Saturday, 1 March 2014

SMASH! COVER GALLERY - PART ONE...




In February of 1966, a brand-new comic hit newsagents' counters all
across the country:  SMASH! was a companion comic to WHAM!, LEO
BAXENDALE's proposed 'Super BEANO', which at that time was just
under two years old.  Both comics were published by ODHAMS PRESS,
but by the time 1969 rolled around, Odhams had been subsumed by IPC
MAGAZINES Ltd., who then relaunched Smash! (the only surviving
POWER COMIC out of five) as a more 'traditional' comic in the
style of popular weeklies VALIANT and LION.

The revamped comic, launched in March of 1969, survived for
around two years, and if not for a printers strike lasting several weeks
in 1970, would doubtless have produced more than the 95 issues actually
published.  In fact, it seems likely that the strike was the cause of regular
readers drifting away, thereby curtailing the comic's potential lifespan
and hastening its 'takeover' by Valiant in April of '71.

Here then, is the first in a series of cover galleries showcasing 'new'
Smash! in all its glory.  I hope that those who lived through the period
will find this tantalising glimpse of a vanished periodical from their past
extremely welcome.  If you have any particular memories associated
with these issues, feel free to share them in the comments section.

And don't forget to come back for Part Two!





6 comments:

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Lovely stuff thanks for showing these - I was amazed that SMASH under IPC, lasted under 2 years it really was a great comic. I remember when I started picking up / collecting UK comics again(around 20 years ago now - gulp!) being amazed at just how much was in every issue, around 40 pages crammed with strips and each strip had a lot of panels - I checked one issue I have handy and there were 20 individual strips in it (some reprints of course and 1/2 page strips etc) plus cover and back page cartoons - Have to say after the first 10 - 20 issues the covers were not (in general)great (focusing on splash pages of strips inside) and felt that had something to do with its decline ( the covers shown here are striking especially to 10 - 12 year old kid) The first merged issue of Valiant and Smash was pretty impressive as I recall .

Kid said...

Believe it or not, McScotty, the Warriors of the World covers lasted for 46 issues before changing to the type you mention. And you're right about the comic being packed with strips. I've recently begun re-reading them and am surprised at just how long it takes me each issue. Yoe certainly got a lot for 7d back then. Incidentally, the cover to the first Valiant & Smash! is somewhere on the blog.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

46 issues really? I honestly only thought they ran for around the first 20 issues (they must have gotten down to showing some obscure "warriors")I had a set of around 15 consecutive issues of SMASH and started to read them again it took me ages and I tried to figure out how as a 9 year old kid I juggled keeping up with all these stories (buying around 6 weekly comics with my brother ) that's a lot of stories and I knew exactly what was going on in each one.

Kid said...

What I find odd, McScotty, is that 1969 doesn't seem all that long ago to me, and not too different in memory than how things are today. Yet watching Inspector George Gently , which is currently set in 1969, the era seems distinctly ancient-looking - closer to the '30s than it is to today. (Which it actually is come to think about it, but you know what I mean.)

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I know what you mean, I was looking at a site that had pictures of Glasgow from the 60s /70s and I find it hard to relate to it but I lived there then and thought it was modern at the time but it ws pretty dire in places and basic (had its good points as well not al bad) all the changes have sneaked up on us - I cant believe the 80s are 30 plus years ago that to me is still a "modern" time

Kid said...

I remember the 1970s so vividly that the period still seems relatively recent to me. It's hard to believe that, to modern kids, it's as 'prehistoric' as the 1940s seemed to me in the '60s. (Although the '40s and the '60s were closer together than the '70s and today.) Scary stuff.

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