Wednesday, 30 July 2014

1990: STRIP Issue 1 (Marvel UK)

STRIP was a 1990 MARVEL UK launch, which notched-up twenty issues before succumbing, that was part of the wave of comics-for-adults (or, at least, older children) that surfaced around the turn of the decade (see also: VIZ and its numerous imitators, CRISIS, REVOLVER, BLAST, JUDGE DREDD THE MEGAZINE, MELTDOWN and others).  

The logic was simple: kids weren't buying comics anymore so, to stay in business, publishers needed to hold onto their existing audience for a few years longer.

Plus, in the wake of the success of THE DARK KNIGHT, SWAMP THING (the comic… not the movies), the Vertigo line and the BATMAN movie… comics were (as far as the media were concerned anyway) COOL.  Official.  

Marvel UK went after the slice of the action with STRIP.  The cover copy above sets out the early line-up.  Later additions included THE PUNISHER (an unofficial merger of sorts following the demise of Frank Castle's own title) and a new DEATH'S HEAD adventure (The Body In Question, also collected in Graphic Novel form).  A new NIGHT RAVEN adventure was scheduled for the 21st issue but, despite some promotion, the fortnightly was canned (without warning) an issue earlier.  House of Cards eventually appeared (twice!) in graphic novel form.  

Note the small freebie, a pin badge, still attached to this copy.

The slogan "The Comic Grows Up", a familiar refrain at the time, was subsequently spoofed by TOXIC: "The Comic Throws Up". 

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