Thursday 12 November 2015


From 1980: a very atypical offering from the Annex of Ideas: The YOUNG ROMANCE SUMMER SPECIAL.

I would rank this as one of the Top Ten rarest MARVEL UK books published (not that I have ever written such a list) because copies very seldom surface in the back issue market. I've only ever seen one copy on sale... And this is it. I bought it for a couple of quid a few months ago from a London shop. 

Why so rare, albeit not terribly valuable? Because only romantically inclined Marvel fans, and compleatests, would have ever bought it to begin with. Despite creator credits for Stan and the greats of the US Bullpen, there's little to appeal to kids looking for their latest Star Age fix of action and adventure. 

YR, which also had a brief run as part of the POCKET BOOKS line, is also a Marvel UK landmark because it was the first time that the Bullpen had launched a title aimed primarily at girls. IPC and the Marvel's other rivals had, if course, considerable presence in this sector but it was unknown territory for the British Bullpen.

That said, I'm unconvinced these dated reprints from the US romance titles would have held much appeal to anyone other than collectors in 1980. It all seems rather twee and old-fashioned. But who am I to judge? It's not a sector I know much about and its hard to judge how these US tales sat beside homegrown offerings from the other publishers. 

I'm not sure if they reworked the cover art to make it look a little more contemporary but the chap on the cover does look a little like David Essex (I know this because I recently watched THAT'LL BE THE DAY and STARDUST... both of which were pretty good). 

1 comment:

  1. Truly one of the oddest titles ever published by M-UK. Why it seems more suited to the BUNTY and TAMMY set but for sheer novelty value, this one takes some beating. And I suspect that all of the titles in that pocket book line are now much harder to come by than the regular sized comics of that time. I suppose the closest contemporary equivalent is the usa comic WEIRD LOVE albeit with a darker tone.

    And David Essex looks a lot different now.


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