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Friday, October 5, 2012
Another Look At The Alan Class Comics / Thorpe and Porter Double Double Series
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Comic Book History
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Michael D Hamersky On Comics Presents Another Look At:
The Alan Weiss Comics Reprints / Thorpe and Porter Double Double Comics Series!
 As Published in the United Kingdom

TODAY'S FEATURE IS BLOG #3729 -   The past few days I've been seeing two older blog posts, from August & September of 2007 being viewed quite a bit in the stats of this Blog.

From the August 25th blog post

Alan Class United Kingdom Reprints -

Earlier This Week We Had An UK eBayer... buy two of our Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion from DC Comics.

He and his brother would read the Alan Class UK reprints of these stories over in the United Kingdom when they were younger and he was now looking for the original stories source!  Always interested in learning more about comic book history I wanted to know more of what he was talking about!

So I checked out my favorite search engine and came up with the following information:

I had already known that some companies like Marvel Comics had had their own imprint in the UK decades ago, plus there were predecessors in the UK itself that had the reprint rights before the major companies started printing their own UK editions.

Since this UK buyer was interested in just the Alan Class UK source stories, this blog post will center only on those reprint series.

It would appear that from the early 1960's up until the early 1990's, a British publisher called Alan Class published what is considered to number in the thousands of black and white reprint comics!

These reprint comics featured material from Atlas Comics (pre-Marvel), Marvel Comics, ACG Comics, Charlton Comics, Archie Comics.  There appeared to be some other American publishers works reprinted, but not for certain which ones.

For those fans of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko there is a relatively high proportion of reprinted work by these two master artists!

Although the reprints were reproduced on low quality paper, the pulbications provided a great opportunity to obtain stories that were usually difficult and expensive to buy as originals, and often had not been reprinted elsewhere.

These Alan Class reprints are becoming more uncommon to obtain, and although in the past they have not been seen as expensive, they are now attracting more collector interest with the resulting spiral upward trend of pricing.

We at Make It So Marketing usually have several of the original publications the Alan Class reprints reproduced for sale in our eBay Featured Store. However they are not categorized (separated) as Alan Class source materials. You would have to just search our listings. To do so just click on the top right comic book cover to view all of our store listings to see if we have it in stock for you.

Then from the September 1st blog post:

Make It A Double Double!

No, I'm Not Ordering A Burger!!

(Update On Alan Class UK Reprints AND New 'Double Double' Comics!)

This is compiled from two e-mails received from an UK eBayer that introduced the Alan Class series of reprints to our blog. The previous post is linked here.  Here are his recent e-mails to us.

(First e-mail presented here:)

I read your blog and it was nice to see the Alan Class genre highlighted by yourselves. It brings to the forum a whole wide rangeing aspect to comics and their history.

Alan Class is a logistical minefield and tracking down which original issues featured in the reprints is an even harder task. As a quick note I tracked down several copies which featured the covers of original marvel greats such as Fantastic Four #1 and Tales of Suspense #39.

I even came across a bunch of UK bound comics, which I had initially thought were reprints similar to Alan Class. (A new can of worms opening up here). These are Called 'Adventure Double Double Comics'. Originally priced at 10p so Im guessing early seventies here (as their is no publisher info or any info to be precise).

Looks to me like a whole bunch of Silver Age US origin comics were bought up, covers removed and put into these sort of DC Annual editions. I am pretty sure that these are NOT reprints.

One of the examples has complete comics of: Adventure Comics 368, Worlds Finest 175, Wonder Woman 163 and Aquaman 28. I'll let you know of any more info I dig up.

(The second e-mail follows:)

Looked into the Double Double Comics a bit more. Thorpe & Porter (A UK distributor) who repackaged a lot of old US Golden age comics, were later bought out by DC, to act as their sole distributor to the UK. Any of the unsold DC comics were then removed from their covers and repackaged into these 'bumper' value comics.

The interesting thing about this is, as Ive just found out, each one was unique (say Batman Double Double Comics Number 3) having a random selection of comics put into a glue bound cover. One copy could have say, Batman 172,189,191 and possibly a Detective Comics in there for good measure, whilst the same issue could have four different Batman related comics!!

I've rummaged around and found that the occasional Marvel, or other publishing house comic could find its way in there by accident!! Along with this I've noted several different versions of this (I could write a book about this area of comic collecting), Justice League Double Double, Action Comics Double Double, Batman Double Double, Adventure Double Double, Superman Double Double & Jimmy Olsen Double Double so far.

I'm suspecting that titles such as Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superboy, Aquaman, Brave & Bold etc would be found in some of these issues. These in my opinion are rather scarce, given the fact that British Collectors would shy away from such comics.

As Ive mentioned with Alan Class getting a little revival, I've a feeling these too will gain added interest. Primarily due to the fact that these are not reprints. They are unique in the fact that DC sanctioned what could effectively be seen as more than an 80 page Giant (some I believe have these in them!!). It's opened new avenues as a collector and puts me I suppose in a frame of 'Historian'. Imagine, these books could contain gems which are out of reach for a lot of collectors. Original cover or not, the original story pages are there!
What a wonderful thing comics are!!!

(Desmond Jukes / United Kingdom / fortunefaded72@hotmail.com)

Des is definitely right in that comics are a wonderful thing! There are the beginnings of a Alan Class publications revival at eBay.com (USA), as can be seen in that there are currently 10 auction listings listed! 

I tried to see if Desmond is on Facebook, he's not...

I then looked to see if there were any books coming out that are reprinting the above mentioned series... Didn't see any.

I'm not for certain why these two five year old blogs are seeing so many views lately, but something's up...

As for the background on the Alan Class Comics, here's just a bit: "Alan Class Comics was a British comics publishing company between 1959 and 1989, owned by Alan Class (born in London, England July 21, 1937). The company produced anthology titles, reprinting comics stories from many U.S. publishers of the 1940s to 1960s in a black and white digest format for a U.K. audience".

For more info on the Alan Class Comics... Check out this link at Wikipedia.  A lot of good info there!

Here's the link to the Grand Comics Database that lists most (all?) of the Alan Class Comics published.

As for Thorpe and Porter, here's a brief history:  "In the 1950s and 1960s American comics typically arrived in the UK as ballast on ships. In 1959, Thorpe & Porter (widely known as 'T & P') became the sole UK distributor of Marvel comics. These were printed on Marvel's American printing presses, along with a special cover giving the British price instead of the price in cents, and shipped across the Atlantic. Inside the front cover, with the indicia, a sentence mentioned Thorpe & Porter as sole distributor in the UK market. Thus it was that brand new American-printed copies of Fantastic Four #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, The Amazing Spider-Man #1, and countless others, appeared in the UK."

Plus for more on Double Double Comics, here's a link to the Blimey blog, that shows a few pics of how they looked.

Here's a link to more sample copies of Thorpe and Porter Double Double Comics.

Here's the link to the Grand Comics Database that lists all 24 issues that were printed in the Double Double Comics titles, from 1967 - 1973.

If you have any additional knowledge of the above topics, feel free to post a reply at my Facebook Fan Page, Michael D Hamersky On Comics

~ Michael


NOTE FROM Michael D Hamersky On ComicsMy thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now at 3,729 total posts in number!   I do appreciate your continued reading and support of this Blog!

BTW, You can 'follow' this blog by clicking the 'Follow' Button at this NetworkedBlogs app link!   Thanks to ALL of YOU that have already clicked that button!  And for those of YOU that haven't yet... I would appreciate it if YOU would!!!

Note:  My online 'Local' Comic Book Shop (LCBS), carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items. Possibly even copies of the item(s) that was mentioned here today...!  If I have it, you'll find under the BIG TOP of Comics, at Comic Books Circus.com, including the book 'Gotham City 14 Miles' that I am shown holding to the left. I'm 1 of 14 essayists in that book! !     

Web Page Note:  This blog post is written per the IE Browser standards.  Chrome, Safari, Netscape, Firefox and the other browsers serve the page up slightly differently, sorry about that!  The screen display resolution is best seen at the setting of 1024 x 768 on your laptop or desktop computer.  Note:  Your computer's resoulution may be set differently, but the above resolution is the most commonly used resolution at the time of this blog post. 

NOTE: All images and characters within this blog post are copyright and trademark their respective owners.

Comics Creators: If you are breaking into, or already work in the comic book industry or other pop culture productions, you are welcome to email or mail us press releases, news items, and updates that you feel would be of interest to our blog readers. Including YOUR own works! To mail printed items to us for possible review, send to:  Make It So Marketing Inc., PO Box 130653, Carlsbad, CA 92013

 Also, if you are a Facebook member, I would have liked you to send me a 'Friend Request'. However, I have reached the maximum limit of 5,000 Facebook Friends and Fan pages already, so I've added a New 'Facebook Fan Page' so that even more of YOU can 'Like' what I am doing, and be interactive with me and others there.  Here is the link to that 'Facebook Fan Page': Michael D Hamersky On Comics! Please click the 'Like' button on that page!
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Posted by makeitsomarketing at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 6:23 AM PDT
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