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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Don Lawrence: The Invincible Weapon

Here's a treat for you, although a sadly incomplete one. Lurking in one of the boxes I've just emptied were three issues of a Dutch science fiction magazine called Essef which contained a mixture of text stories and comic strips. As well as a reprint of Druillet's Delirius and a number of black & white strips that I believe were original Dutch productions, the centre pages from issue 3 (1977) featured an original 2-page colour strip drawn by Don Lawrence. "Het verschrikkelijke wapen" (The Invincible Weapon) was scripted by Raymond Donkersloot (Robert Zielschot) and ran to at least six episodes; it was missing from issue 9 and then reappeared in issue 10 (1979), possibly with a different scriptwriter (Wout Verkuil)... I'm a little shaky on my facts because all my reference books are packed away.

The strip came to an end incomplete after only 14 pages and it wasn't until the 1990s when Rob van Bavel asked Lawrence to finish it off, coming up with a newly concocted ending which Lawrence and his son, Chuff, completed in 1993. The newly completed strip was published (along with a couple of other scarce Lawrence strips) as a hardcover album in June of that year by Don Lawrence Collection in a limited edition of 1,500 copies.

The strip has never appeared in the UK, so I'm pleased to present a couple of episodes here, from issue 4 (episode 2) and issue 7 (episode 5). A third episode will appear tomorrow, all I have of the strip's original appearance.

Lawrence also drew 3 covers to accompany the strip, the first (in black & white) for issue 3, which I don't have although you can see all ten covers on this site. I grabbed the missing cover to use as our column header.

(* © RAJ Publications)


  1. Don appeared to have really enjoyed his job here.

  2. The images look very similar indeed to his Trigan Empire work.

  3. Hello,

    The magazine Essef is then suddenly disappeared from the market because the printer / publisher was also skilled in printing fake money. That was certainly the rumor. greetings, Dirk

  4. Not the publisher, but the distributor didn't care about the law...