Tuesday, 30 June 2015


From 1990: If you read one TWIN PEAKS book back-in-the-day, the chances are in was this one: Jennifer Lynch's THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER.  

We've become accustomed to media tie-in books that are, at best, a competent retelling or extension of the screen version... or often fall some way short... so this paperback was (and is) a refreshing change: it really does feel like an extension of what we were being shown and told on screen.  

I couldn't swear now that it exactly mirrors what we saw on screen... and it was published before FIRE WALK WITH ME was conceived and shot... but it certainly seemed to mesh fairly seamlessly at the time.  Quite an achievement considering David lynch seemed prone to making big creative decisions on-the-fly.  A result no doubt helped by the fact that it was written by Lynch's own daughter. 

This is the UK edition.  It's recently been re-released with a new cover design. 


From April 1984: the third (out of six) issue of ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION magazine.

This one reprints the fifth issue of the original run... EI must have significantly increased its page count with that issue as it still runs roughly the same length as the previous Collectors Editions, which each crammed two old issues in. 

1981: POWERMAN AND IRON FIST House Ad (Marvel)

From late 1981 (although it comes from a comic with a January '82 cover date): a quirky Marvel House Ad announcing a Daredevil guest shot in the pages of POWERMAN AND IRON FIST

1984: MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE BOOK Advert (Ladybird Books)

From 21 April 1984: A British advert for Ladybird's MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE hardback books.

I don't think this artwork (although, I must confess, I have not triple-checked) made it into the recent ART OF THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE hardback (highly recommended).  Uncredited, of course.

The original print quality was not great I'm afraid. 

Monday, 29 June 2015

1991: EPI-LOG MAGAZINE Issue 6

From 1991: Holy Tight-Fitting Costumes Batman!

EPI-LOG magazine issue 6 (May) devotes itself to a line-up of TV super-folk... although CAPTAIN POWER and WIZARDS AND WARRIORS are a bit of a - ahem - stretch. 


From 1990: The (thin) paperback book WELCOME TO TWIN PEAKS.  

One of the victims of the general crash in all-things-print seems to be the "unofficial" tie-in.  Once upon a time, any TV show that looked half-way like a hit would quickly be accompanied by a hastily-written tie-in peppered with disclaimers and a smattering of magazine covers or agency-purchased stills of the stars.  

The internet, briefly, made these books easier to write as it supplied a ready research-from-home source for authors in a hurry.  But, at the same time, it was also killing the market.  

The book shelves used to be straining with unofficial STAR TREK tie-ins... now you will be hard-pushed to find anything of the sort... and I doubt very much that's down to the ace legal team of CBS Consumer Products.  The truth is... no one cares very much anymore.  I think one of the most damming comments on ENTERPRISE is, despite a four-year run on a national (albeit cobbled together) network, no-one could be bothered to write a book (except for some novels) about it. 

This is a quickie release from 1990 that appeared between the two seasons of PEAKS... that brief moment when the show looked like it might be hot for a while.  Apparently, this sleight tome attracted the legal ire of the network and production company and had to be withdrawn and pulped.  I picked this up at the time from the Fantasy Inn bookshop on London's Charing Cross Road (just around the gallery from Trafalgar Square) before it burnt down and closed for good.  

Last week I picked-up in London's Foyles bookshop a new tome on the show called REFLECTIONS.  I've only dipped-in but (so far) it's an excellent behind-the-scenes history of the show told, in chronological order, by the cast and crew.  I suspect the on-off-on again revival will also generate something official and new... possibly in the coffee table department.  Fingers crossed...


From July 1989: The half-page UK print ad for the third installment in THE KARATE KID sequence of films.

The first appeared in the summer of 1984 with the sequel hitting two years later.  

Perennial teen Ralph Macchio (a revelation in THE OUTSIDERS) would have been aged circa 28 (born 1961) by the time he finished shooting this... so the next outing in the run (1994's THE NEXT KARATE KID) dispensed with his services, retained Pat Morita and added Hilary Swank and Michael Ironside to the mix.  

There was also a thirteen episode animated series aired on NBC in 1989 and a movie remake in 2010. 

1983: 2000AD with free JUDGE DREDD POSTER House Ad (IPC)

From September 1983: an IPC House Ad, from EAGLE, promoting a free Judge Dredd poster in stablemate 2000AD.

The poster was slipped into prog 335 (cover-dated 24 September) and accompanied the launch of two new series for Strontium Dog and Nemesis the Warlock. 

Sunday, 28 June 2015



This was the second, and I suspect less well read, paperback spin-off from the show after Laura's diary.

I read this (and the other books) back at the time and, if I remember correctly, this acts as a prequel to the TV show (ending as Cooper sets out for Twin Peaks to investigate Laura's murder) and filling in some of the Windom Earle back story from the latter part of the second season.  

I don't remember if there were any significant contradictions with the episodes themselves but, although many films and TV shows like to claim that their off-air fiction dovetails with the overall continuity, these books tried harder than most.

There was also an audio tape released that purported to be Cooper's dispatches to the unseen 'Diane' covering season one and the opener of season two.  This book and that tape dovetailed nicely together.  

There was also a fictional travel guide to the town that, again, incorporated and expended on aspects of the show.

Laura's diary has been re-released in anticipation of the return of the TV show but the other books haven't, as yet, been reprinted. 



1992: DEATH'S HEAD II debut in OVERKILL House Ad (Marvel UK)

From October 1992: A MARVEL UK promotion for the belated arrival of Death's Head II in OVERKILL... backed-up by a great set of exclusive UKverse trading cards (see here for the cards).

The add, somewhat lazily, just recycles the cover for issue 12 with some additional copy appended to the lower-third.  Probably not the marketing department's finest hour...

Friday, 26 June 2015


From January 1984: the second (of six) issue of ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION, reprinting (from the late Seventies) issues 3 & 4 of the original fanzine.

Note the nostalgic Forbidden Planet 2 green price sticker (see my other post today for more) and apologies for the dealer sticker top-left. 

1979: SAPPHIRE AND STEEL in LOOK-IN (ITV Publications)

From August 1979: SAPPHIRE AND STEEL make their LOOK-IN debut.  

The strip was written by Angus Allan and illustrated by Arthur Ransom.  It enjoyed a long, albeit not continuous run, through to 1981.  The sporadically scheduled show ran for another year, ending in August 1982.  

As with almost all the strips that appeared during Look-In's long (and, generally, illustrious) run, the S&S material has never been reprinted or collected. 

The TV show (produced by ATV at their Elstree studios for networking on ITV) made its screen debut a few weeks earlier on the 10th July.  The 1979 run was interrupted, during the second story (the memorable... albeit slow... adventure set in an abandoned railway station), by the national ITV strike which blacked out the entire network (save for little Channel TV). 


From 1983: A piece of less frequently seen (at least compared with his seminal equivalent for the Denmark Street original) Brian Bolland art promoting spin-off store FORBIDDEN PLANET 2.  

The original FP (which seemed vast when I was a kid but must have actually been pretty small) spun-off its film, TV and music sections into a smaller store just around the corner in the shadow of Centre Point tower.  

I remember visiting in the mid-eighties and being overwhelmed by what was available.  I just wish I had paid more attention to exactly what they were selling... and could recall it in more detail now.  I do, vaguely, remember being very impressed with the Japanese photo-books based on the various Gerry Anderson shows but their (even then) high price... and Japanese text... were sufficient deterrents to my parents and I was never able to blag one.  I think I settled for some copies of S.I.G magazine instead. 

The store was closed when FP condensed everything back down to one site when they relocated to Oxford Street.  

More recently, the area has become something of a "Little Korea" and, if I have my stores right, FP2 is now a Korean restaurant.  Coincidentally, the former FP on New Oxford Street is now a Korean food store. 

1979: BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY Movie/ Pilot Novelization (Sphere)

From 1979: the first (of, surprisingly, only two) paperback based on the TV incarnation of BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY.  

It's an adaptation of the show's feature-length pilot... which also doubles (with a few - ahem - tweaks as the feature film).  As is often the case, it's based on an earlier draft of the script (and there's probably some author-embellishments as well) so doesn't match either of the screen versions.

It's interesting that Larson doesn't seem to have been able to blag himself a co-author credit on this one... a business deal he managed to make with Universal's marketing department for both BATTLESTAR and KNIGHT RIDER book series.  

Apologies for the whopping great price sticker.  It wasn't going to shift without damaging the cover so I decided to leave it in place. 

Thursday, 25 June 2015


From 1995: THE X-FILES Issue 1 "X-Files Bureaus Special Collectors Edition".

Not another double post?!?  Nope!  It's another subtle variant.  I've featured this, the first issue of Manga's UK reprints of the Topps strips, before (see: here) but, it turns out, that was the bog-standard edition.  This is a hitherto unknown (to me) fancy variant (well... it did appear in the mid-nineties) with gold ink cover.

Amazingly, this was being flogged for £1.95 compared with a mere £1.25 for the normal version (posted below).  I have a hunch that the badge that was mounted on the standard version had a silver version of the logo... but I can't be certain of that.  The contents were identical in both.  

What were The X-Files Bureaus?  Good question.  If my memories are correct, they were dedicated sections in Forbidden Planet (and possibly another chain...?) selling the burgeoning selection of officially licensed merchandise.  The New Oxford Street branch of FP had their bureau on the ground floor, adjacent to the magazine racks.  That said, I don't ever remember seeing this edition.  Maybe it sold fast or maybe I failed to spot the (subtle) differences with the mainstream edition. 

1982: THE DUKES OF HAZZARD Model Kits Ad (Airfix)

From August 1982: An ad for the Airfix DUKES OF HAZZARD model kit range.

In light of recent tragic events in Charleston, and the backlash against the Confederate flag, the Warner Brothers licensing folk have announced that future toys and paraphernalia featuring the General Lee will appear without the flag adorning the Dodge Charger's roof. Result: Instant price hike for everything produced in the past thirty-odd years. 

I thought it would be interesting to unearth this British print ad from 1982 which features the General but, deliberately or otherwise, doesn't make much of the flag.  

I think it's safe to say that most people in this country - especially kids at the time - made no connection between the flag and anything more controversial.  Indeed, it's hard to think of a TV show that's more innocuous.  I was out in the States last year and, on one of the cable channels, the show was still being rerun in primetime.  And, much like THE A-TEAM, KNIGHT RIDER and other shows of the time, rewatching episodes now (I picked an episode, pretty much at random, last night) feel like a return to a more innocent time.  It's also now far easier to appreciate their relative strengths rather than just slavishly follow the mantra that they must be poo because everyone says they are.  

There's also this really well done US TV spot that reunites some of the original cast... and succinctly boils down the appeal of seven years of episodes into a couple of minutes.

But... where are Coy and Vance?



Regular Starloggers might be forgiven for thinking that this is a re-post (which does sometimes happen)... but this is actually a new purchase.

I've already got a copy of the first issue of EI from 1976 (see: here) but this is a 1983 reprint (the first of six... of which I was able to get five) that compiles the contents of the first two original issues.

We're still in fanzine territory here (EI evolved into a general SF magazine by the early eighties) but it has a nice mix of original art and press clippings.  The latter are now nice historical curios which are unlikely to surface (at least in print form) anywhere else. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


From 1974: the British PLANET OF THE APES POSTER MAGAZINE, published by Top Sellers.  

This coincided with the UK broadcast (which, I think, followed very hot-on-the-heels from the CBS screenings) of the TV series... a show that sparked far more interest here (and other overseas markets) than it did in the States... hence its very swift cancellation.  

Marvel UK launched their PLANET OF THE APES weekly in October (see here) and, I wouldn't mind betting, this surfaced around the same time.  

The text features covered the five movies, mentioned the TV show a bit and interviewed (possibly recycled from somewhere else... or supplied as part of a PR package) Roddy McDowall. 


From November 1984: A House Ad for US publisher NMP's DAREDEVILS magazine, dedicated to action/ adventure film and TV. 

Not to be confused with the Marvel UK monthly (or, indeed, Horn Head himself), this was stablemate to titles like ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS, FANTASY EMPIRE, SFTV and a zillion of those FILE MAGAZINES dedicated to almost any TV show or comic that the publishers thought would sell.  I covered THE V FILES here

I've never seen, much less read, a copy of this one but it sounds like the sort of thing I would enjoy.  A swift Google search reveals no information online so there's not much else I can say.  Anyone else know more... or have copies? 


From 1985: the second (and, I think, final) paperback spin-off from AIRWOLF: TROUBLE FROM WITHIN, published in the UK by Target Book.  

The adapted episodes, Bite of the Jackal and Daddy's Gone a-Huntin, were the second and third aired. 

The cover rates highly on the slap-it-together scale. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


From 1982: Long-running UK movie mag FILM REVIEW covers the impending release of STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KAHN.

Posted today because of the news that the film's composer, James Horner, has been confirmed dead after a plane crash.  

His score for this film (the movie that saved the franchise) is one of its many strengths.  It would be pointless to list all of his other multiple achievements but other Starlogged faves that he enhanced included BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (and, in true Roger Corman tradition, recycled - along with the effects - for SPACE RAIDERS), STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, ALIENS, THE ROCKETEER and (the one everyone will mention) TITANIC. 


From 1980: TV Uber-producer GLEN A. LARSON interviewed in STARLOG issue 36.

The magazine has a July cover-date but the weird-world of deadlines and on-sale dates mean this interview must have been conducted pretty early in the year... when GALACTICA 1980 (bastard child of the Battlestar) still looked viable as a weekly series (it stalled after only a few weeks) and Larson had high hopes that the format would allow him (and I'm looking specifically at him as he wrote all bar one of the scripts) to tell any sort of tale he wanted.  

Unfortunately, the axe fell before he could get the plots he talked about into production (and, interestingly, there's no mention of Return of Starbuck, suggesting that it REALLY was a last-minute deadline-buster slotted into the production schedule as a "double-up" because it placed few demands on the regular cast) so we were left with a show that seemed infinitely inflexible and highly dependent of Larson's sub-par attempts at writing what amounted to a succession of undemanding Disney-esque outings. 



I had a copy of this at the time and I literally loved it to death.  The cover parted company from the contents (the binding does seem suspiciously delicate so I suspect the damage wasn't entirely down to me) and the it became very battered and well-thumbed.  But I loved it too much to take scissors to any of the extensive photos and illustrations.

This isn't that copy... I stumbled across it quite recently in a store along with a stash of other Star Age STAR WARS books (including all three "Art Of..." books)... which I considered quite a result.

Looking at this now I consider it to be something of the best-practice benchmark for this kind of publication.  Not only does it relate the plot of the film (an ideal reference... if you didn't have the novel, comics, sticker album and, err, everything else) but it also has extensive behind-the-scenes material.  All comprehensively illustrated with stills (some of which still seem pretty rare), production art and design work.  

And that cover art still takes some beating...

Monday, 22 June 2015


From 1979: the second (and last) paperback compilation of Marvel's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA run.

Marvel had already published (as part of their mag-paperback-treasury triple-play) their first (badly flawed) crack at adapting Saga of a Star World (aka "the movie") the previous year... and that edition has always been relatively easy to find in the UK.  It was widely sold through bookstores (certainly our local branch of Martins the Bookshop carried copies in their small science fiction section) and resurfaces even now from time-to-time.  My copy is packed away in storage.  

However, I had no idea that Marvel had published a second volume until I stumbled across a mention on anther website a few years ago.  In all my years of keeping an eye out for interesting bits of Galactica stuff, I'd never seen a copy.  That either means that it was published in relatively limited quantities (the show was dropped the same year which would have, almost instantly, put the kibbosh on plans to expand merchandising) or very few copies made it into the UK. 

I finally, thanks to Amazon and a secondhand dealer, managed to get hold of a copy this year.  

It's a compilation of the 4-6 issues of Marvel's ongoing (ultimately 23 issues) Battlestar monthly (the first three issues had been filled with a "fixed" version of the opener), an odd mix of a two-part adaptation of the TV adventure Lost Planet of the Gods (which was filmed later in production order but shuffled up the transmission order so that it played the weeks after the pilot) and Marvel's first all-original 'expanded universe' adventures.  

Marvel's (presumably cheapskate) licensing people only signed-up for the rights to the first five televised (not filmed... otherwise we would have seen The Gun On Ice planet Zero adapted instead) hours of the show.  Not only did this prevent them from any more direct adaptations but it also stopped them even referencing any one, any thing or anywhere referenced in the remainder of the series.  That prevented Marvel from doing much to explore the show's mythology but, more importantly, prevented any reference to any of the worthy-of-further-exploration elements teased in episodes like The Living Legend, War of the Gods or the Terra episodes.  Even Sheba, integral to the show from her mid-season debut onwards, never featured in the four-colour Colonial universe.  

The final third of the book wasted no time in establishing that the Marvel version was going to play by its own rules.  Using the conclusion of Lost Planet of the Gods as its starting point, it wasted no time in killing off Baltar (again... the first attempt at the pilot had featured his Hammer Horror inspired decapitation in the Cylon throne room... considerably toned down for the movie edit and jettisoned entirely for TV to accommodate the changed premise of the weekly series) by showing Lucifer leaving him to die in the ruins of Kobol (a plot point left unresolved in the screen version... although the character does have a noticeable limp in Gun On Ice Planet Zero which, although shot first, might have had these scenes inserted later).  See this previous post for Baltar's many deaths. 

The revised version of Saga of a Star World didn't see a UK edition until Titan published the first of two trade paperbacks of (unrestored) Marvel material to coincide with the TV revival.  The trade also featured the strips that went into this paperback.  The Lost Planet... adaptation had first seen print over here in 1979's STAR HEROES WINTER SPECIAL (see here) which preceded the regular Pocket Book published in 1980-81 (see here). 

A full cover gallery for the original US run can be found here.

1984: AIRWOLF 1 (Target Books)

From 1984:  Target's crack rights acquisition squad struck again (the famous-for-one-thing publisher also, during this point in the Star Age, also issued paperbacks based on STREET HAWK, THE A-TEAM and KNIGHT RIDER... see once - and - future - posts) by snapping-up AIRWOLF.

It was, of course, another of the hardware shows (spawned by the success of The Hoff) from the Universal stable.  It initially faced competition from BLUE THUNDER but emerged from the Chopper Wars victorious by virtue of being the better show.  

The first year was a mid-season replacement followed by two more full seasons.  The ratings were never great and the 'wolf only stayed on the air thanks to some network-ordered format-tweaking that played down the international threats of the first batch of episodes in favor of more domestic threats to the States.  

CBS lost patience after the end of year three and dropped the show, leaving the studio in something of a predicament.  The number of completed episodes wasn't sufficient to put the show into profitable daily reruns on local stations.  So, Universal struck a deal with the cable station USA NETWORK (which just happened to share corporate DNA with... surprise... Universal) to get another year's worth of shows into production.

Season four (aka AIRWOLF II) was, literally, only making up the numbers so had to be made as quick and cheaply as possible.  For cable cash.  The original production team and cast were all jettisoned (original star Jan Michael Vincent did stagger back long enough to appear in the opening episode of the new run... his colleagues were less fortunate) and production relocated to Canada.  Improbably the show's back story was fudged to allow Stringfellow Hawk's long-lost MIA brother to suddenly reemerge and become Airwolf's new pilot.  

The new Hawk was played by Barry Van Dyke, no stranger to parachuting into defunct Universal action shows being revived, on the cheap, in the hopes of padding out the episode count.  He was previously involved in the GALACTICA 1980 debacle.  

The new batch of episodes were heavily dependent on stock footage from the original series.  Anything brand new, whether it be sets, locations or effects looked painfully cheap.  The show was (presumably) shot on film but edited on tape, adding to the "that'll do" nature of the end product.

I'm not sure if Universal managed to flog the new episodes to ITV in the UK (the show was a frequent off-peak schedule filler so it's entirely possible the local schedulers just shifted around new and repeated episodes from the CBS years) but i did see the odd episode as part of the show's reruns on BRAVO. 

All four seasons have been released on DVD.  There is also a BR set of the three network years (omitting the last season).  The "movie" version of the pilot (which was only released on VHS in the UK but I believe did get a full theatrical release in some markets) has also been released as a Blu Ray.  It's a certificate 18 edit (which must have confounded a few parents back-in-the-day all thought they were renting the same thing they saw every week on ITV for their kids) which spices up the sex, violence and swearing a bit (although not as much as the certification suggests) and lops off the coda that sets up the premise for the weekly series.  The TV edit is including on the DVD and (presumably... I've not felt the need to upgrade ) BR sets. 

This first book adapts the TV pilot. 


From May 1978: A UK magazine advert for Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

Follow the usual link below for a few previous posts. 

Saturday, 20 June 2015


From 1989: The British edition of STARLOG's done-in-one STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER OFFICIAL MAGAZINE.

The release of Shatner's movie coincided with MARVEL UK's ill-fated (and hard to explain) decision to plunge back into the Media Magazine market only four years after they'd flogged-off STARBURST to Visual Imagination at a knockdown price.  

Core to the cunning plan was the new monthly magazine FANTASY ZONE (see here for more on its brief run).  The new launch also spawned a couple of branded spin-offs: this one and GHOSTBUSTERS II.  

The contents are the same as the American edition, with the exception of tweaks to the cover and substituting US ads for British replacements.  

This was the first Marvel UK TREK special since the 1982 Winter Special (see here).  The Annex of Ideas launched a Next Gen tie-in the following year but badly misjudged the audience... and paid the price.  

London Editions, having renewed its licensing arrangement with DC Comics after the best part of a decade, also published a British edition of the one-shot comics adaptation of the film.  This was the first time one of the movie adaptations had been widely available in Great Britain (the regular monthly was part of the bundle of DC titles sold in newsagents) since the British Bullpen had published the MOTION PICTURE adaptation in annual form and serialized in the pages of FUTURE TENSE. 

The film itself is always dismissed as one of (of not THE) worst of the franchise.  I've never understood that.  I had a chance, coutesy of CIC Video and the IDIC Fan Club, to see it on the big screen at London's Empire Leicester Square (which, I believe, was operated by UiP which also owned CIC Video) in 1989 or 1990 (just before the VHS release) and, although the shortcomings (notably in the clearly cash-strapped visuals) were obvious... I also thought it was a good character piece... at least for the three principals.  

Having seen it a few times since over the years, most recently as part of the BR set, my opinion hasn't really changed.  I like the cast more than any of their successors and I think this stands above most of the TNG era movies.  

Incidentally, I must be the only person anywhere to think that NEMESIS was a reasonable attempt to reboot the stale franchise by upping the action quota... although I could have done without seeing Riker in the buff. 

1983: RETURN OF THE JEDI Marvel Paperback

From 1983: the paperback release of Marvel's RETURN OF THE JEDI adaptation.

This is the (nominally) British version with the dollar price substituted for a UK price.  This was sold widely in the UK, I got my copy from Colchester's Martins the Newsagent (actually it was Martins-the-pretty-much-everything as it was a large store that also sold books, entertainment, stationary and boasted a coffee shop.  It later became part of the John Menzies chain and, despite an extensive refit, closed after the chain was purchased by WH Smiths... basically an expensive way of eliminating their competition) in the summer of '83.  This isn't that copy... I bought this replacement from a secondhand book store a few years ago.  

With the exception of the price change, this is identical (right down to the spelling "mistake" on the cover) to the US edition.  Confused buyers even had the chance to subscribe to Marvel's US monthlies courtesy of a back-of-book house ad.  

It was either this or the Super Special magazine that wrecked Lucasfilm's careful plans to keep the movie's plot under wraps until opening day.  Marvel's distribution proved too efficient and copies hit the stores before the film was released.  Whoops. 

This joined a long list of editions for the adaptation.  They also included:
  • Marvel Super Special issue 27.
  • A four-issue RETURN OF THE JEDI limited series (the first time a movie adaptation hadn't formed part of the core monthly's run).
  • Britain's RETURN OF THE JEDI weekly (twice: in 1983 and 1986).
  • The 1983-published British RETURN OF THE JEDI ANNUAL. 
  • Various other international translations.  
  • And a whole bunch of reprints since. 


From May 1978: an advert (from STARBURST) for DARK THEY WERE AND GOLDEN EYED, one of London's first specialist comics and science fiction stores.  

Named after a Ray Bradbury short story, the store traded throughout the 1970s and eventually closed in 1981. They initially traded from number 10 Berwick Street and then relocated to nearby St. Anne's Court. 

Comicdom returned to the court (a pedestrian footpath between two Soho streets) during the market boom when Top 10 Soho (owned by Jonathan Ross and Paul Gambaccini) opened between 1989 and 1995. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

1992: DEATH'S HEAD II Limited Series Issue 1: silver ink second printing (Marvel UK)

From 1992: the harder-to-find second-printing of DEATH'S HEAD II (the limited series) issue one.

It's fair to say, in my experience, that none of the Marvel UKverse/ Genesis line are hard-to-find, at a good price, here in the UK.  With the possible exception of this silver-ink special.  

The British books are mainstay fodder of 50p boxes and, with some perseverance (and, it has to be said, a reasonable amount of cash as the British Bullpen certainly churned out a lot of books between 1992 and 1994) it's possible to build up a full collection (part of what makes collecting the failed universes so much fun... a finite number of books at a good price).  Dealers often still have them polybagged which means titles that were given a jump-start with exclusive trading cards can still be found for pennies.  

The one exception, the only book I would consider in any way elusive, is this one.  The unexpected demand for DH II's debut (and the chance to make a few more bucks) sent M-UK back to the printers for this silver ink-enhanced quickie.  The contents are identical to the (easier to find) first printing but the cover looks spiffing in silver. 

The UKverse books, thankfully, didn't indulge in alternate versions and variants, although cover enhancements (and the aforementioned trading cards) did become par of the course as the line struggled for attention throughout 1993.  This is, to my knowledge, the only comic they published that exists as two different editions.  

My way of a comparison, the first edition is below. 

1990: ROBOCOP 2 MOVIE ADAPTATION Limited Series (Marvel)

From August 1990: Marvel's triple-play publishing stratergy for movie adaptations saw ROBOCOP 2 published as a one-shot black & white magazine (here), a bookshelf format squarebound one-off (here) and a three-issue standard-format limited series (published alongside the ongoing monthly). 

The cover and splash page for the first issue is above.


From 1985: the fourth (and final) in the series of STREET HAWK TV adaptations published in the UK by Target Books.

The appropriately named Danger On Target adapts the TV episodes Murder is a Novel Idea and Hot Target.

That means, of the thirteen episodes produced, seven were novelized.  Not bad for a failure. 
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