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Frank Hampson, Marvel Comics and the Landscape Format 1976

In March of 1976 a unique and never to be repeated partnering of the talent of Frank Hampson and the creations of Stan Lee was unleashed. Frank produced a one off pin-up for the popular Marvel weekly 'Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes'.

In issue 162 of the title (cover dated March 20th 1976) a one page feature on the legendary Dan Dare artist was published

(click here for full sized image)

and in the next issue (163 cover dated March 27th 1976) the two page work was printed as a centre spread special.

(click here for full size image)

In case you were wondering, the odd size is because the comic was one of Marvel U.K.'s reformatting experiments in which two U.S.A. comic pages were printed smaller and side by side on one U.K. page, essentially providing twice as much material as usual. To make it easier to read this way the comic was folded and stapled on what would have been the top of a normal U.K. book, essentially turning the comic on its side (see example below)

Although fairly popular, (it had been proven a sales success by the previous launch 'The Titans' in October 1975)

though controversial due to the shrinking of the artwork the format was retired in issue 231 (cover dated July 13 1977) probably because it ate up material too quickly and was rapidly catching up with U.S. monthly titles from which material was sourced. The title merged at this point with the failing Captain Britain weekly.

Marvel U.K. would not produce its own original output until the arrival of 'Hulk Comic' in March 1979.


John Pitt said…
Thanks Oversear, been searching for that centre spread. Now I've found a new blog too!

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