Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vulcan - First Scotland, then the World!

The launch of Vulcan is slightly different to the launch of most comics due to the fact that it was launched not once but twice. The first run was in Scotland only and issue one was released on 1st March 1975. It lasted for 30 issues, with the final one coming out on 20th September 1975. This trial was considered a success and so the following week it was released worldwide, 1p dearer than the first issue of the initial run now costing 8p instead of 7p.

Looking at the covers it seems as though IPC changed a lot on the second run of Vulcan - the gifts, price, cover artwork, and content was completely different. Looking through issue three of the Scottish and worldwide editions the content is very different in each, with strips either redrawn or completely replaced with new episodes - probably so that any Scottish readers wouldn't be put off buying the second series.

The second series wasn't as much of a success as the first, for it lasted just 28 issues before merging into Valiant on 10th April 1976 (the last issue of Vulcan was dated 3rd April).


Kid said...

And to think I once had them all. Now I've only got the Summer Special, the Annual and one weekly issue. A good little comic in its own way.

George Shiers said...

Oh no! What happened to them?

The Scottish ones would be worth a small fortune each now - and the regular issues are quite collectable too.

Kid said...

I gave them away, or just never kept them. The main strip I remember from them is The Trigan Empire, of which I now have the early strips (as they were originally presented in Ranger) from a limited edition run of Look & Learn which was published a few years ago. It's odd that Vulcan back issues go for so much - it was a reprint comic which cut up the strips it published.

Lew Stringer said...

George, the nation-wide second series was a continuation of the Scottish one. The Scottish series is better in some respects because it contains the very early episodes of Steel Claw, Spider, etc. As Kid said, it was a reprint comic, resizing strips from early sixties issues of Valiant, Lion, Ranger, etc.

However, the Robot Archie strips in the UK edition were redrawn versions of sixties scripts and had appeared in an overseas comic. There was also a German edition of Vulcan, called Kobra. I understand that lasted a bit longer than our Vulcan.

George Shiers said...

Kobra lasted quite a while longer than Vulcan - 167 issues were made altogether!