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Saturday, 9 November 2019
THE DEMISE OF THE VALIANT...
You know the sense of sadness one feels on learning that an old friend died a good while back, but only just hearing about it? I suppose that's similar to how I felt when I eventually discovered that VALIANT was no more. As it was no longer on my list of comics reading during this period, I was probably unaware of its merge into BATTLE until some time after the fact - but even though I'd only bought it when it had subsumed first SMASH! and then TV21 in the early '70s, it still felt like I'd just heard about the passing of an old pal.
I said some time ago that I'd get around to posting some pages from the final issue, so here they are, from a comic I acquired only a few years ago, long after it had bitten the dust. Making their final appearances in a weekly comic were PACO, STRYKER (with some lovely IAN KENNEDY art), CAPTAIN HURRICANE, and ADAM ETERNO, with CHALLENGE CHARLIE, and The NUTTS taking their last bow too. BILLY BUNTER would eventually resurface (in the form of reprints) in, I think, WHIZZER & CHIPS, so it's good to know that future readers weren't deprived of REG PARLETT's hilarious and sublime cartooning skills.
The Challenge Charlie strip was a bit of a con in that old scripts from POW's DARE-A-DAY DAVY were often reused, making the offer of a fiver in prize money (absent in the last episode) for accepted suggestions a total lie! Did not enough readers respond, or was it a deliberate subterfuge from the outset? Either way, it's a disgrace that they got away with it. I wonder if such things still happen today in the meagre selection of weekly humour comics available in newsagents. (I can only think of The BEANO - are there any others?)
Still, Valiant was certainly a success, as it lasted from 6th October 1962 until 16th October 1976, which was practically my entire childhood right up until just before I officially (and allegedly) became an adult. I wish all the comics that I bought (or knew of) as a boy were still around today. That would really be something! Maybe now that REBELLION owns the copyright to a plethora of old comic titles and strips, we may yet see their return. I hope so.
Were you a reader of Valiant at any stage during its 14 year run? Feel free to reminisce in the comments section.
One other thing: Look at that absolutely awful typeset lettering with badly-shaped balloons in some of the strips, the result of a dispute between IPC and the lettering artists it used - probably over the page-rate. It really hurt the look of the strips, and I for one wouldn't mind at all if it were to be replaced with either modern computer or hand-lettering should they ever be reprinted. What think the rest of you?
Posted by Kid at Saturday, November 09, 2019