Crowdfunding campaign on the way to bring Ken Reid’s Frankie Stein, The Nervs and more back to print

The POWer Pack of Ken Reid

After years of waiting, fans of the brilliant cartoonist Ken Reid will be delighted to hear that an official collection of his contributions to Odhams comics of the 1960s –Wham!Smash!, and Pow! – look set to be collected in two handsome official hardback books.

The project is the work of Irmantas Povilaika, the man behind the Kazoop! blog, which has long celebrated the very best of classic British comics (and has some great items about Ken Reid’s work, including many rare artworks) – and the project will soon be the focus of a crowdfunding campaign.

Comic archivist Steve Holland will provide the introduction for Volume One and artist Nigel Parkinson the introduction for Volume Two, and by Ken’s son Antony will also be introducing both volumes.

“This is Ken Reid at his peak,” cartoonist Lew Stringer enthuses, “with his wildest, funniest work on strips Frankie SteinQueen of the SeasJasper the GrasperThe Nervs, and Dare-a-Day Davy from the pages of Wham!Smash!, and POW!

“The tentative publication date is approximately two months from now, if all goes as planned,” Irmantas told downthetubes. “I plan to launch the crowdfunding campaign for this in two weeks.”

The POWer Pack of Ken Reid Volume One

The POWer Pack of Ken Reid Volume Two

The campaign will run for a month and if successful (and we’re talking about the work of Ken Reid – one of Britain’s finest cartoonists – why on Earth would it not be?) printing will take another two or three weeks. although Irmantas is keen to stress that at this stage, that’s an approximate time-line.

The price of these 200-page hardcover books will be £25 apiece and £60 for the slipcase set, plus postage.

“There will be quite a bit of text inside, including a detailed account of Ken’s life and work during his Odhams period (1964 – 1969), written by me,” Irmantas tells us.

“The books will be available both individually and as a set, and they will come with some free prints of original artwork.”

Frankie Stein strip from Wham! No. 82, cover dated 8th January 1966, drawn by Ken Reid. © TimeUK
Frankie Stein strip from Wham! No. 82, cover dated 8th January 1966, drawn by Ken Reid. © TimeUK (Web scan, not from the project assets)

The Nervs - Smash 158- cover dated 8th February 1969

The Nervs by Ken Reid from Smash 158 - cover dated 8th February 1969
The Nervs by Ken Reid from Smash 158 – cover dated 8th February 1969. © TimeUK (Web scan, not from the project assets)

TimeUK, recently bought by private by private equity company Epris, holds rights to the many British comics and characters published by Amalgamated Press, IPC and Fleetway Editions before January 1970 (Rebellion, publishers of 2000AD, now own those first published afterwards, including Roy of the Rovers and some characters published in Buster).

This is great news for fans of Ken Reid, and coming shortly after the release of The Three Musketeers by Book Palace, a strip first published in Film Fun and Lion, hopefully bodes well for more comic collections from the 1950s and 60s.

Many fans of a certain age have indicated their interest in “Skid Solo” from Tiger, for example, but there are other strips, such as “Black Archer”, “Kelly’s Eye”, “Steel Claw” and Janus Stark” which are often mentioned by fans – all owned by TimeUK’s new owners.

If you’re hankering after some Ken Reid madness right now, then don’t forget  Rebellion have released a terrific volume of Faceache stories, most drawn by Ken, on sale now, and a collection of his wonderful Creepy Creations, which ran in Shiver & Shake, is on the way later this year.

Head over the the Kazoop! blog for more information – and congratulations to Irmantas for securing a deal!

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.

One thought on “Crowdfunding campaign on the way to bring Ken Reid’s Frankie Stein, The Nervs and more back to print

  • May 16, 2018 at 7:44 pm
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    Those Oldhams press comics were easily my favourite comics ever – the cream of British artists and the pick of reprinted Marvel!
    Reid and Lewis and Baxendale! The very best!

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