Monday, 2 January 2017


Back on September 25th 1971, TV21 ceased to be a separate
entity after over six and a half years and was absorbed by VALIANT
(cover-dated October 2nd), a comic that had been in continuous publi-
cation since 1962.  And so ended a legend in British weekly periodicals,
as TV21 had, in its heyday, been the best-selling comic for children by
an extremely wide margin, and whose sales (at their height) have
probably never been equalled even to this day. 

I'd been buying Valiant ever since SMASH! had been merged
into it back on April 3rd of that year, and was immediately taken with
the STAR TREK centrespread strip, one of only two (if I rightly recall)
to carry over from TV21.  (The other being The TUFFS Of TERROR
ISLAND.)  The art on PARAMOUNT's TV hit, by JOHN STOKES,
had nice, clean storytelling and captured the likenesses of the main
actors in a way not all previous artists had been able to.

The pages were sheer quality and a visual treat to the eyes.  I'm
fortunate enough to own several issues, including the first three, and
it's always a pleasure to look again at these strips whenever I dig out the
comics for a self-indulgent nostalgia-fest, wherein I travel back in time
faster than a member of the Starship ENTERPRISE.  Now, however, I
have this brilliant new book by IDW to make that trip easier, the sec-
ond of a three volume set (got the first one, the third isn't out yet)
reprinting all the U.K. Star Trek strips ever published.

The reproduction is amazingly crisp and clear, and if you're a
Star Trek fan, or a lover of British comics, you're sure to be bowled
over by this handsome, hardback volume, containing not just Valiant
strips, but also ones from TV21 and its Annuals.  Available now from
all good comics shops and bookstores.  (Roll on the third and
final volume in the series.)

Definitely a 'must have' item for discerning collectors.

Below - the cover of the first combined issue of Valiant & TV21.
(Not in the book.)

And below, from the third issue, comes the Star Trek strip.  This
is scanned from the actual comic - believe it or not, I think it looks
better (cleaner and sharper) in the IDW volume.


John Pitt said...

By now, you will have undoubtedly have heard that all (?) of the Star Trek comic strips are also being reprinted in a partwork graphic novel format. Very nice, if you've got about 800 quid going spare!

Kid said...

I won't be bothering with them, JP. All I'm interested in is the U.K. strips.

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