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, 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 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.
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.