Friday, February 27, 2009

Number 479

Fanthorpe comics

I've had this incredible web site bookmarked for several years, referring to it occasionally. It has some fantastic book covers, which apparently wrap around some of the worst science fiction of all time, courtesy of British author R. L. Fanthorpe, using his own and several pen-names. I haven't read any of the books, but according to the web site, Fanthorpe was a one-man industry.

It also includes scans from some of the comic books that were adapted from Fanthorpe's stories, and I've swiped a couple of them to share with you here. This is not top-of-the-line stuff here, guys...more like fanzine work. But it's fun in a twisted sort of way. Were these comics actually sold on British newsstands at one time? The page itself doesn't date the comics, since the authors of the site don't know. Maybe one of our British readers can shed some light on the Fanthorpe comics.


Mr. Cavin said...

Y'know, yeah, the writing on both of these was really amateurish. It's really interesting to compare with the horror comics I usually read (and, honestly, mostly make fun of in a loving way), which are relatively slick and professional. Here, it's really evident that the creators thought a comics story is built on images alone, regulating the writing to a soupy mixture of missed pacing and flubs. Does Dr. Nutting have two T's or one? Nobody seems to know.

But the art in that second one was really superb. I am quite impressed. Strip the unwieldy word balloons out of the frames, and I'd be wiling to hang most of the pages on my wall, even.

Thanks for this Pappy. I'd have never run across it otherwise.

Mr. Karswell said...

I agree, strange and sloppy but still totally readable and each tale kept me interested until their fizzling conclusions. Both tales reminded me of the kinds of comics me and my friends created ourselves back in grade school.

I guess I liked the second tale better, the flying horned creatures seemed to be based on some demon design I remember seeing in a book as a kid but now forget. For the werewolf story it seemed like most of the art was badly traced from an Ajax or Superior tale, some of the faces seemed almost Iger Shop-esque.

My fave thing of all though is that cover painting of the knight fighting a T Rex with flippers ?!! Haha, cool stuff Pappy.

Squa Tront said...

I must admit as a Brit, I don't recall ever coming across any of the titles ...but it was only after reading the resume on that website it dawned on me that R. L. Fanthorpe was the same eccentric leather-clad motorcycling Fortean priest, The Rev Lionel Fanthorpe familiar to me from UK TV some years back. It's a funny old world!