Now if you have read more than two articles in this blog, there is a good chance that you will know I am a bit of a picture libraries fan. So, I was more than happy to pick up over 80 issues of picture libraries that are less well known than say Commando, Starblazer or Football.
The main ones I picked up were Pocket War Library, Club Library War, Micron’s Combat Picture Library, Conflict Library and a smattering of Fleetway’s Battle, War and Air Ace.
For those of you that are unaware, the two main British publishers were Amalgamated Press / Fleetway and D C Thomson. However, there was also a host of lesser known companies that also published picture libraries such as Club, Pearsons, Thorpe and Porter, World Distributors, Sabre, Famepress, MV Features and Top Sellers.
Almost all had their own versions of war, western, romance, detective and thriller comics. Some ever had multiple versions of one of these genres. And others had their own additional genres such as horror and science fiction. This is not even including some of the ones that are all but forgotten such as Hospital Nurse Picture Library or the one based on the songs of the day aka Pop Pic Picture Library. To date, we have identified over 120 separate titles and I am sure there are more to be added. In fact, that sounds like a great idea for a continuously updating article…
However, I digress. The original reason for starting this article was… oh yeah, I found another twin when I picked up these comics. In case you are wondering about what I mean about comic twins, check out my articles The One And Only and A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You to see the previous four that I had found.
For those sensitive to the tense of a sentence, that is deliberate as we have found another two twins. One I am taking total credit for, but for the second, the credit has to go to another stealth super fan. So let’s go for the first. You may recall me buying a GMS picture library annual which I got very excited about back in 2015. Here’s the picture to remind you of it again.
As an annual cover, that is pretty much doing its’ job in making you want to buy it, isn’t it. So fast forward to a few weekends ago and I have my latest batch of randoms to put away. As I am putting them in order, I get to Pocket War Library 171 Cool Guts and the cover looks strangely familiar.
Looking at both, you might get why I did not instantly spot this twin as the focus is just that bit tighter on the Pocket War Library.
The latest twin that has been brought to my attention was discovered by fellow picture library fan Steve Taylor.
Update: Steve has pointed out that he doesn’t own the original art but it is available from the Book Palace for a reasonable price… Sassinfrassingrassingrassin…
This one first appeared on the cover of Amalgamated Press’ Cowboy Picture Library 291 way back in 1958 and it looks like Sep Scott has the same allergy to drawing hooves that a certain Ian Kennedy has. However, I do love the dynamic feel to the picture. Amalgamated Press (later to become Fleetway) did not buy the picture outright so once
again it was available for another company to use and this time it was Micron that bought the right to use it in 1979 for Cowboy Adventure Library issue 719.
As my collection of Cowboy Picture Libraries is so sparse, I would never have spotted it in a month of Sundays so thank you for that Steve. Wait, I did say he had spotted where the original art currently is so why not let this little beauty prance into the rodeo.
Until next time true believers.