Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The return of the Summer Special

Egmont Publishing are reviving one of the traditions of British comics with the release of a number of what they're calling 'classic comics'... but the format is that of the old summer special, with each title containing a range of strips from some of the great names in comics: Roy of the Rovers, Buster, Battle and Misty. Each will retail at £3.99 for 52 pages. The first release will be Roy of the Rovers, due out on April 1st. The three other titles will roll out during 2009: Battle on 24 June, Buster on 16 September and Misty on 9 December. The comics will be available exclusively in W. H. Smith.

Egmont's Tim Jones says, "We are delighted to be bringing this fantastic portfolio of comics back to the newsstand for the fans to enjoy and indulge in their nostalgic reading. These new launches are a great example of the huge portfolio of evergreen character comics, books and magazines Egmont publish, and we are thrilled to keep delivering content for their fans."

The contents to some of the titles is still being finalised but will include many of the top characters from the various papers: the Roy of the Rovers Classic Comics will include stories featuring "Billy's Boots", "Goalkeeper" and "The Hardman" and the Battle Picture Weekly Classic Comics will include "Johnny Red" and "D-Day Dawson" behind a cover with a main picture by Don Lawrence, first seen on the Battle Picture Weekly Summer Special for 1976.

Keep your fingers crossed that these prove successful and Egmont publish more from their archives in 2010. It has now been a full year since they signed a deal with Titan and to date only two books, both featuring Roy of the Rovers, have appeared, although the Bumper Book of Battle is due shortly and The Best of Battle is scheduled for June.

Egmont have another classic character lined up to appear in a 16-page special being released with the next issue of Toxic (#137, on sale 1 April). The Crazy Comics special contains 9 new strips: "Count Von Poo" by Jamie Smart, "Zombie Nation" by Luke Paton & Laura Howell, "Clump" by Lew Stringer, "Bovver Baby" by John Freeman & Paul J. Palmer, "Hoaxers" by David Hailwood & Paul Harrison-Davies, "Spooks in Space" by Paul H. Birch & Steve Harrison, "Bad Robots" by John Freeman & Paul Harrison-Davies, "Simon Spectacular" by Luke Paton & Stuart Arrowsmith and "WereWilf" by Paul H. Birch and Shane Oakley & John Erasmus.

The last of these is an old character from the pages of Whoopee! where he debuted in 1976. It would appear to be a favourite of Shane Oakley who had hoped to include the character in the pages of Albion but his scene had to be cut due to copyright.

(* I'm sure a couple of the above specials aren't the final covers; all artwork © Egmont Publishing.)


  1. Buster summer special will be great to have...lets hope the reprint specials will lead to more..
    I really hope a new generation of kids will buy it as well...they sure have missed out in my mind..
    glad I was a kid of the 80's:)

  2. Hurray! That Battle cover is glorious.. I haven't seen it since I was a nipper... D Day Dawson...sigh!

  3. I still miss the summer specials...

    Really hope there will be a SCREAM! one at some point.
    Maybe ACTION too....

  4. Hope there'll be a Valiant one someday.

  5. why only whsmith? that means Irish customers won't be able to get them.

    I'd love to get hold of these, perhaps amazon will get them as well.

  6. I for one would lap these up if they were made more widely available!Hmmm,bigger,glossy paper,loads of extended strips.Somebody pass me a towel..! Advertise these on T.V. and they WILL sell!

  7. £3.99 for 52 pages, that's ridiculous. The price is pitched way too high for these to be a success. The last time I bought a Classics From The Comics late last year it was £2.00 for 70 pages.

  8. Hi Anonymous,fans here and further afield would pay through the nose to get a hold of their past!Not defending Egmont(believe me,I don't!)but they are pitching these to an uncertain market and must charge a high premium to offset any possible losses.Classics from the Comics is published by D.C. Thomson,who have a captive audience with their Beano and Dandy fans to hand who are sure to buy it,hence the likelihood of losses is small and a cheaper price can be set.That's (show) business! :-)One point that is cropping up is the exclusive selling rights to W.H. Smiths.Nothing wrong with that,but the Egmont site should surely make it available on their site.My credit card needs some exercise.On another note,fans will pay upwards of £20-£30 for an original Special,sometimes a heck of a lot more.So hopefully that will assuage your anger somewhat ;-)

    The Cap.



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