Spellbound No. 1 SNIP

Is DCT Heritage Comics reviving “Spellbound”?

Spellbound No. 1DC Thomson Media launched social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook for its DCT Heritage Comics imprint at the beginning of the month – and one classic comic getting attention on both services is the fondly-remembered 1970s girls title Spellbound.

From the Spellbound library vaults... unsuspecting readers of D.C. Thomson's girls' comic 'Judy' are, in the 18th September 1976 edition, given their first indication that 'Something new... Something very special' is creeping closer...
From the Spellbound library vaults… unsuspecting readers of D.C. Thomson’s girls’ comic ‘Judy’ are, in the 18th September 1976 edition, given their first indication that ‘Something new… Something very special’ is creeping closer…

Launched in September 1976, DC Thomson’s weekly fantasy comic preceded the better known Fleetway title Misty, launched in 1978, but lasted just 69 issues before merging with sister paper, Debbie.

Despite its relatively short run, the comic featured some memorable strips, most with a supernatural or paranormal twist.

These included “Marina“, about a young gipsy girl who could see the future, who had been adopted as the mascot of a motor racing team, and “The Mask of Menace“, in which a girl discovers a sinister artifact in the geography room of her boarding school.

Spellbound - Damian Darke
Spellbound’s storyteller, Damian Darke

Also part of the mix were short stories, mostly centring on tragic romances, introduced by one Damian Darke and Miss Hatherleigh, custodian of Cremond Castle.

Given ComicScene magazine’s coverage of recent DCT Heritage Comics releases and Commando, it’s no surprise their upcoming Issue Nine, which extends the title’s comics content, got a shout-out in return – but DCT staff went one step further, highlighting the work of artist Anna Morozova, and teasing “We’ve been working with her on something spooky too…”

Might numerous Spellbound mentions suggest a collection or something more is on its way, following on the heels of recent Ramsey’s Raiders and Starblazer reprints?

Anna Morozova graduated with MDes in Comics and Graphic Novels from the University of Dundee last year and has already been commissioned by 2000 AD, to draw the “Future Shocks” story “Juncture”, written by Andi Ewington, as well as drawing a strip for #11 of the Comichaus anthology, and, more recently, the free Great War Dundee Comic (available online here).

Born in Russia and growing up in Estonia before moving to Dundee, Anna told The Herald earlier this year she hadn’t considered art as a career until a few years ago.

“I felt it was worth giving art another chance and Dundee was ideal due to its role in the history of British comics,” she said.

Spellbound No. 17Spellbound: The Space Cats (The Imposter Part Two)

One Spellbound strip of particular note is “Supercats“, a science fiction strip drawn by Spanish comics artist Enrique Romero, centring an all-female team of spacefaring superheroes who crewed the spaceship Lynx.

Art by and copyright Anna Morozova
Art by and copyright Anna Morozova

Given the work Anna has previously published on her social media, it would certainly be interesting to see her take on that strip!

Art from a Spellbound text story posted to Twitter by “Damian Darke”
Art from a Spellbound text story posted to Twitter by “Damian Darke”

UPDATE: Since we posted this story earlier today, a Twitter account belonging to “Damian Darke” (@DarkeDamian) has surfaced, tweets suggesting that we should be looking out for something Spellbound-related very soon – the account also noting the original comic featured the art of the brilliant Brian Lewis.

“For four long decades nothing has stirred in these shadows except memories,” Damian noted in his first tweet. “But now, a sigh, a shiver, a whisper as of dark wings beating or, perhaps, of pages fluttering in some vast and echoing library… and as Hallowe’en approaches, something awakens…”

• Follow DCT Heritage Comics on Facebook | Twitter

• Anna Morozova on Tumblr | Twitter | Behance

• “Supercats” in focus on The Bronze Age of Blogs

Brian Lewis’ Damian Darke stories for Spellbound – also on The Bronze Age of Blogs

All art copyright DC Thomson Media

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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.

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