where a lot of areas are badly faded rather than solid black and in some spots has faded all-together.

I am guessing Caldra House used the printing 'plates' made from the art originally supplied to Alan or made poor new versions.  When I say "plate" I should say "sheet" because they were a few millimetres thick and if you think of the flat bottom of a tin foil baking grey you are not far off.

You'll note that the AC comics symbol and price are much better defined on the no. 69, too. 

But, for one thing, I have a Don Heck Mandrake strip  which was worth the cost.