Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Nope, not the teen variety. The Titans was a weird little experiment Marvel UK tried in 1975, a comic that was printed, not the usual 'portrait' style, but 'landscape' format. Why? With Marvel UK it was always best not to ask questions, as they seemed to come up with new formats and ideas practically every couple of months, all to disguise the fact that what you were buying was still an inferior black & white reprint.
I guess the fact that distribution of the American titles had vastly improved, and you could guarantee that if you bought a title this month, you'd probably be able to get it next month, stung Marvel UK a bit. They'd had the monopoly for so long, purely because we couldn't get the 'real thing'. Now that we could get colour comics, why buy British Marvel?
They needn't have worried. We bought The Titans. We bought everything. We were always willing to give even the lamest concepts a go ( hello, Mordred The Mystic ). After all, anything we didn't like, we could always swap to those kids who were too dumb to know the value of the American stuff. ( Two British Marvel's for an American one, thanks for asking. Three if it was something you really wanted. )
But the bizarre format did make for some cool covers, in design if not always in actual execution. And it's always fun to spot the mix of swipes on a Marvel UK cover. Mind you, I doubt the original artist's would've been pleased with the layout inside of the book. In order to make the format work, pages were shrunk down to fit two regular pages of artwork onto one.
Natch, I swapped my Titans copies years back, but if memory serves, they looked kinda like this:
Some of the stuff miniaturised in this way included Nick Fury, Adams' Inhumans, FF, Subby, the early Captain Marvel's & pretty much anything else they could think of.
Hard to believe the first time I ever read Ghost Rider was in this slightly ludicrous but cool format. Still there's the proof.