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Sunday, 21 September 2014
KELLY'S EYE FROM VALIANT ANNUAL 1974...
In the mid-1980s, the original art for the above cover used to sit in the office of BATTLE ACTION FORCE in KING'S REACH TOWER, the (former) head-quarters of IPC Magazines Ltd. I used to see it when I was collecting or returning work on my weekly visits to London when I was a full-time freelance lettering artist more years ago than I care to recall. I didn't own the Annual then - it was a later acquisition, and it was likely the familiarity of the cover that made me buy it, but it's a nice book to have on its own merits.
KELLY'S EYE was a long-running strip that took on aspects of Dr. WHO at some point down the line. It was an interesting premise: TIM KELLY was invulnerable as long as he wore the EYE Of ZOLTEC, capable of withstanding the full explosive power of a nuclear bomb. The strip first appeared in KNOCKOUT, switching over to VALIANT when the former merged into the latter in February 1963. Tim Kelly returned as a guest in the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER strip in the pulse-pounding pages of 2000 A.D. (1987), but it's for the Valiant strips that the character is best-remembered by readers of a certain age.
One of the more ridiculous aspects of the original strip was the way Tim repeatedly announced to both friends and foes alike that the jewel was the source of his powers, something you'd think he'd keep to himself. True, his statements were really directed at readers, to remind them of just how he accomplished his amazing feats (in case, presumably, they forgot the intro box immediately after reading it), but these proclamations were rather too frequent and conspicuous to seem entirely natural. (Even less so than normal comics' dialogue, that is.)
Anyway, just for you, here's a complete 7 page full-colour adventure from the above Annual, released in August/September 1973. The weekly comic managed to survive until it was eventually subsumed by BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY in April 1976. And thus came to an end the glorious 13 and a half year run of one of this country's finest weekly periodicals for boys.
Posted by Kid at Sunday, September 21, 2014