Firstly, I should say I do not like football. I sometimes go see our local ice hockey team here in Belfast and every four years I become obsessed with the Summer Olympics, but aside from those I’m not what anyone would call a fan of sport. (Unless it’s Nintendo’s.) It’s important to state this before writing about this book because you’ll see there are a lot of sporting references within it which might put you off if you don’t like sport. But trust me, it shouldn’t.
Lion, Tiger, Roy of the Rovers, Top Soccer, 2000AD, Battle, Speed, The New Eagle, Scream, Mask, Super Naturals, Wildcat, Hot-Shot, Ring Raiders, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Adventures, Toxic Crusaders, The Big Daddy Annuals, The Geoff Boycott Annual, The Suzie Dando Annual, Johnny Cougar’s Wrestling Monthly, Scorer, one-off specials, magazines, World Cup poster magazines, sports quiz books, greetings cards, Ladybird books… this is a career which could take up several volumes.
Barrie Tomlinson is a giant in the world of British comics. Readers of the blog will be familiar with the name already due to coverage of three of his titles, namely Ring Raiders, Wildcat and Super Naturals. I remember some friends being obsessed with his Mask comic and later we all collected the Turtles together. These were only the tip of the iceberg of comics Barrie created and edited and this hardback book sees him take us on a very personal trip down memory lane.
Reading Comic Book Hero is like having Barrie sitting next to you, having a casual chat, reminiscing about his creations, his colleagues and friends, the personalities he met and all the fun he had along the way. The structure of the book adds to this cosiness, with no chapters as such, just the occasional comic name as a title here and there, which lends a personal diary feel to the proceedings. It’s a unique way of writing a book and it’s the perfect choice for Barrie’s particular style of storytelling.
And what a story he has to tell.
Barrie’s work with Fleetway Publications began in 1961 and this book covers everything he worked on right up to 2011 and his retirement. A large portion of the book is taken up with Tiger, the sports focussed action comic, but not before we’ve had some fascinating insights into how the comics of the day were edited thanks to Barrie learning from the likes of Bernard Smith. Even in times of high work volumes and obvious stress, Barrie is completely respectful and understanding of those he worked for and it’s refreshing to read a book which doesn’t relish in exposing or bitching in order to sell.
I found it fascinating to read how loved and respected Tiger was in the world of sport, with big stars contributing to Barrie’s comics as regular writers, in exclusive photos, meeting competition winners and appearing at the Tiger Awards events. The photos of these gatherings in particular are fantastic and it’s amazing to think of how all these celebrities, including personal favourites Morecambe and Wise came together in such a way for a children’s comic.
It’s sad to read how some of his contemporaries accused Barrie of only wanting to further himself by involving big stars, but as he explains it was all for the comics. It worked a treat too! Comics like Tiger and Roy of the Rovers enjoyed long lives and huge circulation figures and the exposure these guest stars brought certainly wasn’t to be sniffed at. But the book isn’t all about the glitz and the glamour (although a story about a naked radio interview has to be read to be believed), there’s plenty of insider comics information.
For particular interest to me were Barrie’s personal thoughts about Ring Raiders‘ short lifespan, taking the helm of the Turtles juggernaut in the UK and some wonderful insider knowledge on the creation of Wildcat. This takes the form of some Ian Kennedy sketches and the original synopsis for the script of the preview comic. What really surprised me was how much the creation of the sports comics interested me and I found it particularly fascinating to learn about Storm Force.
I’d seen adverts for its Battle comic debut in the pages of other Fleetway publications such as the piggy pink one this blog was named after. I knew it was a big deal to the publishers at the time but didn’t know why until reading this book. The contract to create Action Force comics had come to an end, with Hasbro taking over the toy line to relaunch it as the British version of G.I. Joe, the comics licence moving to Marvel. In response, Storm Force was created to fill that void. In Comic Book Hero we see some lovely design sketches and get plenty of insights into how it came about. I also agree with Barrie when he states the characters would’ve made good toys themselves.
This book covers a lot of comics from the 70s and early 80s, before the likes of OiNK came along, but even if you are of the same vintage as me I can promise you’ll find this an interesting and hugely entertaining read. I didn’t discover the joy of reading comics for myself until #14 of OiNK towards the end of 1986 so I want to categorically state that if you collected any comics from IPC or Fleetway in your youth you’ll love this. For one, I can almost guarantee you Barrie had a hand in what you read and even if you didn’t collect many of his titles you’ll love the insights into one of the biggest UK comics publishers, including the creation of the new Eagle and Scream!
It doesn’t stop there. Comic Book Hero covers the formation of Creative Editorial Services when Barrie and his team worked freelance at home creating comics for Fleetway. To know favourites of mine such as Ring Raiders were created in the comfort of his own home makes me insanely jealous of Barrie’s job at that time! Also in here are the later publications Barrie created when he moved on from weekly and fortnightly comics, right up to the final episode of Scorer in the Daily Mirror in 2011 after it ran for an incredible 22 years. That in itself is a huge achievement. Indeed, the last section of the book is simply called ‘What A Life!’ and I couldn’t agree more.
From chatting with Barrie about the comics he worked on I can honestly say he’s an absolute gent. He’s always really open about his work and puts the fans first even to this day. This attitude and his friendly demeanour and devotion to the craft comes across on every page of this wonderful, personal book. For any UK comics fan Comic Book Hero is an essential read and since you’re reading this blog I’m going to assume it’s a safe bet you’ll love it too.
Originally due on the blog at the beginning of February, like the Ring Raiders Special this had been loaned to a friend who I don’t get to see too often and I’ve just gotten it back. So here we are, rounding off the Super Naturals read through at last. The Adventure Book went on sale alongside #8 (the penultimate issue) and while it was a strange time of year for a special, it was probably originally aimed at all those potential new Christmas toy owners.
While reference is made to the comic it’s usually in a past tense, looking back at previous issues and stories. There’s no mention of it being on sale or placing an order in newsagents, even the page of readers’ drawings doesn’t include the address to send more in. Sadly, while the original idea may have been to lure new readers in, it appears the writing was already on the wall by the time this went to the printers. But let’s concentrate on the fact we have an extra edition to enjoy.
It certainly feels special as soon as you pick it up. It’s a chunky 68-page book with high quality internal pages and a thin card, very glossy cover with gorgeous painted Ian Kennedy art. Excuse the marks on mine, tracking this down was difficult (I didn’t know it existed until a few years ago) and I even had to hang it outside to get rid of the wet grass smell it had. It must’ve been stored in a garden shed! It’s all good now though so I can read it without gagging.
That’s a very full contents list but when you go through the actual book it’s not as packed as it initially seems. There’s only one original Super Naturals strip with the main characters, although there are two new Ghostlings tales and a text story. There’s a lot of reprint though, like the cover and strip from the preview issue, the masks given away previously (printed as basic images now, not masks), a Scream strip, the free card from #1 is reprinted and some of the toy photographs are reused too.
There are some new photos though, as well as a disappointing quiz which amounts to nothing more than drawings of the characters and asking readers to identify them, some new illustrations from readers as mentioned and one particularly superb feature which I’ll get to in a bit. No, there’s nothing from The Doll unfortunately, the terrifying dummy being contained within the fortnightly only, but let’s take a look at the new stories beginning with Destruction Run.
Skull, Burnheart, Snakebite and Weird Wolf break through into our world in the middle of a shopping mall. An earthquake has struck the west coast of America and an aid train is speeding its way there filled with vital medicines and personnel. The comic established the characters never knew where they’d end up but this contradicts that; Skull has a pre-formed plan to destroy the track ahead of the train with the Bat Bopper, causing a devastating crash to kill everyone on board and stop the supplies reaching those in need.
The artwork is more simplistic than we were used to in the fortnightly, in fact Geoff Campion (Lion, Valiant, Battle Picture Weekly) definitely doesn’t bring the level of detail fans of his would be used to. I loved his work in Ring Raiders but here it feels rushed. I do like his background colouring when our characters are in Ghostworld though, his version is a psychedelic nether region that would’ve been impossible in the comic’s black and white strips.
The story is a basic one, which is understandable as it’s really for new readers and doesn’t have the luxury of being multipart, with only a limited amount of pages to get a satisfying conclusion. The evil doers destroy the bridge as the train rumbles across it then somehow Eagle Eye’s ‘Powers of Truth’ create lightning bolts, his electrical charges holding the collapsing iron girders together just long enough. It makes no sense and contradicts Eagle Eye’s powers from the fortnightly, but I’m positive young readers would’ve enjoyed it.
After several pages of toy photographs lifted directly from the comic and the aforementioned reprint of the preview issue (which ended on a cliffhanger, surely frustrating for new readers) we come to the first thing in this special edition that truly excited me as a fan, a look at artist Sandy James’ original concept drawings which he created when the comic was being developed.
A brief introduction explains to the readers how Tonka would’ve supplied basic details about the characters and it was up to Sandy to take the toys and turn them into proper comics characters that other artists could work with. While Sandy never illustrated any of the strips in the comic he did produce some of the fun covers and his artwork made up the free character introduction card reprinted here.
Sandy’s ability to bring those plastic action figures (whose faces were only ever shown in holographic form) to life on the page is pretty incredible. Editor Barrie Tomlinson’s Wildcat comic would do something similar in its Holiday Special, although there artist Ian Kennedy was creating all original characters, not working from tiny toys. I loved Sandy’s bold, colourful work in Ring Raiders where he also brought toys to life in incredible fashion. It’s such a shame he never got to draw a strip for the Super Naturals.
Given his fascination with football and the fact he also edited Roy of the Rovers, Tiger, Hot-Shot etc., it’s pretty clear our text story set inside Wembley Stadium was written by Barrie Tomlinson. Teenager Davey Johnson and his school team are on their way to a match when the windows of their bus suddenly cave in! This is a particular aspect of Super Naturals I liked, the fact any piece of glass could end up suddenly becoming a gateway from Ghostworld, with terrifying skeletal monsters, witches and snakes piling out.
The story conjures up a pretty terrifying image of the windows of a school bus caving in around a load of children, then trapping them inside amongst the shards of glass with the evil Super Naturals. Skull’s plan this time is to destroy the stadium while it’s filled with 75,000 spectators, killing as many as possible and spreading fear through those that survive. What stands out in the story is how we humans know of the existence of the Super Naturals, even who’s who!
While it was only a matter of time until this happened it does seem very quick, the fortnightly was still building their mythology and they were scarier when humans didn’t know what they were. It also contradicts the strips in this very book where police opened fire on the good guys because they didn’t know there were two sides. But that’s just me quibbling. The story is well written and reminds me of the ‘Story So Far’ stories at the beginning of each Transformers Annual which placed a young person into the fantastical world of the characters, painting a picture from the viewpoint of the readers themselves.
Particularly good here are the moments when Barrie takes his time to describe the abilities of the Super Naturals as they attack. Here’s a good example, as evil Ghostling Rags is hit by lightning from Viking Thunder Bolt‘s hammer: “Changing from Egyptian Pharaoh to wrapped Mummy, Rags gave a scream of pain and lurched forward, his dirty bandages flicking this way and that, every length of cloth eager to bind, hold and smother.”Wembley War is the best Super Naturals story here.
There are two Ghostlings stories included, the light-hearted strips in the regular comic that would cut through the children’s horror. It’s nice to see Mr Lucky and See-Thru get starring roles for the first time. Mr Lucky is pitted against Scary Cat, fulfilling the prophecies of a madman who thinks aliens are due to land on Earth, before it becomes a chase across the city, turning each other into ever more ludicrous creatures or objects via their magical spells. Drawn by Keith Page (M.A.S.K., Commando, Thunderbirds The Comic) it’s brilliantly detailed and actually quite funny.
The other strip is drawn by regular Ghostlings artist Anthony Williams and sees the good and evil servants of the Super Naturals arrive during the Great Fire of London. The evil Ghostlings wish to use it to their advantage and it’s up to Spooks and See-Thru to head them off, all the while being careful not to help the humans too much or else they could affect history. Samuel Pepys even pops ups. It’s fun and interesting in equal measure and as the last strip with the licenced characters it rounds things off nicely.
“He hides the body in the box alongside the puppets and simply goes to bed.”
The Punch & Judy Horror Show, James Tumlinson
The regular comic’s anthology series The Scary Cat Challenge, in which readers’ ideas were turned into full comic strips didn’t exactly hold back on the horror. For a kid’s comic it wasn’t afraid to kill off characters in some rather shocking ways, children included, for example in #6 which had the best of the series. Unfortunately we don’t get a reader idea here, instead it’s a Scream reprint from #7 of that legendary but equally short-lived comic of Barrie’s.
Freddie Fresco hates his job as a Punch and Judy performer, often cursing the puppets, kicking them into their box at the end of each day. But one night his manager tells him the show is over, the crowds have dwindled and he’ll no longer pay Freddie to perform. Already on edge with frustration and anger at his everyday existence this news pushes Freddie over the edge and he wallops Sam with a plank of wood, meaning to wound and scare him into changing his mind. But he kills him instead.
He hides the body in the box alongside the puppets and simply goes to bed. He’s taken care of his problem and will dispose of the body the next day. It’s not like he has anybody in his life that could question it. But in the middle of the night he suddenly awakes to find his puppets have attached themselves to his hands and they threaten him, telling him they’ll turn him in for murder unless he takes them back to the booth on the beach.
He tries to remove them but they beat him again and again with the hard wooden clubs es used on them for so long. Eventually he gives in and on the final page we see how the show goes on, day after day, week after week. At the end of the season Freddie doesn’t pack up and leave and when the council arrive to remove his sideshow for him they make a startling discovery.
The story is a great fit for the book, being based around small toys. It’s written by James Tomlinson (credited as James Nicholas), Barrie’s son whose work I enjoyed so much in Ring Raiders the year after Super Naturals that I had a lengthy chat with him about his work on that comic, which you can read here. The artist was Brendan McCarthy whose comics work includes 2000AD, DC’s Solo and Crisis. But it’s Brendan’s TV and film work which really astounds, as he went on to work as a designer on ReBoot and the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie (both childhood faves) and was co-writer on Mad Max: Fury Road.
To finish off I’d just like to show you a couple of the toy pages which I think show the quality of the range. One hologram I’ve wanted to see since I started this read through is the inside of the Tomb of Doom but unfortunately every photo so far has had the doors closed. In the first part of The Legend of the Super Naturals back in the preview issue (and reprinted here) we saw a spooky staircase leading into Ghostworld. It was all very atmospheric but what did the toy it was based on look like?
While photographs will never convey the full 3D nature of holograms it’s clear from this just how intricate the original models used to create them must’ve been. I’d love to see photos of the creation process. The holograms in each character model were just as good and the second spread above shows the tomb alongside more from the series. It’s just a shame the Bat Bopper is missing its superb vampiric hologram on its front for whatever reason!
The Punch and Judy Horror Show ended up being a real highlight here, which when you consider it was made for another comic doesn’t seem to bode well for the review, but I think overall the Adventure Book would’ve done a good job introducing new toy owners to the Super Naturals comic (even if it didn’t do so in the end, the next issue on sale was the last!). It doesn’t feel like the surprising children’s horror comic, but then again the clue is in the name ‘Adventure Book’ I guess. It’s still an interesting addition to the series even if it doesn’t live up to what came before.
Welcome back to Ghostworld for the very last time. Just a month after the final issue comes Fleetway‘s Super Naturals Holiday Special for 1988, as ever edited by Barrie Tomlinson. Kicking off with a Sandy James cover which would’ve been fun for any kids who received the oversized Tonka trucks for Christmas, here we have 48 glossy pages which, much like the Adventure Book, focus more on the action aspects of the comic rather than the horror.
There are two exceptions, including a reprint from Scream! which checks the horror box for the young readers of Super Naturals unaware of the previous short-lived comic, but other than that it’s all licenced strips and extras. That means there’s no ventriloquist’s Doll or readers’ suggestions for Scary Cat, both of which were highlights of the regular comic so that’s a shame, especially knowing this would be the last publication in the series. But let’s not get too down, the idea of a Holiday Special was to have lots of fun one-off stories to read while off school. Let’s see how the Super Naturals fare with theirs, shall we?
It starts high in the air in SkyJack! The evil Super Naturals flub an attempt to transport themselves into our world, with onlySnake Bite able to make it and imaginatively the strip has him crashing through a tiny airplane window, terrifying all the passengers on a transatlantic flight to America. Hypnotising the pilots, he shares his strength with them to save the plane, but only because he wants to use it to crash into Washington which would cause much more destruction in our world.
Snake Bite was always the most interesting of the evil characters and the set up for this story is great. We even have Hooter and Lionheart using the Ghost Finder to nudge the plane up just enough so that it’s trajectory is right for the pilots to take over before Lionheart slashes a hole in the fuselage and throws Snake Bite out, who loses his telepathic control as a result. I like how it’s not an easy, miraculous rescue plan, as Hooter bluntly states. It’s just a shame the artwork doesn’t match the exciting potential of the script.
It’s even more of a shock when you find you who the artist was. It’s Geoff Campion‘s work (Eagle, Lion, Valiant) which I’d personally adored in Ring Raiders, another of Barrie’s titles. However, here things feel somewhat rushed, even unfinished in places, such as when the Ghost Findercrew makes their entrance the buildings in the background look like rough layouts. As the story goes on more details are lost and backgrounds become even more sparse, almost like it was hastily finished for a deadline. It’s not the usual exemplary work we’ve come to expect from Geoff and I’m intrigued as to why, but unfortunately that’s a question lost to the mists of time. It’s still a fun story to open with, a really enjoyable complete tale perfect for a Holiday Special.
To make a special even more so, there are always a few extras. Inside we have new pin ups of the toys, some of the marvellousposters from the fortnightly have been shrunk down to A4 size, a one-page GhostlingTale features a thief making his getaway only to board the Titanic and there’s a pretty poor quiz. Much like the one in the Adventure Book it’s just a series of strip panels and the questions are all a variation of “Who is in this picture?”. We do get some lovely reader art in Ghostworld Gallery including a superb rendering of Skull by David Round who was clearly a fan of Alan Langford‘s depiction of the character.
There’s also a page called Incident at Rock Canyon which looks suspiciously an unused cover. Drawn by Sandy James it clearly hadn’t reached the colouring stage yet when the comic was cancelled. To accompany it is a short story by way of explanation, reminding me of the inner front page to the Ring Raiders special printed after that favourite comic of mine also abruptly ceased. It’s a nice addition and always interesting to see work that was still in progress for future issues.
Next up is a Scary Cat Challenge story. The anthology story isn’t based on a reader’s idea like some of the very best in the regular series, instead it’s a reprint from Scream! #9. Part of the Library of Death series in the comic, Ghost Town was written by Fred Baker (Roy of the Rovers, Lion, New Eagle) and illustrated by Mike Dorey (Action, Warlord, 2000AD). An old Western town in America witnesses the arrival of its first automobile, which promptly has a brake failure and ploughs straight into a dynamite storage (of course it does), blowing it and the whole town up in a huge chain reaction of explosions. That’s just the beginning.
In the then-present day of the 80s two young lads pull up to a gas station in the desert and ask for directions, but there’s more to the little old man who helps them than they realise. They soon find themselves in an old fashioned town instead of back on the highway and are greeted by the sheriff. The only problem is he’s a waking, talking skeleton! Telling the boys they’re going to stand in a fair trial for murder, soon a whole town full of dead bodies with other ideas are chasing them down.
Cornered in the sheriff’s office with his guns, the young men have no choice but to try to shoot their way out and get back to their car, but they’re no match for one of the local gunslingers. Seeing the two innocent guys gunned down was quite the shock when I turned the page! I know it was created for a different comic but to see it in the pages of Super Naturals it makes quite the impact. I never owned this edition as a kid but if I had (and not knowing this was a reprint) I know I would’ve loved this story because of this horrific final page.
The next strip is the definite highlight of the whole comic, even though it only comes in at four pages. I believe the artist for The Making of Evil could be Keith Page though this is unconfirmed. The middle couple of pages are your typical tale of Skull and Burnheart causing terror and destruction as they set fire to a small Austrian town at the end of the nineteenth century. They’re defeated by Lionheart and Thunderbolt but our main focus is the young boy the evil Super Naturals crash in on at the beginning of the their story.
The strip doesn’t explicitly tell us his name but instead treats the young readers with the intelligence to either know straight away who this is, or to piece it together by the end. I was still in primary school when this was released so I wouldn’t have been taught anything about World War II at this point, but some slightly older readers may have, and even if they hadn’t a rereading in a year or two would’ve brought a fresh, terrifying perspective.
The boy’s reaction to Skull inspires the evil leader to bestow upon him unlimited power to score against those he hates, but even Skull can only hope the boy will spread some form of fear after they’re recaptured; he has no idea of what he’s actually created. For now we see the boy carry on with their work, helping spread the fire and blocking the streets from help. In the final issue’s review I said how it would’ve been great to see the Super Naturals interact with more myths from our past like they did with the Lady of the Lake, but to see a real-world evil inspired by Skull is something I didn’t expect! It’s a brave move by the comic and an inspired story that once again shows the potential of the franchise.
I also adore that awesome Tomb of Doom looming over the characters as they disappear back into Ghostworld, and I wish it had been depicted as such throughout the whole series. Then, after that somewhat creepy tale comes a bit of comic relief in the shape of Ghostlings, this time focussing on Hooter and Scary Cat and as ever it’s drawn by Anthony Williams. The slight plot sees the witch trying to wreck a bit of havoc by having lions escape a zoo close to a town.
Hooter tries to stop her by using his magical sleeping potion but he’s quite a clumsy wizard is our Hooter and he drops it in a mid-air kerfuffle between the pair. But luck is on his side and instead of Scary Cat being put to sleep the animals end up having a doze instead. But when Scary Cat transforms back to her witch form, their hard landing sees her join them in the land of nod. Our hero is then easily able to carry her back to the Tomb. Silly stuff, but then again the best Ghostlings strips always were, that was the whole point of them.
Racetrack Riot is the special’s prose story and follows F1 driver Alan Dixon as he test drives a new super powered engine, which of course Skull wants for his Bat Bopper truck. Alan and his team are kidnapped and forced to remove the engine from their car, however outside Lionheart, Thunderbolt and Hooter (who is making up for being underused in the regular comic by the looks of it) are watching closely. It’s our clumsy wizard who comes up with the plan and after transforming into his owl form he swoops in from the skylight on which they’re perched and seemingly attacks the F1 team.
There’s method in his madness of course. It looks like a regular owl, possibly nesting somewhere nearby, has flown in. So the evil characters simply ignore him while at the same time in this form he doesn’t inadvertently scare the humans into freezing in fright for once! Instead, they dive into the maintenance pit under the car for cover. This allows the main Super Naturals to launch an attack and duke it out without fear of harming anyone. It’s inconsequential stuff but entertainingly written by Barrie Tomlinson. Unfortunately though, we’re not sure who the artist was.
The final story in the comic and for any of these characters is Tooth and Claw and I believe it could be drawn by Keith Page. I’ve checked with some sources and parts of this (in particular the Super Naturals themselves) seem to be in his style but the jury is out for how the wild animals are drawn. So it could be Keith. Anyway, the story is set in an unnamed country suffering from a drought, its inhabitants hungry and the animals dying. Through a sacred temple emerge Skull, Snakebite and the underused Rags (as someone interested in Ancient Egypt I wish they’d used him more, he’s a Pharaoh who can turn into a cursed mummy) in the Bat Bopper and Lionheart, Eagle Eye and Mr. Lucky in the Ghost Finder.
As they give chase the good guys are surprised to see the villages have been left untouched by their evil counterparts, until they come face to face with a wild stampede. Hypnotised by Snake Eyes, the animals have either been forced into a frenzy to chase down and eat the human flesh of the nearby villagers, or into a made rage to stomp all over their homes and kill them underfoot in the case of the elephants. But the plan hasn’t reckoned on one simple thing, namely Lionheart’s third and final form.
It’s surprising to think the character hasn’t been placed into this kind of environment before now. It’s the kind of story which could’ve been developed into a serial to delve deeper into his mind, especially if he befriended other lions. After all, he was given this lion form by Specter for a reason, could he have found a kindred spirit in them? But then again, the comic was still in its infancy when it was cancelled, so who knows what could’ve happened. I have to say though, it’s fun to see him take to this form with relish, acting like an actual wild lion and fighting off the hypnotised, innocent animals (without killing them). Only a few characters got the chance for any kind of development by the end and unfortunately Lionheart wasn’t one of them. This is like a teaser for what could’ve been.
Before we sign off from the last ever edition of this comic there’s just time for a quick plug for some of Fleetway‘s range which may have appealed to he target audience. Battle had merged with the new Eagle after a phenomenal run, Roy of the Rovers was still going strong and another of their licenced comics, Mask had proved a lot more popular, lasting 80 issues and it was certainly a hit with some of my friends. These could be described as the Barrie Tomlinson range, as he edited all of these titles too.
A reprint of a Skull poster with the top and bottom chopped off to fit the inside back cover followed by the title logo on the rear round things off and that’s it. In an edition which contained a lot more fun and action-orientated strips, the horror stories of the Scream reprint and the Hitler tale really stand out. So does the action-packed Lionheart ending, if only to show what could’ve been and as a great example of the licence.
Never again would the young readers see these fun characters and the horror comics that came along with them for the ride. While there seems to be very little left to tell as memories seem vague when it comes to Super Naturals, keep an eye on the blog for some possible extra content in the future nonetheless. It’s sad to see the comic end and it will remain a treasured part of my collection, taking pride of place on the Barrie Tomlinson Trilogy Shelf. I hope I’ve been able to do my bit in helping keep the memory of this classic alive.
(Please note the Super Naturals Adventure Book review is yet to come, more information here.)