Nostalgic notions, sentimental sighings, wistful wonderings, rueful reflections, poignant ponderings & yearnings for yesteryear! (With a few profound perplexities & puzzling paradoxes thrown in as well.)
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
IT'S FLIPPIN' FANTASTIC...
The fantastic 1st issue of Fantastic!
Well, I'm a little early, but
in about 11 days or so it
will be an astonishing 43 years since FANTASTIC
made its debut on the
newsagents' counters and
shelves of Great Britain.
Published by ODHAMS PRESS, the comic was the
next step in the evolution
of titles like WHAM!, SMASH! and POW!,
which featured British
humour strips amongst
the MARVEL COMICS
reprints. (Or vice versa
if you prefer.) Unlike
its companion papers
'though, the contents
of Fantastic were not
resized to fit a typical
British comic's page,
instead being granted the privilege of appearing (more or less) in their
original format - albeit in a slightly larger size and in black and white.
True, the credit boxes were omitted, and American spellings, references
and speech patterns were routinely changed ("I ain't" to "I'm not" for
example), but that didn't matter; just to see classic art by JACK KIRBY, DON HECK and, later, STEVE DITKO in all its crisp and cataclysmic
glory, was what mattered to the readers back in the day - to say nothing
of the power-packed dynamism of scripting by STAN LEE, LARRY LIEBER and ROY THOMAS.
The comic did contain some home-grown produce however, in the form of
the occasional humour page, plus THE MISSING LINK/JOHNNY FUTURE
strip that lasted for the first 51 issues, drawn throughout its entire run by
Spanish artist LUIS BERMEJO.
Despite lasting only 89 issues, a Summer Special and 3 Annuals, Fantastic remains one of the more fondly remembered comics of the '60s by those who were fortunate (and discerning) enough to have
bought and relished it at the time.