On this day, 27 September 1975: Vulcan
On this day, 27 September 1975 … Vulcan was launched across the UK with this cover date forty-one years ago, following a seven-month test run limited to Scottish distribution only. It’s an unusual one for the blog, this, as Vulcan was actually an anthology of serials that were first printed in IPC/Fleeetway titles of the 1960s – mostly colourised – and co-published with a German-language edition distributed by a Swiss publisher. Lew Stringer explains all of this more comprehensively and far more knowledgeably than I can here.
While reprint only, I include it as part of Great News For All Readers’ review of the comics of the 1970s and 1980s because for the majority of young readers of 1975 it would have seemed like a new publication (and a rather tasty one, with its colour and its gloss), and also because it was merged into Valiant in April 1976 – so becoming an official part of the 1970s IPC family tree. It’s also a nice little taster of what British comics were like in the 1960s. Vulcan’s selection was a mix of fantastical British superhero (criminal mastermind The Spider, Tarzan-a-like Saber – King of the Jungle, secret agent Louis Crandell – aka The Steel Claw, and Eye of Incan god-empowered Tim Kelly of Kelly’s Eye), creature features (giant ape Mytek the Mighty and mech-hero Robot Archie), and sci-fi (Don Lawrence’s beautiful The Trigan Empire). Obviously these stories were hand-picked from a vast back catalogue of adventure strips, so not fully representative of the period, but there are some stunning visuals (and an often cinematic sense of scale) in here from Lawrence, Eric Bradbury, Reg Bunn, Denis McLoughlin, Jesus Blasco and Solano Lopez.