Monday, 24 February 2014

1974 MARVEL U.K. POSTERS...



Back in 1973, MARVEL U.K. (as it eventually came to be known)
launched their third British weekly title - The AVENGERS.  The first issue
contained a free gift of four mini-transfers, which, small as they were, featured
absolutely amazing artwork by Spanish artist LOPEZ ESPI.  I remember being
so impressed by them that I wrote to Marvel, suggesting that they release these
masterpieces as posters, and guess what?  They did!  I'd love to take credit for
giving them the idea, but I doubt that I was the only reader who wrote to
them on the matter.  (Nah!  Scrap that - it was all down to me.)

For some odd reason, I never actually got around to sending away for
them when they became available, something I now regret.  However, thanks
to a generous contributor, I can now feature these amazing six posters to show
you all what you missed if you weren't around in 1974.  And thanks to regular
Criv-ite McSCOTTY  for motivating me into tracking down some half-
decent copies of these collectors' items to share with you.

Click on images to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.
  





Below, the ad for the six posters above.


Below, a CONAN poster by the same artist, but
not included in the set above.


Below, the cover of AVENGERS #1, which included four
mini-transfers featuring artwork used on the above posters.


And here's another version of each of the original
six posters for you.  Am I good to you, or what?






14 comments:

Nick Caputo said...

Kid,

Never saw these before. Espi had a very dramatic and exciting style. I particularly like his DD, although all are nice. He appears to have based his Iron-Man figure on George Tuska's version, and a see a little Steranko inspiration in his Cap figure.

Thanks for sharing!

Kid said...

And a bit of Neal Adams in his Thor. Glad you enyoyed seeing them, Nick - a pleasure to hear from you, as always.

baab said...

And a dash of Severin on Conan?
I wont guess which one,john or Marie
Conan is slightly Kull-ish.

Stunning art.

Kid said...

Indeed, Baab - I taught him everything he knows. (Cough!)

Gey Blabby said...

That's strange: I got the comic with the tranfers, but I don't remember seeing the offer for the posters; I'm sure I would have got them given the chance.
Still, there's some nice work there. Maybe Marie Severin on The Hulk as well as Conan, with Neal Adams on Thor and Cap. Iron Man seems to be influenced by both Colan and Tuska.
Does it seem to anyone else that the figures look as if they were originally drawn with backgrounds behind?

Kid said...

It's entirely possible, GB. Espi drew covers for foreign editions, so maybe the figures were lifted from them.

Andrew kerr said...

I actually relate the stickers to Origin of Marvel Comics. I got appendicitis very sudden (none of this grumbling for months) and had to be taken in for an emergency op. As a reward for 'being brave' (like I had a choice!) my dad sent off for Stan's book thinking it would be waiting for me when I was discharged. Ten day recovery time- you'd be lucky to get 10 minutes now! Anyway the book wasn't there, but I had a letter from Marvel explaining they had underestimated demand and were having to have more imported from the States. Also included was a set of the above stickers and the bullpens best wishes for my recovery! Turns out Dad had got bored waiting after a couple of days and phoned them wanting to know where my book was!

Kid said...

Great story, Andrew - now that's what I call result! So they were stickers as well as transfers, eh? I remember getting a similar package when a padded bag turned up without an Origins book inside. I wrote to Marvel and Neil Tennant answered, saying that they were out of stock but one would be sent to me as soon as they had some more. He included a pile of goodies to tide me over while I waited.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I don't recall ever seeing the Conan poser at all thats a new one on me - i see the Tuska, Severin and especially the Adams influences on the respective characters now yo mention them. When I orderer FOOM all I got was a tatty and poorly typed out letter about 6 weeks later saying "Sorry FOOM is sold out, try again later" I ws not a happy bunny I can tell you!!! :O)

Kid said...

Were these posters also available through F.O.O.M., McScotty? I'll have to check through my back issues and see? I've printed out A4 copies of these posters for framing and hanging in my room. Surprisingly, the quality is very good. My First issue of F.O.O.M. was issue #3, which turned up a while after I'd received a similar note to yours. (Mine said the earliest issue available would be forwarded to me.) That was the only issue I ever bought at the time. I've now got a complete set, along with the original kit, poster and all.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Sorry no, the posters weren't given away with FOOM (as far as I am aware) I was just venting my spleen re Marvel sending out other folk nice replies and extra goodies lol- I still recall how excited I was at getting the 50p Postal order and sending it out for FOOM and the disappointment in getting that letter and my PO back (time to let the anger go I l think!)Nice story from Andrew though that's what its all about, nice memories - That's pretty impressive picking up all the FOOM issues I have only managed to pick up 2 (issue 16 and the Defenders edition 19 I think) I was always intrigued as a kid by "Marvelmania" was that an actual fanzine ?

Kid said...

Marvelmania? I've got #1 of the mag, McScotty - I'll post it on the blog at some stage for you to see once I've dug it out of my cupboard.

Andrew kerr said...

Is there a way for me to upload photos, Kid? Although most of the stickers were placed around my bedroom one has survived ....(although the condition is none to good)

Kid said...

I've checked, Andrew, but I can't find a way to send pictures through Blogger. Anyone know how?

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