Fantastic 40th anniversary

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Shaqui
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Re: Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Shaqui »

philcom55 wrote:As a matter of interest, can anybody put names to those faces? (I'm pretty sure I've seen the guy on the bottom right in some editorial capacity before!)
That's art assistant Andy Harrison (aka 'Ivan Quant' of the TV21 Coderoom!).

There's an easter egg on the GACCH website that reveals the identity of many of the others. :wink:

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Re: Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Lew Stringer »

I've now uploaded a short article and a bunch of scans about Fantastic:

http://tinyurl.com/2vtaxw

Lew

[IMG:340:273]http://i12.tinypic.com/40e6d5u.jpg[/img]

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Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Kashgar »

Fantastic was a comic too far for me. Not having been gifted with endless wealth in the pocket money department certain difficult choices had to made and a month before I'd already dismissed Pow in favour of TV Tornado. And on top of this there were my regular squad of titles that demanded my continued support Victor, Hotspur, Buster, Valiant and Lion. As a result all three of Odhams later 'Power' titles Pow Fantastic and the soon to be published Terrific got the go by. But truthfully even at ten I was already convinced that I would never be a member of the FOOM brigade and all three of these titles, particularly the last two, were infected with the Marvel bacillus (stephlococcus toomuchicus) to a terminal degree. DC were the kings of US comicdom to me and maybe if Odhams had signed a deal with NPP rather than Marvel I'd have seen Fantastic and the rest in a different light.
Instead we had to wait till 1970 for Top Sellers to produce the 'brilliant' Super DC mag which ran to a spellbinding 14 issues and spawned a single annual ( I fear this may be an oxymoron but you know what I mean) the Super DC Bumper Book. I jest of course, Super DC was dreadful and did the DC characters no favours at all. It was so bad their probably still printing it on the Bizarro world.

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Re: Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Lew Stringer »

Kashgar wrote:Fantastic was a comic too far for me. Not having been gifted with endless wealth in the pocket money department certain difficult choices had to made and a month before I'd already dismissed Pow in favour of TV Tornado.
Cough! Splutter! TV Tornado over Pow!? :wink:

I know what you mean though. I ditched TV 21 for Smash! (Frank Bellamy's Thunderbirds was too dark and his layouts too show-offy for me at 7 years old. I appreciate it now of course.) I think I dropped Wham! for Terrific. Odhams had expanded their line too much and obviously sales were affected. Something I fear Panini might learn to their regret now their ?2.50 Astonishing Spider-Man title is going fortnightly.

I didn't follow the Thomson or Fleetway adventure comics until the Odhams ones closed. Even then I felt they were "second best" to the Power Comics. Yes, I know that's sacrilege to some, but for me as a kid in the sixties the Odhams comics captured the spirit of the times far more than Victor or Lion did in that period.

Lew
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Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by chrissmillie »

DC were the kings of US comicdom to me
I've always been disappointed in 1960s DC myself. One of the reasons I'm not a big fan of Showcase. Most of the 1960s stuff shows a slow progression from the golden age, whereas I thought Marvel swept along with a new, much more exciting broom.

DC became a lot better in the 1970s but really came to the fore in the 80s. Mind you, anyone reading Green Lantern or Flash these days? Shockingly bad.

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Re: Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Lew Stringer »

chrissmillie wrote:
DC were the kings of US comicdom to me
I've always been disappointed in 1960s DC myself. One of the reasons I'm not a big fan of Showcase. Most of the 1960s stuff shows a slow progression from the golden age, whereas I thought Marvel swept along with a new, much more exciting broom.

DC became a lot better in the 1970s but really came to the fore in the 80s. Mind you, anyone reading Green Lantern or Flash these days? Shockingly bad.

Chris

I'm a big fan of late fifties / early sixties DCs. They had a charm and focus that's been long lost. This isn't nostalgia talking: I'm too young to have read 1950s comics and I never followed DC until Kirby rejoined them in 1970/71.

I can live without collecting most late sixties DCs, but for the early sixties: the Superman line, Green Lantern, and The Atom are my favourites. (I don't think Superman has ever been better than he was in the late fifties / early sixties, but then I think he works better as a children's character than trying to make him plausible.)

The Lee Elias Green Arrow strips of the Fifties were also a joy to discover: a really nice confident inking style.

I don't think the DC characters would have fared too well in the Odhams comics. Sure, Smash! had Batman anyway, but those newspaper strips were closer in style to the tv show in 1966 so we accepted it as that. But I think the rest of the DC line would have been too genteel to sit alongside the likes of Bad Penny, The Nervs, and Grimly Feendish. Wheras The Hulk and Nick Fury seemed much more appropriate.

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Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Kashgar »

Truthfully I didn't stick with 'TV Tornado' for too long and in retrospect 'Pow' would have been a better way of spending those extra pennies, but I was lured with the promise of Supeman and Batman (what a swizz that was). Still it made it all the easier to give 'TV Tornado' the heave-ho a few months later when Fleetway launched 'Giggle' yet another new title laden, as usual, with 'quality' free gifts.
What a tart I was when it came to those 'hatch, match and dispatch' comic titles when I look back but then I suppose that was the point. I may not have been in a position to sell Manhattan Island for a string of beads but you could certainly have my allegiance to the likes of 'TV Tornado' for the 'farting' balloon given free with the first issue of 'Giggle'!

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Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by chrissmillie »

Actually Lew, I may well agree with you on Superman there. He was at his best when he was the 1950s sci-fi comic (actually preferred Superboy of that era).

1960s DC probably peaked in Plastic Man I would say. Marvel? Well, there were so many...!

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Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by stevezodiac »

I photocopied some of the Barry Smith pin-ups on the back cover of Fantastic and sent them to Rascally Roy Thomas for inclusion in his Alter Ego magazine as it might be of interest to American readers who'd never seen them. Barry might object though so they may not appear - I don't know what sort of free rein Roy has with the stuff he puts in his magazine. I also sent him the only original Hulk story to appear in a British comic, from Smash. About six pages long. I remember the stick-on scars from issue 2 or 3 of Fantastic and wearing them in the playground. The comic was 9d - three times the cost of a Beano so that would have affected sales. For tuppence more you could have got Beano, Dandy and Sparky! Are Alf, Bart and Cos still with us?

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Re: Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Lew Stringer »

stevezodiac wrote:I photocopied some of the Barry Smith pin-ups on the back cover of Fantastic and sent them to Rascally Roy Thomas for inclusion in his Alter Ego magazine as it might be of interest to American readers who'd never seen them. Barry might object though so they may not appear - I don't know what sort of free rein Roy has with the stuff he puts in his magazine.

I met Barry Smith briefly at a UK comics con several years ago. He was sitting with us talking about pre-Raphelites or something and I piped up with "I remember your pin-ups on the back of Fantastic".

He gave me a look and said "That was a long time ago."

So no, he might not want to be reminded of them. ;-) On the other hand, they prove how quickly his style matured so they're a credit to him I reckon.

Lew
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Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by philcom55 »

Speaking of Barry Smith I was always tremendously impressed by his inclusion in Alan Aldridge's seminal Beatles' Illustrated Lyrics at such an early age! I'm not certain of the exact chronology but I'd guess that must've been around the same time he was doing those Power House Pin-Ups (not to mention the ubiquitous Anglo Ace!).

- Phil Rushton

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Re: Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Lew Stringer »

philcom55 wrote:Speaking of Barry Smith I was always tremendously impressed by his inclusion in Alan Aldridge's seminal Beatles' Illustrated Lyrics at such an early age! I'm not certain of the exact chronology but I'd guess that must've been around the same time he was doing those Power House Pin-Ups (not to mention the ubiquitous Anglo Ace!).

- Phil Rushton

Barry Smith drew Anglo Ace? I never knew that!

I was looking at some of those ads last week and was thinking how much of their time they were in design.

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Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by kevf »

At last this site makes me feel slightly young! I was too young for Fantastic issue 1. That said, one of my very first comics was Terrific, which came the following year (am I right?).

Thus began my hapless habit of buying the title that was about to be swallowed up - every time!

I got Terrific, swallowed by Fantastic, then swallowed by Smash. I got Wham, swallowed by Smash. Swallowed by Valiant. I got Thunder, swallowed by Lion. Swallowed by Valiant.

Back a loser every time, that's me.

Did I mention I quite like Beano Max, by the way?
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Re: Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by Lew Stringer »

kevf wrote:At last this site makes me feel slightly young! I was too young for Fantastic issue 1. That said, one of my very first comics was Terrific, which came the following year (am I right?).

Nope. It came out just eight weeks after Fantastic No.1. So I'm afraid your feeling of youthfulness is short lived Kev. :lol:

Lew
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Fantastic 40th anniversary

Post by chrissmillie »

And of course the Smash Pow it's Terrific (or was it Fantastic?) Summer Special!

Chris
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