Super Mags was a small but fairly unknown British comic set by DC Thomson published back in 1986 – and they are not easy to find.
Just three comics, two with covers by Ian Kennedy, were published in the run, in colour, on high quality paper. The “Funnies” issue featured Nick Kelly and Dennis and Gnasher in “The Long Way Home”, while Super Mags for Boys featured Tracker in “Death Run” and “The Feud”.
Collector Doug Brain, who very kindly shared pictures of his copies with downthetubes, tell us tha Super Mags for Girls is perhaps the rarest of the three title to find, which featured “Where is Wendy?” and “Three’s a Crowd”.
Published in a size akin to the traditional UK comic annual, some, if not all of the strips that featured in these three specials appear to have been newly-commissioned stories. The “Dennis the Menace” story certainly is, but we are hoping there are fans out there who can confirm this of the “Tracker” tales, a character who featured in a number of DC Thomson boys comics.
Was DC Thomson – not known back then for publishing comics in full colour – testing the water for a regular title with these “Specials”?
Comics archivist Paul,Gravett recalls visiting DC Thomson’s offices in about 2006, while researching his book. Great British Comics, and was shown art and proofs for a full-colour fantasy story drawn by the great Argentinian artist and Starblazer regular, Quique Alcatena. “It never got published,” he notes. Might that have been for a further edition?
This short-lived title precedes DC Thomson’s more successful monthly archive title, Classics from the Comics by a good ten years. Published from March 1996 until October 2010, Classics replaced The Best of Topper and The Best of Beezer, which had also reprinted old strips for some years.
With thanks to Doug Brain. (And this one’s for you, Colin Noble, wherever you are)