2000AD announces “Misty” comic collections from the classic girls horror comic

Misty Comic Issue 1, complete with free gift
Misty Comic Issue 1, complete with free gift

Classic horror comic stories from the 1970s aimed at young girls will see the light of day once again thanks to 2000AD publisher, Rebellion, who has announced they are working with rights-holders Egmont to reprint Misty content. The initial strips to be re-published will be from creators who are also well known for their 2000AD work, beginning with the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’s first editor, Pat Mills.

The first volume of Misty material, featuring “Moonchild” by Pat Mills and John Armstrong (published in Issues 1 – 13) and “The Four Faces of Eve” by the late Malcolm Shaw and Brian Delaney (published in Issues 20 – 31), will be published in September 2016 and will be welcome news to the title’s legion of fans who have long clamoured for the strips to be reprinted.

The comic, created by Pat (its name taken from the film title, Play Misty For Me) has had a semi-official web site for a number of years – www.mistycomic.co.uk – and there are a number of other sites devoted to the the title and other Fleetway girls comics which regularly outsold boys comics. While other publishers have considered collections from the title, including Titan, and Egmont published a one-off Special some years ago, this is the first time full stories will be collected from the comic.

A page from "Moonchild" by Pat Mills and John Armstrong
A page from “Moonchild” by Pat Mills and John Armstrong

First published in February 1978 and intended as ‘2000AD for girls’, Misty was a weekly anthology horror comic that featured such as “The Sentinels” which saw the years 1978 and 1940 linked via two empty tower blocks, and “Moonchild” about a girl with telekinetic powers.

Over 101 issues between 4th February 1978 and 12th January 1980, Misty’s darker tone, strong visuals, and more sophisticated stories with an emphasis on the supernatural and horror went down a storm with its readers. Fans of Misty have been campaigning for a number of years for the classic strips to be reprinted.

“I designed Misty to be a female 2000AD with the emphasis on magic and horror, rather than science fiction,” says Pat. “It was very successful and is fondly remembered today.  The stories chosen for the graphic novel are regarded by Misty readers as the very best with stunning, powerful and scary art.  It’s great to see them back in print and I hope they will form the vanguard of a girls’ comic revival that is long, long overdue.”

“Moonchild”, which has only ever been reprinted in the 1983 Misty annual was one of the strip’s in the comic’s initial line-up, running for 13 issues and was inspired, by the film Carrie, with Pat aiming come up with something in the same vein.

“I have a mysterious moon scar on my forehead – probably dropped on my head as a kid which is why I write comics! – and this suggested the scar on the heroine’s forehead and gave me the title, Pat revealed of the strip’s origins last year. “The weird mother was based on someone I knew and the school bully was a classic bully, the type we all know. So these elements gave me the confidence to make the story happen.”

"The Four Faces of Eve" from Misty
“The Four Faces of Eve” from Misty

“Four Face of Eve” was written by Malcolm Shaw (who also wrote the fondly-remembered Misty story “The Sentinels”), a writer adept at scripting girls comics and who also wrote some early Judge Dredds, but died very young. “We started Jinty together, dreaming up a selection of stories,” Pat recalled in 2012, “before Mavis Miller (previously editor of June) was appointed editor and turned it into a very successful comic with a strong science fiction edge. Malcolm really deserves a separate article on his important contribution to the Comic Revolution, but I only worked with him for a brief period, so my knowledge of his work is rather limited, I’m afraid.

“‘Four Faces of Eve’ about a girl who looks absolutely normal but is really a female Frankenstein’s monster –  she’s actually made up of four girls. That was a truly awesome and scary serial with great art by Brian Delaney.”

Ben Smith, head of books and comic books, said: “When Pat Mills tells you there are great comics hidden in an archive and someone should really publish them, a sensible publisher sits up and takes notice. Pat was talking about Misty and girls comics in general to graphic novels editor Keith Richardson and myself on a plane to San Diego Comic Con and was so enthusiastic about the material we had to go looking for it.

“Heralding from an era when comics for girls outsold comics for boys, Misty was shortly-lived but burned terribly bright. It remains unlike anything else with its collection of shocking and varied subject matter. It’s a great pleasure to be able to bring this spell-binding work back into the public eye and we look forward to surprising people all over again.”

Read my “Let’s Hear It For the Girls” feature on British girls comics, first published in 2002 but updated since

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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