Writers:- The Victor editorial team plus free lance writers? Artists:- Many of the regular artists who drew for the weekly comic and annuals.
The Victor Summer Specials were published between 1967 and 1992.
The Victor Summer Special (VSS) was a yearly publication which was published during the summer for twenty-six years and was the perfect companion for young lads such as myself to purchase and read during the summer holidays, on the beach. The VSS benefited from being printed on better quality paper than the weekly comic and of being of a larger format, A3 sized. (Although as the years went by it shrank down to A4 size).
Stories featured in the VSS included favourite characters such as Alf Tupper, Morgyn the Mighty The Red MacGregor, 'Killer' kennedy and so on. (Tupper and Morgyn I believe appeared in every issue, such was their popularity). Stories about other characters/strips which had appeared during the previous year in the weekly comic, were also published. A quiz, a simple ‘board game’, a sports article and some humour rounded off each edition. The best thing about the VSS for me though, was the fact that it featured full colour on approximately fifty percent of the pages each issue, with a couple of the stories being printed in full or partial colour. After reading and viewing artwork in black and white, it was always a pleasant surprise to open my yearly VSS. (Not that there is anything wrong with black and white strips, in a lot of cases some strips benefit from the lack of colour). The VSS gave the reader an indication of what the weekly comic could have been like if it had been printed in full colour on good quality paper.
Ian Kennedy the artist, provided many front covers for the Specials and these full colour A3 sized covers no doubt attracted many young boys into buying the VSS. As a youngster I only read a few of the early issues of the Specials, missing out on many of the later issues.
Kennedy drew the front covers for years 1972?, 1973?, 1975, 1979 to 84, then 1986 and 1987. The sport covers started with the 1988 issue through to the last issue 1992. The sports covers all featured football, except the 1992 cover which featured cricket.
As I haven't been successful in obtaining a copy of every issue of the VSS, (even the British Library is missing some issues, they appeared to have gone walkabout), I've had to copy thumb images from the web. Readers will therefore find that full images are only available for the following years - 1968, 1969, 1972, 1975 to 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1982.
Please visit the Victor Index page for information about which stories appeared in which Summer Specials.
Thanks to the staff of the British Library, Colindale for providing me with colour copies of various Summer Special front covers.
Below are two stories (one in full glorious colour), and a factual article from various Victor Summer Specials. The colour story from the 1982 issue features Captain Mike Talbot of the Escadrille Cherifienne, a squadron of foreign volunteers fighting alongside the French Foreign Legion. Talbot's adventures also appeared in the 1983 and 1984 annuals. I suspect his adventures also ran in the weekly comic, but I haven't been able to identify which issues yet. Artwork by Matias Alonso, colouring done by the Editorial team?
The second story is a splendid stand alone modern ghost story, from the 1975 issue, artist unknown and finally a factual article from the 1982 special.