The Original Reprints

We used to have a ton of UK and Australian Golden Age reprints in stock. I even briefly considered buying a huge collection from collector in Ireland probably because I thought there was something cool about them at the time. I honestly cannot remember how I shifted the ones we had. They must have sold gradually.

You see a lot of comic collector chat about Bronze to Copper Age reprints, particularly the Mighty World Of Marvel type mags. I guess that is because there are still a lot of comic readers around who remember those being an essential part of their early comic booking experience. For me, ‘real’ U.S format comics were still being distributed to lots of newsagents when I was a kid/teen in the ‘80s and ‘90s and the mags were less necessary. I still bought the odd Copper Age reprint mag, just like I bought the odd 2000AD prog, but most of my money went on U.S singles. As a comic dealer, I don’t remember ever being asked about the Golden Age equivalent, or seeing anything on social media, but they do pop up in collections and elsewhere occasionally.

If you have not seen any before you can identify them quickly by markings on the cover. The price will be part of the cover (not a sticker) and say something like 6D, which was a term in UK currency before we went decimel in the 1960’s. Look closer and you will see that these reprints are cheaply made. Often the covers are not fully in focus or centred properly. Open them up and you find they are usually black and white and sloppily printed inside. (One of the Batman comics in the pic is an exception with full colour interiors).

There will also be a publisher’s stamp as part of the cover. London based L.Miller & Son were responsible for a lot of the U.S comics that got reprinted and distributed in the UK during this era. There was also World Distributors based here in my home city, Manchester. They produced a lot of cheap Western and Cartoon character reprints in the late ‘40s and ‘50s, amongst other stuff, then went on to make hardcover annuals for both U.S and U.K properties. Colour Comics Pty Ltd popped up in Australia in the late 1940s and put out a lot of DC reprints. They also have the UK price on the front because Australia did not fully ditch British rule until the 1960s.

Reprints generally don’t have a huge resale market. From a collector’s point of view originals are always best. It does not help that most of these kind of reprints are of a much lower quality than the originals too. But there is something fun about them. For some of us Golden Age are unattainable and a reprint from the same era could be an option. I also wonder whether some of the collectors in the International market who now actively seek pence copies/UK price variants will be charmed by UK reprints as well.