Web Find: Classics Illustrated World War Specials with John M. Burns covers

Classics Illustrated World War One Special

Back in 2014, Classic Comic Store published two Classics Illustrated special issues, re-publishing some of their World War-inspired material, but what I missed back then is that both feature new covers by ace British artist John M. Burns.

Running to 100 pages each, both titles are reprint inside and both are still available, from both amazon.co.uk and Classics Illustrated direct.

Classics Illustrated World War One SpecialClassics Illustrated World War One Special

The World War One Special offers readers “the thrilling story of ‘The Great War,’ known now as the First World War. Classics Illustrated traces the history of this devastating conflict from the catalytic political assassination that started it to its end – with victory for some, shame for others and whole nations left in ruin!”

Classics Illustrated World War Two Special

Classics Illustrated World War Two Special ArtClassics Illustrated World War Two Special Art

I haven’t been able to track down information on the World War One strips, but the World War Two Special appears to be a representation of a 1962 Special published by Top Sellers Ltd, with this striking cover.

Classics Illustrated World War Two Special 1962

The 2014 Special was published to mark the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, and tells “the astonishing and horrifying story of the Second World War in comic-strip format.

“Classics Illustrated traces the chronology of the most costly war in human history from its outbreak to its conclusion, with over 60 million dead, trials for crimes against humanity and a new, terrifying threat over the world: the atomic bomb!”

Running to 100 pages – 96 of Classics Illustrated’s famous comic-strip re-telling and four more pages dedicated to exploring the war further, all major events in the war are covered, including the coming to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, the Dunkirk evacuation, the Battle of Britain, the Siege of Stalingrad and many more.

The book also has biographies of several major war leaders, from Winston Churchill to Erwin Rommel, Dwight D. Eisenhower to Hideki Tojo.

Classics Illustrated was a comic book series featuring adaptations of literacy classics such as Moby Dick, Alice in Wonderland and The Three Musketeers. Created by Albert Kanter, the series began publication in 1941, and finished its run in 1971, producing 169 issues.

Material was also published in the UK not published in the US.

In September 2008, Classic Comic Store Ltd., based in the UK, began publishing both the original Gilberton Classics Illustrated regular and Junior lines for distribution in the UK, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

World War One Special available here from amazon.co.uk (using this link helps support downthetubes, thank you)

World War Two Special available here from amazon.co.uk (using this link helps support downthetubes, thank you)

• Classics Illustrated Store: www.classiccomicstore.com

With thanks to David A. Roach for spotting these


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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

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