July 14, 2014

MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. UK COMICS

Spy Vibers in the 1960s hungry for more Man From U.N.C.L.E. missions could turn to Gold Key comics in the States. The comic series ran for twenty-two issues between 1965-1969. And with their bold use of photo-stills from the series on front and back covers, these editions are now a mainstay of every spy collection. I had never really looked into illustrated U.N.C.L.E. stories from other countries until our announcement on Friday about the Thunderbirds Comic Collection anthology. As it turned out, spy fans growing up in the UK could read the adventures of Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin within the pages of Lady Penelope comics. The popular spy from Thunderbirds had her own publication between 1966-1968. In addition, Penelope and U.N.C.L.E. stories ran in Annual editions. Here are some samples of covers and art from the period. Note that the artwork is rooted more in illustration and comic-strip tradition, which was common in British comics. This first cover below featured a competition announcement to win a David McCallum portrait- in oils! The Cloud 109 blog uncovered an image of illustrator Ron Embleton working on this mysterious prize. Enjoy!














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