Battle 100 Postcards, 70’s Girl Comics 100 Postcards, Thunderbirds 100 F.A.B. Postcards
By various (Egmont)
ISBNs: 978-1-4052-6837-0, 978-1-4052-6838-7 & 978-1-4052-6893-6
Win’s Christmas Gift Recommendation: Fun and useful – a gift that keeps on giving… 10/10
I like to fool myself that I have a pretty good idea of what the Now Read This! regulars are like – (love art, adore stories, cherish childhood, never get enough exercise, never grew up…).
If that’s you, I think I’ve solved all your Christmas present quandaries.
Well, not me exactly, but hundreds of talented artists, years of accumulated nostalgia and those devilishly clever people at Egmont publishing…
Egmont UK’s Classic Comics library offers a huge variety of unforgettable British strips such as the iconic Roy of the Rovers, combat chronicles Charley’s War, Johnny Red and Major Eazy from legendary war comic Battle, spooky sagas from girls comic Misty and The Thirteenth Floor from kids’ horror anthology Scream – but only be accessed digitally via the iTunes store….
Now however the company has produced a trio of superb full-colour postcard sets: each providing 100 stunning recreations from the memory-mired vaults and all beautifully packaged in stylish commemorative caskets.
Seminal girl’s weekly Misty ran from February 1978 until 1980 when it merged with Tammy. The amalgam carried on until 1984 when it was subsumed into Princess.
In many ways Misty presaged today’s obsession with supernatural, doomed love: blending eerie chills with relationship dramas in such memorable serials as The Cult of the Cat, Moonchild, The Black Widow, Hush, Hush, Sweet Rachel, The Sentinels, Mr. Walenski’s Secret and Sticks and Stones as well the comedy witch Miss T.
Even with scripts from Pat Mills, Malcolm Shaw and Barry Clements, the big draw was always the stellar art from international artists including John Armstrong, Joe Collins, Brian Delaney, John Richardson, Ken Houghton, Peter Wilkes, Eduardo Feito, Bob Harvey, Honiera Romeu, Badia, Barrera Gesali, Mario Capaldi & Jesus Redondo.
Misty is the most revered these days – hence the preponderance of pictures included here – but AP/Fleetway/IPC ran for decades and even if material from Princess, Girl, Pink, June and Sandie might have passed some sort of sell-by date, the assorted accompanying images and illustrations culled from Tammy, Penny, Jinty and Sally stuffed into this darkly delightful hope chest are truly timeless.
The cards here include many covers but there’s also a selection of beguiling single-page strips (such as the dubiously un-PC Bessie Bunter), Horoscopes, stunning single panels and posters, title pages like Guitar Girl and so very much more…
The aforementioned Battle is synonymous with British comics, which have always had a solid tradition for top-notch strips about the World Wars. However the material produced by this radically subversive and decidedly different publication in the 1970s and1980s surpassed all previous efforts and has been acknowledged as having transformed the entire art form.
Battle was one of the last great British weekly anthologies (the other of course being 2000AD). The all-combat comic began as Battle Picture Weekly on 8th March 1975 and through absorption, merger and re-branding survived becoming Battle Picture Weekly & Valiant, Battle Action, Battle, Battle Action Force and finally Battle Storm Force before itself being combined with the too-prestigious-to-cancel Eagle on January 23rd 1988.
Over 673 gore-soaked, epithet-stuffed, adrenaline drenched issues, it gouged its way into the bloodthirsty hearts of a generation, consequently producing some of most memorable and influential war strips ever conceived, including Major Eazy, D-Day Dawson, The Bootneck Boy, Johnny Red, HMS Nightshade, Rat Pack, Fighter from the Sky, Hold Hill 109, Fighting Mann, Death Squad!, Panzer G-Man, El Mestizo, Joe Two Beans, The Sarge, Hellman of Hammer Force and the stunning, landmark Charley’s War among so many others.
The list of talented contributors is equally impressive: writers Pat Mills, John Wagner, Steve McManus, Mark Andrew, Gerry Finley-Day, Tom Tully, Eric & Alan Hebden, collaborated with artists such as Eric Bradbury, Colin Page, Pat Wright, Giralt, Carlos Ezquerra, Geoff Campion, Jim Watson, Ian Kennedy, Mike Western, Joe Colquhoun, Carlos Pino, John Cooper, Mike Dorey, Cam Kennedy and many more too numerous – or uncredited – to mention.
The battered war-chest for this pack houses hordes of reproduction covers, electrifying series ads, cutaway-drawings featuring Master Plan, quizzes, single page strips such as This Amazing War, some stunning single panels and title pages and much, much more.
The last box is slightly different, featuring a century of scintillating photos and stills from Gerry Anderson’s astounding Thunderbirds TV series, and whereas I’d have liked to see captures from the superb comics associated with the show, these classic images are immensely evocative too – and there’s always room for a second set, right?
Contained herein are snaps from the unforgettable title sequence, portraits of the Tracy clan and their extended network of allies and companions, the malign, sinister Hood, and of course all those astounding, breathtaking wonder machines employed by the International Rescue outfit to make the future a kinder, safer place.
At least one of these smart, sharp, impossibly satisfying packs are a perfect present for anybody in “our” set and you could even use them to send good old-fashioned thank you notes for your other presents…
But I’ll bet you won’t be able to…
70’s Girl Comics Collection © 2013 and published by Egmont UK Ltd. All rights reserved.
Battle Collection © 2013 and published by Egmont UK Ltd. All rights reserved.
Thunderbirds ™ and © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1964, 1999, 2013. Licensed by ITV Ventures Limited. All rights reserved. Published by Egmont UK Limited.