Starlord was a short-lived weekly Britishscience fiction comic book magazine published by IPC in 1978 as a sister title to 2000 AD, which had been launched the previous year in anticipation of a science fiction boom surrounding Star Wars.
Starlord was planned as a fortnightly title for older readers, with longer stories and higher production values than 2000 AD and the rest of the IPC boys' comics stable, but this proved too ambitious. Episodes were shortened, the number of colour pages was reduced, although the better quality paper and printing were retained, and Starlord was published weekly at a higher cover price than 2000 AD.
Mind Wars, a series about two psychic teenagers in the middle of a galactic war, written by Alan Hebden and drawn by Jesus Redondo (concluded in #22, but briefly returned for a sequel in the 1981 Starlord Annual)
Timequake, featuring a tramp steamer skipper reluctantly recruited into Time Control, an agency which fought to prevent anyone tampering with time.
Planet of the Damned, a passenger jet vanishes in the Bermuda Triangle and the passengers find themselves on a hostile alien world. Written by Pat Mills (as RE Wright).
Holocaust, Carl Hunter, a private detective, discovers a government cover-up of an alien invasion. Written by Alan Hebden.
As well as 22 regular issues there were also three Annuals dated 1980–1982 (though each published at the end of the previous year) and one Summer Special.
IPC found that publishing two weekly science fiction titles split the market, and Starlord, with its higher cover price, was cancelled after 22 issues and merged with 2000 AD in "prog" (issue) 86 of that title. Its last issue was dated 7 October 1978. Starlord was actually the better selling of the two titles, the decision to end it being dictated by the higher production costs of Starlord as opposed to 2000 AD's cheap newsprint format. 2000 AD's line-up was strengthened by the merger: Strontium Dog became one of its most popular and long-running series; and Ro-Busters continued on in 2000 AD for a while and led to an enduring spin-off, ABC Warriors, which still features today. Timequake also briefly featured in issues 148 to 151.
Editor Starlord was edited by Kelvin Gosnell, who was also editor of 2000 AD, although he mostly concentrated on Starlord and left 2000 AD to assistant editor Nick Landau. After Starlord merged with 2000 AD, Gosnell became editor of new comic Tornado.
Like 2000 AD, Tornado and Scream!, Starlord had a fictional editor, a bouffant-haired superhero also called Starlord, and each issue was supposed to be a primer for survival in the galaxy. When the title was cancelled and merged with 2000 AD, Starlord announced that his mission on Earth had been successfully completed and he was off to battle the evil Interstellar Federation on other worlds, though he urged his readers to "keep watching the stars" (his catchphrase). When a 2000 AD reader asked after Starlord's whereabouts in a 1999 issue though, 2000 AD editor Tharg claimed that "While Starlord has not been sighted on Earth since 1979, rumours that he was seen in a McDonalds in Basingstoke cannot be entirely discounted". On another occasion, it was claimed that he was "out in the Rakkalian Cluster, singing lead soprano with an Alvin Stardust tribute band".
All of the Star Lord covers can be seen from 45 seconds into the following video......
Tornado was a short-lived weekly Britishcomic book magazine published for 22 issues by IPC Magazines between March 1979 and August 1979. After the cancellations of the Starlord and Action titles, IPC launched Tornado as a way to use up stories already commissioned for the other titles. Like Action it was a mixed title featuring War, Detective, Horror and Science Fiction stories. Its first editor was Kelvin Gosnell. Tornado was printed on the low quality newsprint stock used by 2000 AD and also had five stories of 5 to 6 pages per issue. The title also had a 'superpowered' editor, like Tharg, 'Big E' who was portrayed in photo-strips by a rather portly Dave Gibbons.
Main stories were:
The Mind of Wolfie Smith written by Tom Tully, with art by Vincente Vaño, was the story of a young boy whose telepathic and telekinetic powers suddenly emerge, leading him to become a runaway.
"Angry Planet" written by Alan Hebden, with art by Massimo Belardinelli, was set in the late 21st century on a Mars that had been made habitable by humans. The story told of the struggle of the first generation of genetic 'martians' to free themselves from exploitation by Earth.
"Wagner's Walk" was a WW2 story much in the Action style as the hero is an escaped German POW fleeing the Red Army.
"Blackhawk", written by Gerry Finley-Day with art by Alfonso Azpiri, was the story of a Nubian Galley slave who rescues his ship from pirates. Granted his freedom and a commission as a Centurion, Hawk forms his own legion out of other slaves who are then treated as a type of "Dirty Dozen".
"Victor Drago" was a pseudonymous revival of Sexton Blake, IPC's long-running fearless detective, written by Bill Henry with art by Mike Dorey.
Merger Tornado was merged with 2000 AD (at the time titled 2000 AD and Starlord, from a previous merger) with the latter's 127th issue. The only characters to transfer were Blackhawk, Wolfie Smith and Captain Klep, the star of a one-page comedy strip. Both Blackhawk and Wolfie Smith had their storylines considerably modified to more closely fit the sci-fi tone of 2000 AD. Blackhawk was kidnapped by aliens and forced to compete in an outer space gladiators' arena, and Wolfie Smith was menaced by an ancient force under a stone circle. By September 1980, 2000 AD had finished presenting stories with the Tornado characters.
All of the Tornado covers can be found from 1:20 in the following video.....
Eagle was a seminal British children's British comics periodical, first published from 1950 to 1969, and then in a relaunched format from 1982 to 1994. It was founded by Marcus Morris, an Anglican vicar from Lancashire. Morris edited a Southport parish magazine called The Anvil, but felt that the church was not communicating its message effectively. Simultaneously disillusioned with contemporary children's literature, he and Anvil artist Frank Hampson created a dummy comic based on Christian values. Morris solicited the idea to several Fleet Street publishers, with little success, until Hulton Press took it on.
Following a huge publicity campaign, the first issue of Eagle was released in April 1950. Revolutionary in its presentation and content, it was enormously successful; the first issue sold about 900,000 copies. Featured in colour on the front cover was its most recognisable story, Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, created by Hampson with meticulous attention to detail. Other popular stories included Riders of the Range and P.C. 49. Eagle also contained news and sport sections, and educational cutaway diagrams of sophisticated machinery. A members club was created, and a range of related merchandise was licensed for sale.
Amidst a takeover of the periodical's publisher and a series of acrimonious disputes, Morris left in 1959; Hampson followed shortly thereafter. Although Eagle continued in various forms, a perceived lowering of editorial standards preceded plummeting sales, and it was eventually subsumed by its rival, Lion, in 1969.
Hampson was embittered by his departure from Eagle.
Although he created Dan Dare, he and Morris had signed contracts which made the space adventurer the copyright of its publisher.
This made it difficult for him to get hold of his original artwork, and excluded him from any profits Hulton made from the huge range of Dan Dare and Eagle merchandise it licensed.
He called Odhams, the comic's owner after 1960, "Treens".
Hampson later worked on various advertising commissions, and illustrated seven Ladybird books. He recovered from cancer to become a graphics technician at Ewell Technical College, and in 1975 at the Lucca comics convention was declared as the best writer and illustrator of strip cartoons since the end of the Second World War.
X-Men comic scriptwriter Chris Claremont read and enjoyed Eagle, and cites Hampson's work as influential on his career.
Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons has also praised Hampson's work, and the author Tim Rice, in his foreword to Living with Eagles (1998), cites the stories printed in Eagle as helping "me in my story-telling efforts through musicals many years on."
The comic industry's Eagle Awards, first presented in the late 1970s, are named after Eagle, and a fan club, the Eagle Society, regularly publishes the quarterly Eagle Times.
Eagle was relaunched in 1982 and ran for over 500 issues before being dropped by its publisher in 1994.
The public reaction to this, along with news of a planned television series, persuaded IPC's comic arm Fleetway to relaunch Eagle in 1982, as a weekly pulp comic.
The original Dan Dare was no longer a feature of the comic, his eponymous great-great grandson taking on the mantle of space explorer instead.
Drawn by Gerry Embleton, and later Ian Kennedy, and set 200 years after the original story, the first story-arc featured the return of Dan Dare's earliest nemesis, The Mekon.
IPC were unable to recreate the popularity of the original strip, and in 1989 the original Dan Dare returned to the comic, in a six-part story illustrated by original Eagle artist Keith Watson.
In an attempt to emulate the success that Fleetway had had with girls' magazines, the relaunched Eagle initially contained a large number of photo stories such as Doomlord, Sgt. Streetwise and Manix, but this style was soon replaced by the more traditional comic-strip format.
Along with IPC's entire comics line, Eagle was sold to Robert Maxwell in 1987.
Although not as successful as its predecessor, over 500 issues were published. A change to a monthly anthology caused by falling sales was a portent of the comic's future. Toward the end of its life issues contained reprints of earlier work, alongside new Dan Dare stories written by Tom Tully and illustrated by David Pugh. The relaunched Eagle was dropped in 1994.
The editorial approach to Scream! was to de-emphasise the horror label and deliberately not repeat the style of its more controversial precursors, making it more tongue-in-cheek for younger readers, as evidenced by its coverline "not for the nervous".
Monster - serial about a deformed man ('Uncle Terry') who grew up locked in an attic, similar to the Monster of Glamis. The strip borrowed from the 'gentle monster on the run' archetype as espoused by the Hulk, as Terry inevitably escaped, tending to murder people he didn't like due to his inhuman strength and lack of social restraint. Notably the script for the first instalment was credited to Alan Moore, with subsequent scripts credited to "Rick Clark," a pseudonym of John Wagner. After Scream! closed Monster continued in Eagle for some years.
The Nightcomers - about a haunted house which killed a husband-and-wife investigator team - their children were drawn to the house to continue the investigation.
Terror of the Cats - an ill-fated experiment to harness the psychic energy of cats resulted in local cats becoming enraged and attacking people in a small town. This too was written by Simon Furman.
The Thirteenth Floor - Scream!'s most popular strip, concerning "Max" a crazed computer, in charge of an elevator in an apartment building - when someone bad or evil steps inside, "Max" would take them to The Thirteenth Floor as punishment. It continued in Eagle for several years after the demise of Scream!. The first 11 episodes were reprinted in Hibernia Books' 2007 collection, 'The Thirteenth Floor'.
Rimmer claims to have taken inspiration for the name Ghastly McNasty from a Liverpool band called Filthy McNasty.
Ghastly's face was concealed by a hood, and a regular feature of the comic involved readers sending in drawings of what they believed he looked like.
Despite fan speculation that Scream! was cancelled due to complaints from the public the reason it, along with five other IPC titles, ceased publication was in response to an industrial dispute.
It subsequently merged with Eagle to form Eagle and Scream!, in which the series Monster and The Thirteenth Floor were continued.
There were also six seasonal specials released, mostly consisting of reprints of horror-themed stories from IPC's back catalogue.
There was a story in (I think) House of Mystery (if that's wrong, someone let me know, because I'd love to re-read this story). It dealt with a man with a gambling problem who is talked into participating in a game of death essentially. He and several other men (or maybe just one other) are put inside a pinball machine (I don't remember if they were shrunk down or if it was a giant machine), and the main character ends up winning by killing someone else. For his efforts he is handed a one dollar bill, which will bring much reward if used. he scoffs at it, but takes the bill. His wife/girlfriend asks if he's going to gamble it, to which he says he's learned his lesson, and he tosses it into a bell ringer's kettle, but it multiplies into hundreds of dollars, to the surprise of the bell ringer.
The first Saturday of May is designated as Free Comic Book Day, where many publishers put out a book for free, which you can pick up at participating comic shops. Many stores will have events going on with this, like cosplayers for photos, guest artists, special deals, and contests. Many bigger stores may have writers and artists from the major publishers. If you have a LCS that is a participator, I highly suggest you check it out!
That's awesome! I was just watching a video from a guy who does videos about Charleton Comic, and he had some issues of Baron Weirwulf's Haunted Library. I had never heard of this title before, but I'm going to look for some tomorrow. If I find this one, we'll have to maybe work something out where I can send it to you. After I read it, of course.
Update: They had a few issues of Baron Weirwulf, but not the one you were looking for, and I wasn't paying $20 a pop for the others. I did find some other Charleton horror comics in a $2 box, and they were buy one get one free. So score there.
And talk about temptation! They had a Marvel Star Wars issue one graded at 9.5 for $300! Oh, if only my kids didn't need to eat.
I know I mentioned it in one of the Star Trek threads, but there was the 20th anniversary issue of DC's Star Trek run where the young Kirk & crew meet the older versions of themselves. Great story, but released before The Voyage Home was released, and so the crew was stationed on Excelsior. Made no sense once the film came out.
Yes, I also remember being appalled when DC killed off all of their characters such as Bearclaw, both in order to fit into the forthcoming film continuity and owing to some edict, probably from Richard Arnold, Rodenberry's right hand Trek man, who got sacked as soon as Rodenberry passed away.
Arnold had a stranglehold over the novels too. None of the characters were allowed to do much of anything of interest.
Again, that's why I liked the fact that my favorite franchises did well in comics, but I got frustrated reading them because so much of it would be retconned with every new movie/series. Star Wars and Star Trek, while having great writers and some really good stories, would set things up, just to have to change everything at the drop of a hat because nothing made sense.
I guess when Disney decided to relegate the EU to legends status, it brought it all back up. Like, here are these good stories, all licensed by Lucasfilm and considered canon, and now it's not. But, there was also a lot that was crap, so it's not all bad.
I suddenly remembered another story from a horror comic. It was about a young aristocrat who got a yearly stipend. It was finally decided that he would get paid his weight in gold, so he decided to gorge himself to gain more weight. He went from a buff young man to a very heavy person. The time of the weighing had come up, and he decided he wasn't heavy enough, so he decided to swallow musket shot. On the way to be weighed, his carriage driver was going too fast, and had to abruptly stop to avoid an accident. When the carriage was opened, the villagers saw that the musket shot had ripped through his body (of course, you couldn't actually see the body, but it was enough to scar me as a kid).
Also, while watching a video on YouTube, I was reminded of this really great cover. It freaked me out as a kid. It seems to me the story revolved around the fact that the kid was scared of the uncle because he was the only one that saw him as a demon. When everyone else found out, they kicked him out. As he's walking away, the kid chases after him, and you see that he's a demon too, and he hugs his uncle, willing to go off with him.