Friday, February 25, 2011

War Picture Library Advertising - Dramatic All Action

War Picture Library 78 Aces High published (Dec 1960) has this advertisement on the back cover.

It is interesting to note the subscription pricing. For some reason it is cheaper to receive a War Picture Library comic if you are from Overseas or Canada. Whereas if you lived in the the United Kingdom simply (and beautifully) referred to as Home it costs more.

I've also done some research through Measuring and discovered that in today's currency the subscription would cost about 51.50 GBP or 82.90 USD or 81.77 AUD or 60.13 Euro.

In other words the cost to have 48 issues delivered to your door per issue would be as follows;
1.07 GBP, 1.73 USD, 1.70 AUD and 1.25 Euro.

Another reason to build that time machine.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Competition Post - Win Air Ace 457 One by One

Competition time again.

If you want to win a copy of One by One all you have to do is follow this blog and leave a comment at the end of this post.

I really liked this issue when I reviewed it and gets even better with a second reading. For the full review follow this link.

The copy I have to give away has seen better days (and when I get the chance I'll update the scan on the left) but that shouldn't stop you from adding your name to the roll of honour.

Sorry I just had to use that line.

The competition closes on March 14, 2011.

What are you waiting for? It's free. I even pay for postage!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pocket War Comics in Tamil

Now how do you say AAAAARGH! in Tamil?

I was very fortunate to be approached by King Viswa with the scans shown here of some translated pocket war comics. Have a look at his excellent and active comic book blog . There's a lot there to enjoy.

How do you affect your best French (I assume) accent in Tamil and say "At last! We have you now".  Couldn't be any worse than the one I'm trying on now.

A tash in Tamil.

Just what could the soldier in the Jeep be saying?

The old fickle finger of fate...claiming with one digit and forever changing with another.

Monday, February 14, 2011

War Picture Library Comic Book Advertising

You know it's a top issue when you can't stop using "top" as a superlative. In some circles Sir Bobby Charlton is still the absolute soccer superstar and if he was in the midst of his then stellar career now - he would be earning an absolute motza, living in L.A., be the target of the paparazzi, and have every moment of his personal and professional life under close scrutiny for all of us to enjoy...

Just like Bobby, Roy of the Rovers is still kicking around and judging from his website he's decidedly beefed up to take on the 21st Century.

I understand that all that top work by Roy in Tiger allowed him to eventually spin out into his own publication.

This advertisement appeared on the inside cover of War Picture Library  56 The Crowded Sky July 1961.

Did you vote? I voted! And I say "it's tops!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

War Picture Library 56 The Crowded Sky

Wow! There a lot of words in the Crowded Sky it almost should have been called the Crowded Page. I'm not saying that's a bad thing either. In a few short pages there is no doubt why Weymann (a German with a conscious) is so keen to fight the Nazis.

Just before the war begins he is approached by one of his countrymen who wants to escape Germany with his family. Weymann is affronted and considers the man to be a criminal. However he is brow beaten by an Englishman (Stowell) who offers to help the man. Weymann believes he is only naturally defending his country and cannot understand how Stowell can protect someone who is clearly a criminal. However Weymann's fast track to redemption begins when his own family is murdered by the Gestapo.

The story then sees Weymann escaping Gemany and joining the RAF. However it's not all plain sailling - you can take the boy out of Nazi Germany but you can't always take the Nazi Germany out of the boy. In other words he's not very good at being one of the chaps and this raises some tension and suspicion with the rest of the crew. However his Teutonic sense of duty, obligation and leadership sees him coming through for his crew.

Everything is going swimmingly until the navigators brother - the Englishman who saw Weymann when he was being patriotic - turns up one day. So in a nice moral twist Weymann is now the very same type of criminal that he would have once denounced and Stowell would have defended.

But of course there's always that one more mission to fly.

So in the end Weymann's sense of obligation is so great that he saves his crew from their crippled Blenheim and then he attempts to bring the aircraft back to base. The outcome has already been provided by the prophetic words of the CO concerning Spartans and their shields earlier in the story.

In the air there is a feast of early model Blenheims, tri-motor Junkers, trainers, Spitfires, Messerschmidts, Whirlwinds and even a gratuitous Lysander. The line work on the aircraft is well done as well as the composition and layout of the panels.

Not only is this a well written sophisticated story with excellent artwork  - it's also a planefest and you've got to love that!

...and do you know why you'll lose the war Jerry? Because we British know how to stand with our hands on our hips better than you can.

Weymann walked away because he knew he had been defeated by the better man.

Templehof airport looks more like Rick's Bar.

A civilian aircraft! You don't see many of those around these parts.

Crashed, upside down, dark, petrol, burnt oil, soar arm and German. Not a good day at the office.

That's right just like the Spartans. Except we're the pipe smoking, scarf wearing, dashing tash type. If you chaps want to be like Spartans you need to look like me!

Nice picture of a Blenheim.

An even nicer panel! However I can't help feeling the pilot of that 109 isn't the brightest crayon in the box.

Excellent gratuitous Lysander.

When things start reeking you know you're in trouble, big trouble.

How good is this pilot and his Whirlwind!

Whirlwind again!Damn right! Don't tell me what to do!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Do you want to know more? You've come to right place...

Cloud 109 follows up Ten of the Best with the Best of the Rest.

To learn more about these amazing little comics I urge you to arm yourselves with a copy of Steve Holland and David Roach's indispensable "The War Libraries" part 1 of The Fleetway Picture Library index and after you've read that you'll doubtless be thirsting for some of the actual comics. These can be bought from Book Palace Books who also have an online gallery of covers to these little beauties.

Good to see we share the same level of respect for Battler Britton...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

A big thank you to Cloud 109 for the following post...
As a result of some superb investigative work by Steve Holland (author, ephemera historian and host of the essential Bear Alley Blog) and David Roach (comic artist, comic historian and co author with Jon B. Cook of the Warren Companion) we can say that War Picture Library was intriguingly almost a continuation of Leonard Matthews Thriller Picture Library, with many of the issues you are looking at either TPL one offs such as War Picture Library Number 1,"Fight Back to Dunkirk" which was originally slated as a Thriller Picture Library special under the title "Dunkirk". This in part explains the somewhat anachronistic cover for WPL number 2 with Patrick Nicholle's carefree adventurer starkly contrasting with the elemental ferocity of De Gaspari's "Fight Back to Dunkirk" soldier. Nicholle presumably being commissioned to provide yet another in his ongoing series of Battler Britton covers for TPL, Battler Britton scripts being notorious for their gung-ho implausibilty, whereas the editorial team at WPL were striving for an altogether grittier feel to their line of comics.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Air Ace Picture Library Comic Book Advertising

Just what does FROG stand for? Well when I was  growing up we thought these kits were the new kids on the block. They were new and looked better than either the standard Arifix or Revell kits.

For some reason my school cronies and I believed that FROG where made in France and it wasn't until many years later that I learnt that FROG stands for "Flies Right Off the Ground." The company originally made flying aircraft models and hence the name.

A little digging around on the internet and I've discovered that the company predates my adventures into plastic model kit making by 40 years. There's more about information about the firm and the model kits at this website Sadly it hasn't been updated in a number of years. However it is still well worth a look.

This particular scan is from the inside front cover of Air Ace Picture Library 483 One Moment of Glory, published January 1970.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A word from the wise...

Prion's War Library Reprints And A Couple of Missing Jewels...
A comment from Mykal regarding his admiration for the U.K.'s war pocket libraries which he sourced via a series of jumbo sized reprints published by Prion and Carlton books reminded me of some unfinished business that attaches to a couple of the volumes reprinting that wonderful series of war comics that flourished throughout the sixties...
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