Monday, 1 June 2015


From 1991: Titan's 10th anniversary re-release of the first (of many) album-format compilations of JUDGE DREDD strips from 2000AD.  

Small adverts for these albums were a mainstay of 2000AD in the early 1980s and, for someone without access to Forbidden Planet or a local comic store, they always seemed impossibly expensive and impossibly out-of-reach.  

Even now, looking back, these still seem relatively expensive (although the reproduction was good) compared with today's far more bumper versions.  I doubt very much that IPC's work-for-hire contracts meant they had to pay the original creative teams anything although I don't know whether Titan themselves made non-contractual additional payments as a show of faith.  Commissioning new cover art for each volume may have been their way of ensuring at least some additional income was generated by the reprints.  

I think it's safe to safe to say that this early tie-up with IPC (at a time where IPC themselves seemed blissfully ignorant as to the potential of their back catalog as anything other than cheap filler for annuals and specials) was the making of Titan Books (an offshoot of Titan Distributors and the Forbidden Planet stores), giving them a solid foundation to build the books, comics and magazines publishing empire that exists today.  

Titan, at some point, lost the 2000AD license (possibly after the purchase by Robert Maxwell... allowing for vertical integration with his various - and myriad - book publishing interests) but had already acquired other licenses such as the rights to reprint DC trade paperbacks and graphic novels in the UK and the rights to publish the Pocket Books STAR TREK novels here.  

They also dabbled with other licenses such as reissuing several of the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA novels to coincide with the BBC TWO repeats... although that floundered after only three reissues. 

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