I came across a lovely little item by Howard Fuller on his meeting with Alan Class at Putney’s 30th Century Comics, the now retired publisher of those black and white anthologies that many of us used to buy in the 1960s and 70s and were published until 1989. In turn, Howard’s feature led me to the interview conducted on the day, above, posted by J Wilson, following up on another item on the publisher’s work.
Alan Class Comics, a British comics publishing company, operated between 1959 and 1989, producing numerous, fondly-rememberd anthology titles such as Astounding Stories and Creepy, reprinting comics stories from many US publishers of the 1940s to 1960s in a black and white digest format for a UK audience. For many, it was their first introduction to some of Marvel’s superheroes such as the Fantastic Four and Iron Man on a regular basis and some covers of these cheaply-produced but thoroughly affordable digests remain seared into the memory.
“You never knew what to expect in them from month to month,” says Lew Stringer of the comics. “Chunky comics like that really felt value for money (as indeed they were). The rough pulp paper was part of the appeal too. Much better than the fragile glossy stock used today.”
• You can read more about Alan Class Comics (and other publishers who reprinted early Marvel comics) on this 2008 blog post on Lew Stringer’s Blimey! It’s Another Blog About Comics:
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.