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This Was The Wizard 
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Mr Valeera
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This Was The Wizard sees its debut this week. Written by two of our illumni, this looks to be a cracking read for anyone with even the slightest interest in DCT Adventure papers.

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Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:01 pm
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Looks great, need to get my hands on a copy

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Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:35 pm
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Amazon says its currently not available. :(

Hopefully, it won't be too long before it goes on sale there.

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Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:14 pm
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blaing wrote:
Amazon says its currently not available. :( Hopefully, it won't be too long before it goes on sale there.
I do not intend to release my book to Amazon because the discount they require from me, judging from the 60% they were asking for, but didn't get, for my first book, would swallow up all my potential profits plus a sizeable chunk of the money I paid to have the book printed and bound in the first place. I may frequently be pragmatic, but I'm never gormless. It is of course possible to get the book directly from me for £25 plus £3 p&p, as well as from 30th Century Comics in Putney immediately, and Border Bookshop in Todmorden from this Friday. It may also be possible to get a copy soon from Phil Shrimpton (phil-comics) although I'm still negotiating with him.


Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:36 pm
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Fair enough. I'll buy it through 30th Century in the next week or so. :up:

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Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:47 pm
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Mr Valeera
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I got mine yesterday. I was supposed to save it for Christmas, but after seeing a Ron Smith on the back cover (partially obscured by the bar code :( ), I had a very, very quick flick through. I fully intend to have a good delve very soon.

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Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:37 pm
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I gave it a review here, with photographs of some interior pages, if anyone's interested:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/ ... izard.html


Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:19 pm
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Image

December can be an exhausting and expensive time of year. But when you've finally made all the arrangements for visiting in-laws, ordered the turkey, posted all the cards and bought all the presents (not forgetting the cat, the dog and Great Aunt Griselda in Penge) it's traditional to sit back and think about buying yourself a present as a reward. And this year I can't think of a better present for any British comics aficionado than a copy of the utterly brilliant This Was The Wizard by Derek Marsden and Ray Moore.

To be honest I wasn't sure if this would interest me all that much as I've always been more of a fan of picture strip comics than the text-heavy story papers that my father grew up with. In the event, though, I was absolutely blown away by the staggering amount of information it contains and the masterful way in which it's all been organized. In my opinion this has to be one of the very best books about British comics I've ever seen: it's the sort of reference work you can lose yourself in for hours on end, dreaming of all those stories that entertained so many generations of schoolboys - as well as providing them with uplifting moral examples to structure their adult lives around. This really deserves to find a place in every library in the land (and I'm sure that Thomsons themselves must be overjoyed with the end result).

All 264 pages are crammed full of fascinating history, photographs, story outlines and biographies - not least of the astonishing William Blain: Wizard's second editor who personally created such memorable characters as William Wilson, Alf Tupper, Matt Braddock, the Wolf of Kabul, and even the Four Marys for Bunty. In my opinion Blain deserves to be classed with the very greatest writers of boys' fiction, alongside Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard and Robert Louis Stevenson - and it's only DC Thomsons' policy of not including writers' bylines that stopped him from becoming equally famous. What's more he also found time to originate the Dandy and Beano, as well as going on to become Editorial Director of all Thomsons' boys' papers and then Managing Editor of the entire juvenile group - a post that he held right up to 1970. A true giant by any standards...and yet who remembers his name today? Hopefully this book will go some way towards setting the record straight.

But for me the real meat of TWTW ('TW2'?) is its display of over a thousand small reproductions of header illustrations, including every one of the serials that appeared during the Wizard's 40 year history, along with short plot descriptions and Ray's expert art credits. The great thing about these is that they provide an effective style guide for so many of DC Thomsons' top adventure artists over the years - many of whom went on to work on the picture strips.

I could go on and on about the various other delights to be found inside this amazing book - the full colour cover reproductions, the list of complete stories, the gifts, the cartoons, the advertising flyers, and above all Derek's excellent introductory text - without doing it full justice. Take it from me: if you have any interest at all in the history of British story papers and comics then you need this weighty tome on your bookshelf (and if it comes gift-wrapped from Santa himself then all the better!).

- Phil Rushton


Last edited by philcom55 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:32 am
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Mr Valeera
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And as if by magic, my by-line appears on this review for the book

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Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:34 pm
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Lads and lasses: I have had a problem logging into the site and that is why I have been so quiet on here......I am in the USA for a two month visit and only have a tablet........it works fine for almost everything else though.


Phoenix: I am deeply impressed that you have got this labour of love finished and I wish you much success with this Wizard ( in more ways than one) tome..........a very accomplished achievement indeed and proof that your love for this subject is geniine and impassioned.

Hope they sell like hot cakes for you.

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Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:49 pm
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Thank you for those kind words and your best wishes, Rab. There is certainly a lot of interest in the book, which is translating into healthy sales, indeed both Border Bookshop and 30th Century Comics have needed to reorder from me, but it is early days, and I'm sure that a number of positive online reviews are helping things along. There was even one by Steve Holland on his Bear Alley site earlier today. Perhaps you may even feel like buying one for yourself when you get back from the States. :wink: :)


Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:10 pm
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:) :) :) :)

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Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:32 pm
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Phoenix wrote:
It may also be possible to get a copy soon from Phil Shrimpton (phil-comics) although I'm still negotiating with him.
As an update to these negotiations, I am happy to report that Phil Shrimpton (phil-comics) is now another source for This Was The Wizard.


Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:32 am
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Will he sell them via ebay? I saw a copy at the comic fair signed by Derek but it was a display copy. I have some funds in my paypal account so would prefer to buy it that way.


Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:05 am
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Mr Valeera
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He's selling them on a direct application basis. If you go to his website, you can contact him directly and he will sell you them that way.
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Please reply to this email with your postal address and we can send you a PayPal invoice. PayPal payment will guarantee your copy.
is from the email I got for a pre-order, so I would hope that he will still allow you to pay through Paypal. :D

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