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 it'll be an astounding 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 stage in the evolution of titles like WHAM!, SMASH! and POW!,
which featured U.K. humour strips amongst MARVELreprints. (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 U.S. 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