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 Ranger “The 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.
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.
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.
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
• 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
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.