British comics have been reprinted around the world for decades – including 2000AD, although back in 1979, its run in Brazil proved short-lived… and it’s not the only British comic or character to enjoy life beyond our shores, by a long chalk.
Ten issues of this Portuguese-language version of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic were published under the banner “Captain Z Presents” by Editora Brasil-América Ltda. (EBAL), one of the most important comic book publishers in Brazil.
Literally based on the original 1977 weekly ‘Progs’, but reduced in size to a US comic book format, all the title’s original strips featured, including “Dan Dare”, “Flesh” and, of course, “Judge Dredd”, but for whatever reason, 2000AD failed to attract an audience in South America’s largest country.
Of course, 2000AD strips weren’t just reprinted in Brazil, but this title seems to have been one of the few to try to mirror its original edition so closely – aside from being published in Portuguese, of course.
Many other British comic characters have enjoyed life beyond Britain too, most obviously through the syndication of newspaper strips such as Garth, but we’ve also previously noted overseas reprints of Eagle in France and Asia, and other places, for example. But there are other examples, such as humour comic Buster, which has had two Nordic counterparts, and others.
PACKAGED COMICS ABROAD
Not only have British comic strips first published by DC Thomson, IPC and, today, Rebellion and Titan Comics been republished across the globe, with characters such as “The Steel Claw” still enjoying publication in India by Lion Muthu Comics today, under official license. In some cases, as we’ve often documented, British creators were employed to create all-new strips and comics for publication abroad, including Orbit in Africa, and Power Man, drawn by Dave Gibbons, documented here by downthetubes contributor Richard Sheaf on his Boys Adventure Comics blog, Sister Mercy drawn by Ron Smith, and others.
Collector Phil Rushton recently came across another of these – Wonder, “The New African Magazine” a fascinating Eagle spin-off, apparently edited by the original editor of that famous comic Marcus Morris in 1957, which just sold on Ebay.
As far as Phil can tell, it seems to have contained all-new material written and drawn in English by British writers and artists but aimed at an African readership.
Has anyone else come across this title before and if so, how long did it run – and who worked on it?
As ever, of course, in past times while publishers netted tidy sums in overseas strip sales, their creators rarely profited. Artist Don Lawrence famously walked away from “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” after discovering how extensively it was being reprinted in Europe, but was refused a pay rise.
Other creators have only discovered their work has appeared elsewhere in the world quite by chance.
“I found out last year that [Fleetway] had reprinted my ‘Tom Thug’ and ‘Pete and his Pimple’ strips in Germany years ago,” Lew Stringer noted recently. “Sloppily new colours and lettering too!”
OVERSEAS COMICS PUBLISHERS IN BRITAIN
Apart from Marvel with Marvel UK, the only example of a non-British publisher specifically creating a title aimed at the British market, is STRIP: The Adventure Comics Magazine, which I edited, launched in 2011, published by Bosnia-Based Print Media Productions.
Its first short volume distributed through comic shops, followed by the publication of two news stand issues, the second hard to find, before the project sadly crashed and burned leaving many creators, including myself, out of pocket.
ALSO ON DOWNTHETUBES
With thanks to Paul Gravett, Lew Stringer, Phil Rushton and Simon Werrett
2000AD © Rebellion Publishing Ltd | Eagle © Dan Dare Corporation