Remember Trigan Empire? Cartoon Museum Seeks Your Comments

The Trigan Empire - Sample Art

The late 1930s… and in Florida’s swamps, a UFO crashes, the men on board all dead, but with a collection of books that, eventually translated, reveal the chronicles of the Trigan Empire.

First appearing in RangerThe Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” was introduced to the readers of “the magazine for boys”, written by Michael Butterworth and drawn by Don Lawrence. Thanks to their talents, the Trigan Empire, which later ran in Look & Learn, became one of Britain’s most popular comic strips – and is still fondly remembered today, influencing the likes of top comics artist Simon Davis (currently working on 2000AD‘s “Slaine”) and Boo Cook, and we’ve been reminisicing about the strip today in the run up to Malta Comic Con.

It’s a saga that’s had a lot of influence on many creators and Don Lawrence’s work on this and on Storm and other strips is regarded with huge love and admiration.

1969 Trigan Empire art by Don Lawrence
1969 Trigan Empire art by Don Lawrence

Coincidentally, Monica Ann Walker Vadillo is working on the next blog post for the Comic Creators Project at the London-based Cartoon Museum on the Trigan Empire and would love to know what readers remember about this comic strip and what did you like or dislike about it? Drop her a line via the Comic Creators Facebook page, or let her know via the Comic Creators Twitter page.

 

The Trigan Empire, published in 1978 by Hamlyn and The Trigan Empire (The Look & Learn Book of) Fleetway, published in 1973.
The Trigan Empire, published in 1978 by Hamlyn and The Trigan Empire (The Look & Learn Book of) Fleetway, published in 1973.

Personally, my first experience of Trigan Empire might have been in the occasional copy of Look & Learn, but the first time it really had an impact on me was when I read some of it in part of a collection in the 1970s, published by Hamlyn. The cover of the book was absolutely terrible, but the art and story was stunning and set my mind racing.

Trigan Empire StatueTime UK (previously IPC) retained the rights to Trigan Empire when they sold Look & Learn and its archive on.

Rob van Bavel’s stunning collections of the strip (available in English and Dutch) are marvellous but they’re a mite expensive as far as my wallet goes!

The Cartoon Museum – the only museum in Britain dedicated to collecting and displaying original British cartoons and comic – has been awarded £164,300 for its Comic Creators project by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project is part of HLF’s £5m funding package to a range of museums, libraries and archives across the UK.

Under HLF’s Collecting Cultures programme, 23 organisations, from Glasgow down to Brighton, will be able to enhance the scope of their collections and the Cartoon Museum is one of them.

• More about The Trigan Empire here: www.triganempire.co.uk

Buy the Trgan Empire collections here

• On display right now in the Cartoon Museum is a wonderful cover for Eppo done by Don Lawrence in 1979 (detail on the right) and a full page of the strip drawn by Ron Embleton. The Cartoon Museum is at 35 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2HH, Tel: 0207 580 8155. Web: www.cartoonmuseum.org

Published by

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. 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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