Unsung heroes of British comics

The history of British comics tends to follow a certain path. DC Thompson’s titles before the war, The Eagle in the 50’s with the usual references to Dan Dare as well as a quick mention of boys and girls comics in the 60’s and early 70’s.

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From the 70′, it’s a quick dive into Action before 2000AD, and  how that comic single handed changed things forever.

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Next comes the ”British invasion” of American comics lead by Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons and followed by many, many more.

sotst21A quick dive into comics like Crisis, Deadline and Toxic! back in the UK before things just dribble to an end and all the usual names (who all thoroughly deserve their place in history and in the sun)  before being wrapped up in a nice bow.toxic!1

But there’s dozens, probably hundreds, of people who’ve spent part, or much of their lives to kicking off, promoting and expanding the comics scene in the UK who are ignored or just wiped from history depending upon who is telling the story. And to make it clear everyone, myself included, who has written anything about the history of UK comics has done this at least once but there’s a way modern history is being written that’s missing out folk and considering many of these people are getting older, or dead, it’ll be hard to get them to rewrite history when most comic journalists (and often that’s a useless term) rely purely upon Wikipedia.

So think of people like Bob Napier and Steve Montgomery who helped carve out a Glasgow comics scene in the first place, or Paul Hudson who owned Comic Showcase in London and provided an alternative to the increasingly corporate Forbidden Planet, or Martin Skidmore who helped so many people break into the industry or Pete Stephenson who almost single handedly ensured DC Comics got widespread newsagent distribution in the 1980s at a time when the market exploded.

These are just people off the top of my head. There’s dozens more out there and I’ll be expanding upon them in future blogs but remember the people who fell through the cracks of history.

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