Some of you will wonder why I am opening this article with a map, but bear with me as I think you may find it quite interesting as to why I am showing you this long and winding road. And I am going to blame my mate Stephen for getting me interested in this despite myself!
Now if I said G M Smith Publishing, you might recall my article of a few weeks back about the Combat Picture Annual which I loved as it is such an unusual piece to find. I already had a few issues from this small publishing house already, but I never realised it and this was because the issues that I already had were branded as being from Micron Publications.
Now that my interest had been activated, I began to do a bit more research on this publisher. By hook or by crook, I have managed to track down five addresses associated with this publisher. OK, I just dug out all my issues and then put these addresses listed as part of the copyright notice into Google Maps and came up with this rather interesting map.
Thanks to the kind help of those folks over at ComicsUK, the earliest address we can find associated with G M Smith Publishing, Micron Books, Micron Press or Micron Publications if you prefer is Goldhawk Road as evidenced by this photo of the copyright notice from issue 1 of Picture Combat Library.
Sorry about the small size of the picture but it does not look any better if I try to enlarge the image, so I hope you have your reading glasses on!
The second address to be associated with Micron (I am going to stick with Micron or it gets really confusing!) is the Mitcham address and that is thanks to a solitary Combat Library that I have managed to obtain and was published in 1960. This was a sister paper to the Combat Picture Library but were a full text story. I hesitate to say that they were condensed books as I only have one to go on, but if someone else knows, then that would be appreciated.
And as you can see, another company comes into the mix and that is The Wintworth Press Ltd, Portsmouth. But as I cannot find anything online about this company to add to this article, then I will need to rely on all you people out there in internet-land to give me any information on them.
The third address to be associated with Micron is Victoria Road, Acton. If you go looking for it now, you will find a large redeveloped area with some rather nifty flats going for a mere £300,000 and change. But back in the 1950s and 1960s, this was an area hosting a large amount of businesses so Micron Warehouses did not look too out of place back then. And here is how we get the address as you only need to send at least 15/6 plus a half crown for postage to get a replica of some of the guns that would feature in the Cowboy Adventure Library.
And by looking at the internal copyright notice on the left of the picture, we can see that the Redhill address comes in at the end of the 1960s. Even more intriguing is that another company is mentioned and that is Wells Gardner, Darton & Co. Ltd. This is one of the few companies involved in the Micron story that I have been able to track down. This was a company that had been involved in children book publishing for over 200 years and went into liquidation in 1987. In fact, this is the only company involved in Micron that even has an entry at Companies House. Some additional information can be found on the Grand Comics Database and that helped me to find the final address of Horsham. As we can also see from the final picture from issue 748, we can see that Micron were firmly ensconced in Faygate, Horsham by 1975.
Now it does not matter whether we refer to them as G M Smith or any of the variations on Micron, but I hope you will agree that it is an interesting subject to look at nonetheless.
And if you take a second look at the copyright notices, you will see that the printing moved from the Netherlands to the UK and then onto Spain.