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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Kerrang! Komics

Back in 1981, a new rock magazine concentrating on the heavier and thrashier end of the spectrum made its debut. From the makers of Sounds, which had championed the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, it rode the metal boom of the early eighties, back in the days before Mick Jagger got his bus pass and Ozzy could still string a sentence together, as long as that sentence was "I need more drugs and booze, Sharon!"

I was there from issue one. I sold a huge stack of them many years ago but, somehow, forty issues (41-80) missed the earlier cull, so I sold them off recently on Ebay. But before they disappeared, I scanned a few covers which had comic connections. The first was the cover for issue #63 which I think is by Jim McCarthy. The second is a Japanese-inspired piece by Steve "Krusher" Joule, Kerrang!'s art director from 1982 on. Joule had previously been a freelancer designing sleeves for Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Gary Moore and Hawkwind, amongst others and would remain with Kerrang! for a decade.

The covers for #68 and #75 were drawn by Jim McCarthy and Ian Gibson, and shortly after the comic strip, 'Pandora Peroxide', started. Drawn by Ray Zell, the first strip appeared in Extra Kerrang! #2 in 1984 and the second episode in Kerrang! #76. The strip was dropped in 1995 but returned in 1996 and, for all I know, is still going today. The strip's creator has written about Pandora's origins on his website.

As a bonus, issue 72 featured a drawing by Jon Howard, later to draw Dan Dare, Thunderbirds and Judge Dredd.

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