Thursday 6 September 2012


Here's another obscurity from the Marvel UK vaults: the short-lived MONSTER MONTHLY, which clocked-up a mere 8 issues beginning in March (cover-dated April) 1982.

Edited by the legendary Bernie Jaye, it was a mixture of Marvel horror tales resurrected from the vaults alongside some film-themed text and photo (unfortunately badly let-down by Marvel's cheap-as-chips printing technology) pieces.

It's hasty demise, and genuine obscurity today, suggests that it was far from a bloody great success for M-UK.  It also marked the Annex-of-Ideas last regular excursion into the horror genre (except for the nineties text-based HAMMER HORROR) after several previous efforts.

The weekly DRACULA LIVES!, not to be confused with the US magazine of the same name, had notched-up 87 issues between (1974 and 1976) before continuing the TOMB OF DRACULA reprints, as supporting features, in PLANET OF THE APES, THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL and MARVEL COMIC.  

CHILLER POCKET BOOK, again featuring Dracula along with Man-Thing and other sundry scares, was part of the initial wave of Pocket Book launches in the summer of 1980.  It ran for 28 issues, closing (along with the whole line) in 1982.  MONSTER MONTHLY was, presumably, intended to be a partial replacement, taking advantage in the resurgence of horror films in the cinema and on home video.

One of the more interesting, and generally unmentioned, moments in the history of Marvel's British adventures, was a deal to reprint, under license to an outfit called Portman, Marvel horror strips in TALES OF TERROR and CASTLE OF HORROR. The only time (excluding Marvel's annuals), as far as I can recall, that Marvel material was published by anyone other than Marvel themselves during the lifetime of M-UK.

IPC's own short-lived entry into the genre, SCREAM!, appeared for a mere 15 weeks (plus subsequent specials) in 1984.

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