Articles

27 April 2013

H. John Edwards by James Zee

H. John Edwards

While many Australian publishers disguised the international origins of their comics, H. John Edwards reprints were branded with the logos of US companies such as Fiction House, Standard and MLJ Magazines (Archie).

He also published a large line of original Australian comics with art by some of this country's most accomplished artists, including Larry Horak, John Dixon and Jeff Wilkinson.

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15 October 2012

Australian DC reprints by James Zee

Australian DC reprints

KG Murray (and later Federal) published DC comics in Australia, didn't they?

Well yes... mostly. I've just struck a DC series published by another Australian company, which reminds me that some DC series ended up in the hands of other Australian publishers.

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13 October 2012

Jesús Blasco in Valentine by James Zee

Jesús Blasco in Valentine

There's a stunning scene of Sydney Harbour in a mid-1960 British comic: 'Don't Ever Leave Me', Valentine Picture Story Library (Fleetway, 1960 series) #4.

Particularly interesting is the empty peninsula where the Opera House is now, with Farm Cove beyond. The former Fort Macquarie Tram Depot was demolished in 1958 and work began on the Opera House March 1959. The crane in the drawing would be working on the project's fist stage.

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4 October 2012

Puzzling censorship by James Zee

Puzzling censorship

Here's a puzzle about an unedited "sexy" Australian reprint at a time when the contempory US printing was edited—presumably to comply with the Comics Code Authority.

The story in question is "My Rebellious Heart" from Teenage Love #29 (Barmor Publications), which probably dates from 1954. As with many Australian comics this issue is undated, but some recently auctioned Harvey file copies of earlier issues have dates stamped on the cover.

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1 July 2012

KG Murray archives by James Zee

KG Murray archives

KG Murray's re-use of stories from Five-Score Comic Monthly #10, February 1959 suggests an extraordinary archive must have once existed at the company's headquarters.

The story 'Catastrophe County.' (note the full stop) is a reprint of 'Catastrophe County, U.S.A.' from Strange Adventures #63, December 1955. Such localisation was common at the time: 'Million Pound Ticket', a Mr. District Attorney story in the same issue, was originally 'Million Dollar Ticket'.

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30 June 2012

No publisher printed by James Zee

No publisher printed

It's rare for an Australian comic to have no publisher listed. An unnumbered, undated issue of Li'l Genius is one of the few I've seen.

The comic probably dates from 1958/1959 or into the early 1960s. Its cover is from Charlton's Li'l Genius #9 (1955)—and probably the contents also, but I can't find information to be sure.

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3 October 2011

Disney by James Zee

Disney

Between 1946 and 1978, Australian Disney comics were continuously produced by W.G. Publications (renamed Wogan Publications in 1974)—although other companies published some Disney comics for Australia before, during and after that time.

John Sands published a few Disney comics in the 1930s, with a handful more by Ayers & James in the 1940s. The Australian Woman's Weekly also published at least one in the 1940s, with free promotional comics from Nabisco (Wheaties) in the 1950s and Mobil in 1964.

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12 July 2011

Ayers & James by James Zee

Ayers & James

The Australian run of Classics Illustrated, commencing in 1947, is Ayers & James most enduring and famous comics legacy, although the company is associated with thousands of comics from the 1940s until the 1970s.

Most of this publishing output is disguised behind diverse trading names or successors—such as Red Circle Press, Illustrated Publications, Approved Publications and others—all associated with the later Magazine Management company.

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1 May 2011

AusReprints needs your comics by James Zee

AusReprints needs your comics

This website is a collaborative effort! Since AusReprints.com went online in 2003, I've made surprising progress documenting Australian reprint comics. But I need your help with issues I don't have.

The easiest way to help is to email me a high quality scan of missing or poor quality covers. If you have the time, I also welcome story details and full content information. All contributions can be emailed to me at the link at the bottom of this page.

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8 April 2011

Atlas by James Zee

Atlas

Capitalising on the success of KG Murray's Superman reprints, Atlas Publications entered the comics field in January 1948 with Captain Atom, a full colour comic by Australians Arthur Mather and Jack Bellew (as John Welles). Wartime bans on imported periodicals were still in place at the time, creating strong demand for new local periodicals.

While early Atlas comics mimicked the look of Murray's contemporary comics, the company quickly created a strong identity by being one of the few Australian comics' publishers to consistently brand its publications on the cover. Until 1951, most of its comics were also printed in a distinctive landscape format that was better suited to its dominant newspaper reprints.

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