Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's yet another batch of British MARVEL comic covers
from over 30 years ago.  This time around it's MARVEL SUPER
ADVENTURE and MARVEL ACTION for you all to salivate over,
featuring KIRBY, COLAN, BUSCEMA and SMITH artwork.  I can't
help but think that the LETRASET lettering on the covers did them no
favours and that professional hand-lettering after the style of SAM
ROSEN would've been much easier on the eye.

That's one of the things that often surprised me about British
Marvel - the way they would dilute the distinctive essence of what
made a Marvel comic what it was by using typeset lettering instead of
the cataclysmic calligraphy that artistic giants like Sam Rosen or ARTIE
SIMEK were capable of - what the heck was the editor thinking?  Such
a sorry state of affairs wouldn't have happened if I'd been in charge
of these mags, no sirree!  (And they only had to ask.)

Anyway, what particular reminiscences do you have about these
weekly comics, dear readers?  Why not share them with the rest of
us in the Crivens comments section?  You'll be glad you did!


Paul McScotty -Muir said...

More great stuff here to drool over, sadly - I missed these 2 titles when they first came out and only came across them a few years ago in City Centre Comics in Glasgow (in the 50p bin) and picked up 3 issues of "Super Adventure Comics" a great book very much in the original 70s UK Marvel mould - great Colan art on Daredevil and the (imho) highly underrated Kirby Black Panther strip that looked better in B&W than colour but I found it strange giving DD (with Black Panther back up) its own weekly as they're not exactly big sellers in the UK - marvel Action had a much stronger line up. The one let down with both these titles was as you note the awful lettering in the titles and pretty naff titles themselves - still I have seen worse from Marvel UK especially a really awful "The Spider-man comic" for kids (with strips like Fraggle rock etc)

Anonymous said...

Typesetting aside, I really get a kick out of seeing these wild, crazy U.K. covers. It looked liked they sure packed a lot of material in those magazines, judging from all the various characters on the covers. I've seen most of this artwork before, but seeing it presented in a different way is always a treat.
Thanks, Kid!

Kid said...

Yeah, McScotty, That kiddie Spidey was bloody awful - what were they thinking of? Shows how desperate they were I suppose - sales must've been so bad that they felt they didn't have anything to lose.


Thing is, Mlp, they were only running a few pages of each strip per issue, so it sometimes took weeks to get a full U.S. tale in its entirety. The covers are certainly interesting 'though - glad you're enjoying see them.

baab said...

sale now on
bargains galore
Why did they not just use pink and green day-glo on these covers?

A couple of the covers art shines through,the Black Panther covers,but the lettering is tacky and cheap.

Tacky and cheap.

Kirby draws a mean Black Panther.

Kid said...

Indeed, Baab, the lettering is awful. Back then, the covers were still 'pasted-up' by hand, rather than by the computer manipulation of today, but even then, there was no excuse for how bad these ones were, lettering-wise.

John Pitt said...

I missed Action , but did get Adventure. I am pleased that I'm not the only one who has such affection for Marvel UK , warts and all. There used to be so much snobbery from certain quarters towards anyone who bought / collected them in the past. I would love to have all mine back again , just as much as the US comics.

Kid said...

I think, JP, that sometimes it's more the times they represent than the comics themselves that we year for. They're like gateways into the past. Sometimes, of course, it IS the actual comics we want.

Colin Jones said...

Sorry, but those covers just look awful - they look cheap and amateurish, just compare them to the wonderful Planet of the Apes and Dracula covers of the other day! Marvel UK's golden age was from 1972 to January '79 and then it all went to pot. I'm just glad I was around when they were worth buying!

Kid said...

Some of the POTA covers weren't all that good, Col - and the interiors of early issues of Dracula Lives were ruined by the poor-quality printing. It seems that you have a nostalgic affection for the comics that you bought, but not for the ones you didn't buy, which is entirely natural, of course. The main problem with the covers in this post is the awful lettering, which completely lets them down.

Kid said...

Oops, that should be 'comics...that we YEARN for' in my reply to JP - didn't hit the 'n' hard enough.

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