This page is spilt into three sections. The first part lists other British comic and other useful websites, whilst the second part is a selection of British comic reference works. The third section is to thank various sponsers and individuals.
Links to other British Comic websitesBear Alley
Steve Holland is well known in British Comic circles for his knowledge of British comics. He also has experience of working within the British comics industry. His daily illustrated blog has articles about British comics but there is also information about book authors and biographical information about comic artists and writers. Previous blogs have looked at characters, artists, comic news, new comic collections, projects Steve is currently working on and so on.
But whatever Steve is writing about, you know it will be well researched, written and entertaining.
Please note that this magazine has now ceased publication.
Want to know about British comics in general and in detail? The writers, artists, editors and others who contributed to the comics? Not forgetting the marvellous characters that have been created over the years? Then Crikey! is the magazine for you. This publication covers all British comics over the decades. Well worth a read. Comics can probably still be bought at comic marts and second hand shops and websites.
Vic Whittle's site is a companion website to mine. Whereas my site looks at two of D.C. Thomson's first strip comics, Vic's British Comics website tells the story of the earlier D.C. Thomson's adventure paper comics for example, Adventure, Hotspur, Rover, Skipper and Wizard. Want to know about Commando comics (including new issues being published) or any of the Fleetway comics such as Battle Picture Library, Combat Picture Library and so on? You'll find all the information you need on Vic's site.
D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd
Talking of D.C. Thomson I would be remiss if I didn't mention their website. After all, without them, those of us lucky to have read or are re-reading the comics or those of you reading them for the first time, would be missing out on so much fun and enjoyment!
British Library's website, comic collection
Fed up with trying to locate that elusive comic or paying over the odds for particular issues? Then this next site is probably for you. It is a well kept secret that The British Library holds many complete runs of British comics. And not only can you view the comics, you can also have a photocopy or scanned copy for a small charge. (Only one story from each comic though, so as to not infringe copyright laws).
Please note that the comic collection can now be viewed at the main British Libary next to St. Pancras station, as can all of the newspapers previously held at BL's Colindale site. This building has now closed and has been demolished to make way for new housing. (Updated Sept. 2015).
Note - there is also a reading room at the BL's Boston Spa site near Leeds. Please make enquiries to the BL to find out what can be viewed there and what can't.
However, the annuals can be viewed at the following libraries around the country - Trinity College, Dublin and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales. (Information from COPAC)
Please also note that it is inadvisable to just turn up on the day, and you need to provide two documents for example, your passport and a utility bill to prove your identity. It's worth reading the British Library's guidelines carefully before you make your journey. (Another tip is to order up to four items several days before your visit and take a pencil, pens are not allowed in the libraries, but I believe laptops are).
Enquires that I have made to other countries national libraries to find out if they hold copies of The Victor and The Hornet has so far produced the following information:-
Australia:- National Library of Australia catalogue. This library has a complete collection of The Hornet, but not The Victor.
Canada:- The Toronto Public Library holds issues 1251 to 1262 of The Victor.
America:- Michigan State University holds four issues of The Hornet and several later issues of The Victor.
New Zealand:- Sadly, neither of the comics are held in any national library in New Zealand.
This also appears to be the case for India, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Cyprus and Malta. If anyone knows differently or knows of a library that holds either comic please let me know.
My thanks to Anne Pichora, of the Client Services Division, Library and Archives Canada for a very comprehensive answer to my enquiry about The Victor and The Hornet collections in not only Canada, but also around the world. Information from the WorldCat and AMICUS databases.
Want to find out about a particular artist and see some examples of their work? This is a useful site providing a listing of artists with brief biographical information and examples of their comic work. Lambiek.net is also a famous comic shop in Amsterdam, Holland.
Book Palace books
If your looking to start or even expand your comic graphic novels this publisher is a good place to start. They publish collections of Modesty Blaise, Dan Dare, The Complete Frank Bellamy Robin Hood, Charley's War, Albion Origins and the newly published Achtung Commando book and many others.
If you read British comics today then the chances are high that the above website link will be familiar to you. If your new to 2000AD and its marvellous characters such as Judge Dredd, Johnny Alpha, Sinster Dexter, Savage and so on, you can catch up on previous thrills by purchasing graphic novels from this site.
Down the Tubes
I confess that I haven't viewed every nook and cranny of this large and well run website, but from what I've read it's of great value to any comic enthusiast. Run by John Freeman he says his 'site was originally created to be a resource base for people seeking comics artists and writers but has mushroomed over the years to deliver British comics news, and a home for Eagle Flies Again on the web. It also includes information on events and other SF resources on the web.' Please follow the link for an interview with the new Commando editor Calum Laird
Want to find out about British comics, (The Beano, Crisis, Eagle, 2000AD and so on) or artists or comic characters (Dan Dare, Adam Eterno, The Broons and so on) or blogs about British comics, then the above website will be able to point you in the right direction. But Alan Notton's website has much more to offer and, 'aims to relive the history [of British comics] and let everyone know what an enjoyable pastime comic reading was.'
It's surprising, but even with most of the information anyone could want, can be found on the www, most people would rather have that information in book form. And long may that continue. A book can be read anywhere, (without worrying about battery power failure, for example), whereas a computer can't. Below is a small list of useful British Comic reference works. If anyone thinks any other works should be added to the list, please let me know. This list is a work in progress.
CLARK, Alan Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors.- (I've never seen a copy of this work, but from what I've read, it's an excellent addition to anyone's British Comic reference libary).
GALLAGHER, Brendan Sporting Supermen : The true stories of our Childhood comic heroes.- (Featuring Alf Tupper, William Wilson, Roy of the Rovers, Gorgeous Gus and others).
GRAVETT, Paul Great British Comics.-
Hissey, Terry GC on the Rock: The Story of George Henderson.- Matlock, Derbyshire: Civil Defense Association, 2011.- 34p.- ill. b+w.- This short booklet tells the true story of George Henderson who died while fighting a fire that broke out on a small boat that was transferring depth charges from a ship to a jetty in Gibraltar. The story was told on the front and back covers of The Hornet. See the front cover image below.
Marsden, Derek and Ray Moore This Was The Wizard.
HOLLAND, Steve The Fleetway Companion.- Rotherham, South Yorkshire: CJ Publication, 2002.- ill. b+w.- softback.- 385p.- (Note that CJ Publications publish many other British comic indexes. Please contact email@example.com (Note:- all of these indexes have been published privately, so they may well be out of print).
The information is arranged A to Z by comic titles, but the various strips that appeared in each comic aren't. However, this is easily solved by using some strong post-it tabs to mark the relevant pages of your favourite comic strips. For second hand copies check e-bay and second hand book websites such as www.abebooks.com
HOLLAND, Steve and David Roach.- The Fleetway Picture Library Index Volume 1: The War Libraries.- London: The Book Palace, 2007.- ill. col, b+w.- 196p. ISBN9780955159626.-
KIBBLE-WHITE, Graham The Ultimate Book of British Comics.- (This is an A to Z arrangement of every British comic published complete with a page or so biography of each publication).
Riches, Adam Tim Parker and Robert Frankland When the Comics Went to War.- Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 2009.- 256 page.- ill. b+w, col.- ISBN 9781845965549.- Price £19.99, but probably cheaper if bought via a web bookshop.
Riches, Adam Tim Parker and Robert Frankland Football's Comic Heroes.- Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 2009.- 256 page.- ill. b+w, col.- ISBN 9781845964085.- Price £19.99, again probably cheaper via a web bookshop.
For a review of the two above books please follow the link - two book reviews.
The Best of Victor 2010.
This book celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of The Victor (1961 to 2011). The book features everything that you might expect to find in the weekly comic. Picture and text war, sport, western and adventure stories, true front and back cover stories of military heroes (in colour), a letters page and a free gift!
The stories featured in the work are taken from the early years of the comic, the 1960's, with the exception of one episode from the Cadman series. Cadman didn't appear in the Victor until the mid-1970's. With tens and tens of characters being published in the comic during its thirty-one years of publication, its not surprising that some famous characters didn't make the cut. So there is no room for 'Killer' Kennedy, Chell Puddock, Shiwa Sands, Captain Neilson and his mine to name a few. But there are one or two strips that aren't that well known that have been published. I won't spoil the surprise.
All the main artists are represented, except surprisingly Matias Alonso. Unfortunately, there is no information about the comic's history or about the artists or even which artist drew which strip in this collection. Please click on the link below to be taken to the Victor Index for information about which artist drew which series.
The book is printed on good, quality matt paper so you won't have to suffer the problem of light reflecting off glossy paper. Even though some of you may have probably read most of the strips, this is an excellent, well presented book and an enjoyable way to read a hotch-potch of Victor strips. Buy it. Thank you D.C. Thomson. Note - if your looking for a copy of this book in British bookshops, you'll find it in the humour section.
D.C. Thomson for allowing me to use images from The Victor and The Hornet comics, York College for their 'Build
a website course',
Flags courtesty of virtuallandmedia. and fg-a.com.