Saturday, 31 December 2011
Archive's Sunday Comics - 2012: Battle stations
Each week I had Battle, 2000AD and Tiger on standing order from my newsagents and when I could afford it there were many other titles waiting to claim my money - the Beano and Dandy, Bullet, Hotspur, the new Eagle, Action..the list goes on. Of course those were British titles.
My local newsagent didn't stock the American imports, but every now and then I would take a bus ride to nearby Porth and pick up a few of the American titles. Though in all honesty I preferred the more realistic UK anthology comics as most of the US titles I came across were superhero related, and whilst I enjoyed Batman, Superman and Spider-man I wasn't a massive fan of US titles. They were glossier than the UK titles, and often in full colour but UK titles reflected a working class society I understood. That society has now vanished and most of the comics have gone with it.
Things have certainly changed. The US titles still seem to be going strong, though from what I understand with not a fraction of the sales they once boasted. Titan and Panini between them are publishing high quality UK titles made up of American reprints and these are very popular, but the Brit stuff with the exception of titles like 2000AD and Clint have vanished. Of course the Commando Comics are still there but these are unique in that they are self contained stories and far removed from the anthology weekly comics that were once so prevalent. Early in 2011 a promising new title was announced called, Strip but it didn't seem to materialise - least I've never seen a copy. Apparently it's now on issue three but distribution can't be very good as I've yet to see a copy anywhere.
Kids these days don't know what they're missing and I'm glad I grew up during a time when comics were still a big part of every childhood...
And so all this leads us to our strip this week - an episode from the gritty war drama Hellman which was written by Gerry Finley-Day and appeared appeared in Action Comic and later survived when the title merged into Battle. And as a bonus we also have a couple of random pages from another UK comic, Warlord.
And remember click on any of the images for a larger readable version.