It had passed us the team at Phil-Comics by when they first listed a copy of IPC’s VULCAN comic No. 1, cover dated 1st March 1975, as part of their latest eBay auction – but on offer is a rarely seen Scottish first edition of the reprint comic.
VULCAN was a weekly comic co-published by Fleetway and Swiss publisher Gevacur from 1975 to 1976, the sister, European title KOBRA, both launched in February 1975 on the same day. KOBRA had a much longer run than VULCAN, both titles printed in Germany, by Franzis-Druck, in Munich.
VULCAN initially was launched by Fleetway in Scotland in March 1975 for a trial run lasting 30 issues, rounding off with the issue cover dated 20th September, immediately followed by what effectively was a second volume of the title, with another “No.1” issue cover dated 27th September 1975, which same with a free “spud gun” – a gift that seemed to be in never-ending supply given how often they were given away!
VULCAN continued for a further 28 issues until the issue cover dated 3rd April 1976, then merging with Valiant. As part of the merger, three issues of a VULCAN mini-comic were published within the merged title, in the issues cover dated 10th – 24th April 1976, to complete unfinished stories.
Printed on glossy paper, the comic featured reprints of strips from Look and Learn, Lion and Valiant, including adventures strips such as “Mytek the Mighty”, “The Spider”, “Kelly’s Eye”, “Robot Archie”, and “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire”, and the humour strip, “Sporty”, from Valiant.
A Vulcan Holiday Special was published in June 1976 and a Vulcan Annual in late 1976, dated 1977.
“It’s the first time we’ve handled a Scottish version and it seems it had a different cover and free gift as the ‘National’ edition that came out in September 1975,” auctioneer Phil Shrimpton says.
“Incidentally, we’ll be offering the first issue of the national edition in our next auction – complete with its free Potato Gun gift in its original packet!”
• There are 250 lots in the latest Phil-Comics auction, many of them British comics. Most auctions start at 99p with no reserve. The auction begins to close on Sunday 2nd October 2022. Head to www.ebay.co.uk/str/philcomics for the full catalogue – or check out some of the other items we spotted in this auction here on downthetubes
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.