Rare, classic BEM #1 zine added to British Comic Zines digital archive

Comics artist and archivist David Hathaway-Price has just added BEM #1, a rare item of 1970’s British comics fandom to his fantastic digital archive, Classic UK Comic Zines.

BEM #1

BEM #1, published by future Harrier Comics publisher Martin Lock in November 1973. His first newszine, a “Comic-Con Special”, notes the latest developments behind the scenes at DC Comics Shazam title; the problems future Forbidden Planet co-owner Nick Landau was having with UK Customs over importing US comics; the worrying news that new US comics will cost eight pence in shops, reflecting US price rises; and news of impending changes for the Marvel Comics line, driven by Stan Lee.

The 12-page issue, sold at comic marts, one of the only ways fans learnt more about the comic industry back in the 1970s, also offers the advice that fans must now expect to pay a staggering £10 for early issues of 1960s Marvel superhero comics, alongside numerous reviews and more.

BEM #1BEM #1

BEM ran from 1973 through to 1982, 36 issues in total, and looking at the gallery of covers, it’s interesting to see how the title evolved over a decade, as print production facilities available to small publishers improved.

BEM Montage

BEM Montage

BEM Montage

The addition of BEM #1 to the Classic UK Comic Zines archive comes thanks to comics historian Peter Hansen, who has also provided other vary rare items from his fanzine collection to David’s amazing, invaluable fandom resource. Look out for a video interview with Peter on downthetubes next week, revealing his hopes for the future of his collection, some of which often features in exhibitions around Britain.

View the BEM section of Classic UK Comic Zines here

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

One thought on “Rare, classic BEM #1 zine added to British Comic Zines digital archive

  1. Not connected with this item, but I see that “the French army is to create a ‘red team’ of sci-fi writers to imagine possible threats. A new report by the Defence Innovations Agency [I kid you not] said visionaries [sic] will ‘propose scenarios of disruption’ that strategists may not think of”.

    Such as a little green man with a big bald head and floating about in the air, sat on a tiny boat-shape craft, ordering his troops to kill all humans; and an invasion of dustbin shape robots with sink plunger-like exterminators roaming the corridors of the Elysee Palace demanding to be led to “Le Docteur”. Sacre bleu!

    Hand me my sketch pad now.

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