Australian comics

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matrix
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Australian comics

Post by matrix » 26 Jan 2016, 03:26

Just thought I would add this topic to discuss any Australian comics. I know some have been discussed on other topics and I have researched a little on the net, but always good to obtain fresh views.
In particular 'The Phantom' spin off comics from Frew, 'The Raven', 'The Panther', 'Sir Falcon', etc. Plus 'Catman', 'Yarmak, 'Phantom Commando' 'The Phantom Ranger' etc. Are they all original Australian? Not sure about Catman? Yarmak' was a 'Tarzan' clone?
Plus reprints.
Also where did The Sky Phantom originate?
Besides his great work on 'Yarmak' did Stanley Pitt contribute to many more of these?
Thanks.

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paw broon
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Re: Australian comics

Post by paw broon » 26 Jan 2016, 09:51

A quick reply before I have to run for my bus. Catman was originzlly an American title but when it was discontinued, an Australian publisher had new stories produced. The costume was tweaked but the main change was his sidekick. In the American comics it was a young girl whohad the name Kitten. The Australian version change her to him and named him Kit. They are nicely done comics.
I'm pretty sure the rest are Australian originals, although I'm very vague on Phantom Commando. I have a history of Australian comics somewhere and I wll try to dig it out.
Times up, need to go.

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philcom55
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Re: Australian comics

Post by philcom55 » 26 Jan 2016, 10:51

Funnily enough I just bought this 1950s Australian comic at the weekend. I haven't had chance to look at the contents yet so I'm not sure if it's all-reprint, but I really love the cover (especially with the price in old Australian shillings!).

Image

davidandrewsimpson
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Re: Australian comics

Post by davidandrewsimpson » 26 Jan 2016, 15:31

For those who want to plunge deep into the history of Australian comics, http://comicsdownunder.blogspot.co.uk/ contains much of interest.

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paw broon
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Re: Australian comics

Post by paw broon » 26 Jan 2016, 16:35

The Phantom Commando
Created: John Dixon
Year:
Artist 1: John Dixon (first 3 issues)
Artist 2: Maurice Brambley
Published 1: Horwitz Publications
1st Series 16 issues 1959-1964
2nd Series #13 & #14 1965\
Publishes 2: 3rd Series #15-18 Page Publications 1967-1970
(reprints)

That's a copy of the Phantom Commando entry from an A - Z of Australian comics and I'll send a link to you matrix when I get it uploaded somewhere.
Phil, those Giant Size comics were Frew comics and are composed of various reprints. Your cover, apart from The Phantom, shows the Australian Shadow and a cowboy I can't identify. I have 4 #s of this series and they contain various characters, incl. Sir Falcon, Phantom Ranger, Planetman, the Australian Catman and possibly other characters, but the Phantom was the mainstay of the run. Covers often have the slogan, "4 comics in one".
David's link is a good source of info.
Superheroes abounded in Australian comics, and not only American reprints or Aus.versions of them. They had their own Captain Atom - only similarity is the name. And matrix has already mentioned The Panther; The Raven. Add to that the Crimson Comet; another Raven, this time by Phil Belbin; Twilight Ranger - a masked western hero; Vampire. Too many to mention.

davidandrewsimpson
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Re: Australian comics

Post by davidandrewsimpson » 26 Jan 2016, 16:52

I have a soft spot for The Phantom Ranger who, in a breathtaking feat of larceny, managed to combine The Phantom (he was a generational hero) with The Lone Ranger (masked lawman of the old west).

Published by Frew, his comic ran for 208 issues from 1948 to 1967, with 18 issues of UK reprints circa 1956/57 from World Distributors, who also published a few of his adventures in the gloriously-titled Giant Comic Fast Action Western.

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paw broon
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Re: Australian comics

Post by paw broon » 26 Jan 2016, 17:07

This is great. I didn't know about the WDL reprints. Thank for that. And you're right David, he is a generational hero and, I'm sure there are a couple of others - non American, that is. This is frustrating. I just can't think who they are. Zagor - the Italian comic?

davidandrewsimpson
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Re: Australian comics

Post by davidandrewsimpson » 26 Jan 2016, 17:49

Hi Paw

If you go to http://www.comics.org/publisher/3490/ you'll find page one (of two, with a link to page two) of a listing all the World Distributors comics on the Grand Comics Database. I suspect that'll keep you clicking away for quite a while.

Fom what I've seen and read, I'm sure there are many more WDL comics than those on GCD.

matrix
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Re: Australian comics

Post by matrix » 27 Jan 2016, 06:43

Thanks for links and info, that A-Z sounds interesting as well.

I'm guessing then some of these Aussie comics are similar to the Canadian Whites? Home grown due to the war etc. Just not branded in the same way?

That 'Phantom' cover is a nice example even though some were reprints I think a lot of the covers were original. I have a couple of the 'Famous yank' series with the 'Dollman' on the front.

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suebutcher
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Re: Australian comics

Post by suebutcher » 27 Jan 2016, 12:51

In Australia, American comics were banned during the war as an unnecessary import, and the demand was met by publishers employing local artists and writers. That was our "golden age", although as you'd expect some of the stuff was pretty clumsy! Then U.S. comics came back and the industry collapsed.

Two good reference books on Australian comics are "Panel By Panel" by John Ryan, and "Bonzer" by Annette Sheill. Bonzer has a few factual errors, but lots of nice colour images.

Stanley Pitt also drew Silver Starr, Australia's answer to Flash Gordon. This was originally a full-page newspaper strip, but there was a Silver Starr comic book that ran to seven issues.
Last edited by suebutcher on 28 Jan 2016, 11:37, edited 1 time in total.

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philcom55
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Re: Australian comics

Post by philcom55 » 27 Jan 2016, 13:08

The parachuting cowboy on that Giant Size Comic cover is the Range Rider Paw. I must say I'm intrigued by the Australian Shadow (there was also a British one btw) - going by the way he's coloured on the cover I thought at first he might be a very early example of a black mystery man, but it seems he's a white man in a mask who bears a striking similarity to Steve Ditko's Question.

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suebutcher
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Re: Australian comics

Post by suebutcher » 28 Jan 2016, 02:40

The Shadow normally had a purple mask and no mouth, Phil.
Shadow#1.jpg
If you want images of Australian comic covers, just ask. I've got dozens, but very few of the actual comics of this era. They're hard to find.

matrix
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Re: Australian comics

Post by matrix » 28 Jan 2016, 05:48

Yes they are hard to find, I only have a few.

The scans below are the origin covers of 'Sir Falcon' and 'The Raven' plus 'Sir Falcon' no2.
Attachments
Scan_20160129.20.3.002 (1).jpg
Scan_20160129.2.000 (1).jpg
Scan_20160129.008.jpg

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philcom55
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Re: Australian comics

Post by philcom55 » 28 Jan 2016, 07:10

Those are great! It's interesting that the Shadow story in Giant Size Comic #8 seems to be set in the UK with frequent mentions of Scotland Yard. These characters really ought to be better-known all over the world - possibly even revived in their own interconnected comic book universe (Earth Oz?). Does anybody know if the Shadow, Sir Justin and the Raven, et al are now in the public domain?

matrix
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Re: Australian comics

Post by matrix » 28 Jan 2016, 07:40

The 'Raven' is as well Phil. His ancestral home is 'Ravenscourt' on the wild moors! He was also imprisoned on Dartmoor, he escapes then heads up to London to find 'Monty Dukes' of Chelsea, to recover the family treasures! Great stuff! I agree they should be more well known.
Paw should be able to answer that public domain question?

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