Son of Origins of Marvel Comics (1975)

Son of Origins of Marvel Comics front cover

Son of Origins of Marvel Comics by Stan Lee

In 1974 Simon & Schuster imprint Fireside Books published Origins of Marvel Comics by Stan Lee, a soft cover book that reprinted the origin stories of five of Marvel Comics’ most popular characters with accompanying text written specifically for the collection by Lee. The book was the first of its kind and is now widely regarded as the first reprint collection, or trade paperback, a format that now dominates the comic book industry. Continue reading Son of Origins of Marvel Comics (1975)


Origins of Marvel Comics (1974) and the birth of the trade paperback

Origins of Marvel Comics 1974

And Marvel said, Let there be The Fantastic Four.
And there was The Fantastic Four.
And Marvel saw The Fantastic Four. And it was good.
Stan Lee, from his introduction

Origins of Marvel Comics by Stan Lee

Browse through any comic shop (if you can find one) and you’ll doubtless notice the proliferation of reprint collections, also commonly known as trade paperbacks. With editions numbering well into the thousands trade paperbacks, or trades, have become an important part of the comic book industry offering readers the chance to read and collect their favourite comic book stories reprinted in tidy, book-shelf friendly volumes. They are so popular that many high street bookshops now stock them – although they tend to be erroneously labelled as graphic novels – helping to introduce the medium to readers who wouldn’t normally frequent comic book shops. Continue reading Origins of Marvel Comics (1974) and the birth of the trade paperback

Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim poster

“Two thousand five hundred tons of awesome.”

At the beginning of the year Summer 2013 promised to be a great one for fans of big-budget, large spectacle action movies. With the promise of three sequels, a re-make of an old TV classic plus the reinvention of a beloved superhero (that promised to be most anticipated film of the year), it looked like I was going to be spoilt for choice to pick a favourite. Alas, things didn’t work out that way. Continue reading Pacific Rim (2013)

The Mighty World of Marvel

The history of Marvel UK in the 1970s

The Mighty World of Marvel

Probably responsible for introducing more British readers to Marvel Comics than any other publication, The Mighty World of Marvel was launched on Saturday 30th September 1972 with a cover date of 7th October (it was common practice for comics to be dated a week after their release to ensure they stayed on the newsagent shelf longer). It was published in one form or another for the next 10 years and despite starting life as one of the best selling and most influential comics in the country its end was sad and ignoble.

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Marvel Treasury Editions

Marvel Treasury Edition 1

I have nothing but fond memories of Marvel Comics’ Treasury Editions, the over-sized reprint books the company published between 1974 and 1981. I would receive at least one every Christmas, probably because they were always on sale around that time and were readily available from most large newsagents. There was just something very satisfying about the larger size of the Treasury’s – they just had more impact and, well, were more special. Continue reading Marvel Treasury Editions

Alan Class Comics

Astounding Stories issue 67

The history of Marvel UK in the 1970s

Foreword: Alan Class Comics

In the early ’60s, while American comic book readers enjoyed a revolution in the industry, thanks mainly to Marvel Comics’ new roster of relatable and fallible characters, UK readers had a more difficult time enjoying this renaissance. For a while the only way readers in this country could read a US comic was by hunting for second-hand copies in flea markets. But if you were lucky enough to be on holiday at one of Britain’s many seaside resorts then you had the opportunity of reading Marvel’s stories courtesy of Alan Class ComicsContinue reading Alan Class Comics