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The Unwritten 
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Joined: 01 Mar 2006, 00:59
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This might be of interest. The October issue of The Unwritten (on sale August) features a cover in the style of an old British comic:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/preview2.php?image=solicits/dccomics/201108/vertigo/UNW_Cv28.jpg

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THE UNWRITTEN #28
Written by MIKE CAREY
Art by PETER GROSS and VINCE LOCKE
Cover by YUKO SHIMIZU
While the cabal continue their seemingly motiveless murder spree, Tom researches his father’s journals to uncover the secret connections between Wilson Taylor and his deadliest enemy, Pullman – as well as a hint at an eighty-year-old atrocity that could be a clue to Tom’s own nature and origins!
On sale AUGUST 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US MATURE READERS


16 May 2011, 23:09
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I really like The Unwritten - yet as with other Vertigo titles such as the excellent Fables and House of Mystery it's getting harder and harder to find in many British comic shops!

The nice thing about that cover is that, although it features a Dollar price instead of a UK one, that just makes it look more authentically British since a number of UK publishers during the 1950s actually went out of their way to print fake US prices in order to fool their readers into thinking they'd found a genuine import. Such was the glamour of all things American amidst the drab austerity of Post-war Britain!

- Phil R.


17 May 2011, 09:52
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philcom55 wrote:
The nice thing about that cover is that, although it features a Dollar price instead of a UK one, that just makes it look more authentically British since a number of UK publishers during the 1950s actually went out of their way to print fake US prices in order to fool their readers into thinking they'd found a genuine import.
That really is very interesting. I didn't know that. Could you give us some examples please, Phil, with illustrations of covers if possible.


17 May 2011, 11:25
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I seem to remember Denis Gifford commenting on this practice in one of his books. I'm not sure how common it was after the war but here's an example of a couple of TV Boardman titles from 1940:

Image

- Phil Rushton


17 May 2011, 15:21
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philcom55 wrote:
I'm not sure how common it was after the war but here's an example of a couple of TV Boardman titles from 1940
Thanks, Phil. I must admit, though, that I was hoping you would follow up your comment about the trend in the 1950s because in that instance I might just have recognised some of the titles.


18 May 2011, 00:29
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Phil/ Phoenix, it is interesting to see those old TV Boardman covers, which as far as I know featured genuine American reprints. Those 10 Cents covers must've looked quite alluring to the British kids of 1940.

There was at least one other British publisher that produced British comics adorned with a Cents cover price in addition to the true British price. They were known as Cartoon Art Publications, based in Glasgow. They produced a number of titles between the mid 40s to around 1950, most of which were rather poorly drawn and featured weak imitations of American superhero and adventure strip heroes. Their principal artists were Brits Crewe Davies and Dennis M. Reader whose enthusiastic attempts at creating heroes such as Dane Jerrus, Electo Girl, Captain Magnet and others are admittedly quite endearing to my eyes. Paddy Brennan also drew some nice strips for the publisher before being employed by DC Thomson.

I'll attach two examples of Cartoon Art's Cents price covers; SUPER-DUPER #9 and WHIZZER COMICs #5 (both late 40s).

Other minor British comic book publishers used different ways of duping their readers into believing they were reading genuine American comic strips. One was Scion comics, which occasionally placed the legend 'UK Edition' on some of their titles perhaps to infer that they were American when in fact they were produced for a British audience. One such comic was ELECTROMAN. However, this comic did have some connection to the USA, as the strips were produced by the 'King-Ganteaume art studio, based (I think) in London, which was set up by two demobbed American GIs. The interior art, by the way, is rather good, although the character is heavily influenced by Captain Marvel, as were many other British superheroes of the period. Ken King and Malcolm Ganteaume also produced comics for Anglo-American Book Co.Ltd, including Masterman Comics. Some of these covers featured the legend 'Streamline American Comic', although the comic was aimed firmly at the British market.
If anyone has any more information on the King-Ganteaume studio I'd be pleased to
read it.


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07 Jun 2011, 22:30
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Super Duper comics 9 (1949) complete with fake American cover price.


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07 Jun 2011, 22:32
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Electroman comics 1 (1951).


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07 Jun 2011, 22:33
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Electroman looks like a Superman expy!

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08 Jun 2011, 01:26
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Thanks for posting those fascinating covers Dave. Are they your own copies?

I was really chuffed to stumble across this King-Ganteaume/Scion publication in Manchester a couple of months ago - not just because it contains some of the earliest professional work by Joe ('Charley's War') Colquhoun, but also because its cover features what must surely be the longest and most discursive canine thought-balloon in the history of comic books! :)

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- Phil Rushton


08 Jun 2011, 17:07
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It's a shame that while the 40's were the most interesting time for British adventure comics they are also now the rarest and most expensive! Story papers from the 1890's are common by comparison. Somebody needs to do a book with a load of reprinted stories, though I suspect copyright would rear it's ugly head.
There was a book in the 70's or 80's that I saw advertised on ebay as "full of reprinted stories" but actually it only contains one full story and the rest is pictures of covers and blabbering about how British comics were just something that people "put up with" while they couldn't get American ones.

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08 Jun 2011, 18:45
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The High Seas comic looks worth reading. Artwork looks European.

Is it as good on the inside, Phil?


08 Jun 2011, 20:54
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The proportions on that cover are completely out of whack if you compare the size of the boat to the dog and his master. Interesting find though! Never seen that before.

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09 Jun 2011, 23:05
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I'm pretty sure the cover is by Joe Colquhoun himself, showing off his lifelong passion for boats (ballast distribution notwithstanding). The book itself is great fun in a weird sort of way, having a curiously mid-atlantic feel - and the colour is surprisingly good, even if it is only on alternate pages. I also picked up a copy of their Daring Hero Comic at the same time.

- Phil R.


10 Jun 2011, 08:23
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Phil, Mike,
I enjoyed the High Seas comic cover - Lew was right about that dog, wasn't he. I've now convinced myself that the bow of the boat (or is it prow?) is sticking up a little higher from the water than it should - perhaps because of the sheer weight of that dog! :lol: The dialogue was priceless too. I really liked Scion's output, which generally had nicer art and as was mentioned, featured colour on alternate pages making these comics feel a little more American.

Those covers I posted are all from my own collection. As I boy of the sixties I loved American and British comics of the period (and after), but at age 10 my older brother bought home a small pile of 1940s Dandy and Beano comics he'd found in a second-hand shop, which seemed like exotic museum pieces to my eyes and made me want to find more!! In the early 80s I began searching out old pre-1960s comics and in particular these 40s/50s original British comic books and pre-war Roy Wilson weeklies. Glad you liked them.

Mike mentioned that he'd like to see a book which featured some of these old British comic book strips. Well, Mike Higgs privately published just such a collection a couple of years ago. He produced a limited run of 100 copies(?) of a lovely dust-jacketed hardback book called 'Great British Fantasy Comic Book Heroes'. It was expensive (around £60?), but is a labour of love and well worth checking out. I recall it being advertised in Crikey mag and may have even been discussed here on this very forum? The strip content is variable and much of it features quite crude art and story, but there are a few gems too --which probably sums up this particular comic book era perfectly.
I don't think you'll find this book on Amazon, but his buddy Phil Clarke may have a copy. You can contact Mike or Phil by email blasebooks@aol.com


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10 Jun 2011, 13:59
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