Saturday, 13 December 2014


Image copyright Marvel Comics

Back at the end of October, reader DUNCAN MACKINTOSH
reminded me that I'd had a letter printed in SUPER SPIDER-MAN
THE TITANS #206.  Well, you could've knocked me down with
a feather 'cos I'd clean forgotten about it.  I wasn't long in acquiring a
replacement (although, now that I think about it, the person to whom
I gave my original copy back in the '70s still has it), so I thought I'd
share my Mighty Marvel Missive with those of you who didn't
see Duncan's comment a couple of months ago.  Read on...


               Dear Bullpen,

               In a recent letters page, in reply to an enquiry about "The Missing
               Link/Johnny Future" saga, you said that earlier you had considered
               reprinting this series but had decided not to at present.  I'd just like
               to say I really enjoyed these stories when they first appeared in "Fan-
               tastic", so I'd just like to say you've got my support if you ever decide
               to publish this strip.  I was privileged only to read a few stories, so I
               look forward to reading the complete set at some future date.  You
               could even arrange a battle between the Hulk and the Missing Link
               as a fill-in, because they're similar in appearance and it would
               provide an interesting story.

               G. I. Robson,

               We're particularly gratified to receive your approbation of the
               Missing Link/Johnny Future saga because we had a big hand in
               the production of it. (Yep - all those years ago!)  Those Marvelites
               currently showing such fantastic interest in Cap. Britain might like
               to know that the artist was British produced (well, apart from the
               fact that the artist was a Spaniard!)  There are no present plans
               for re-publishing the series in British Marvels...but who knows
               what the future (and no pun intended!) may hold...


The Spanish artist, of course, was and is LUIS BERMEJO,
still going strong today (as far as I know).  I'm puzzled as to why
I said I'd only read a few of the strips, because when I eventually
acquired back numbers of FANTASTIC years later, I seemed to re-
call the majority of the weekly instalments.  I can only assume that, in
between having my memory refreshed, I'd simply forgotten reading
most of them at the time of my letter.  Or perhaps, devious teen-
ager that I was, I thought that Marvel might take pity on me
for having missed these classics and republish them.

What's interesting about the response is that it's probably
by ALF WALLACE (of ALF, BARTCOS fame) who was
the editor of ODHAMS PRESS POWER COMICS back in the
'60s, and who, in the '70s, was working for MARVEL U.K.  (What's
more, it's thought that he wrote at least some of the Missing Link/
Johnny Future strips back in the day.)  So things had come full
circle for him in being once again connected to Marvel.

From my point of view, as I had gotten into Marvel stories
through the Power Comics reprints, it gives me a little thrill to
think that Alf himself answered my letter to British Marvel way
back in '77.  What puzzles me is why I ever gave the comic away
- I must've forgotten that letter pretty quickly.  (Got it back now
'though, so a big thanks to Duncan for taking the time and
effort to remind me of its existence!)

Anyway, so far I've managed to account for four letters
I had printed in British Marvel mags of the '70s.  If anyone
uncovers any others, please let me know.


Anonymous said...

So how many letters do you think you had printed ? I'm sure I'd have remembered exactly which issues my letters were in (if I'd had any). I'd never heard of Johnny Future until I read about him on your blog but looking at that cover reminds me of my biggest regret from those days namely the fact that I stopped getting Spider-Man Comics Weekly in January 1976 and didn't start reading it again until the merger with Captain Britain in July '77 so I missed most of the "landscape" issues (apart from the odd one now and again).

Kid said...

How many? Don't have a scooby, CJ - perhaps four is all there are, but I just can't remember. I was never a huge fan of the landscape format, to be honest.

John Pitt said...

I didn't know that Alf went on to work for Marvel UK. He certainly deserved a job there. Any idea of what Bart & Cos went on to do?

Kid said...

I know that Bart became the editor of Look & Learn (and maybe others) at some stage, JP, because I received a letter from him back in the '70s or '80s (whioch I've still got) in response to an enquiry of mine. I didn't twig at the time whose signature it was 'though, it was years and years before I finally joined the dots. I eventually 'met' him in the mid '80s in King's Reach Tower. He came onto my floor looking for something in a filing cabinet, and nodded to me as he passed my desk. The sub-editor on Buster, who was up talking to me at the time, told me who he was. I saw him a handful of times after that, but never really spoke to him apart from an exchanged nod of acknowledgement.

Cos I'm not sure about. I'd imagine he stayed with IPC/Fleetway once they subsumed Odhams. Perhaps I even passed him in King's Reach Tower without ever realising who he was. Unless, of course I'm mixing the two of them up, and it was Cos I'm talking about seeing in the above paragraph.

John Pitt said...

Bet you could name drop quite a few names from your days at KRT, eh? Of course, they were ALL droids back then - including YOU! ( you really should post that pic. one day! )

Kid said...

The one from the 1991 (I think) Annual? You mean I haven't already? I'll dig it out at some stage.

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