Aug 17, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 539: Doctor Who Weekly #35, 12th June 1980

I was inspired by my thinking yesterday of these old comics, and decided to read a few. I have a number of them set aside in my active magazine collection (time for another metadata post, I think...) because they feature very early work by Alan Moore, along with other British luminaries such as Steve Moore, Dave Gibbons, and David Lloyd. I was talking yesterday with my Mum about these comics, and how the stories have been collected into trades that I think I may have to pick up. I'm not sure what it is, in contrast to the newer Who comics that I haven't enjoyed that much, that draws me to these little snippets of tales. There's probably a heavy dose of nostalgia involved, though there's also the fact that the time in which it was published was a far less continuity driven time, so the stories don't seem to do much to align themselves with the television show. We also have a nice variety of stories in here - the lead one is a typical (if such a term can be used to describe Doctor Who) Doctor Who story, but the other three tales encompass a telling of the ancient history of the Daleks, a reprint (I'm pretty sure) of an old Marvel weird tales-style adventure - this magazine provided my first exposure to both Kirby and Ditko through these reprints - and a Moore/Lloyd horror tale featuring the Cybermen. We definitely see shades, in this last piece, of the kind of horror stories with which Moore would make a name for himself in the pages of Swamp Thing later in the decade.

I think about anthology titles and their relative lack of success in the North American market. I wonder if, in order to maintain the kind of momentum one needs, at least with a serialized anthology, if the weekly publishing schedule is more suitable? With a week between installments, rather than a month, following 3 or 4 different stories, recalling what was happening in each, would not be so hard.

So it'll be a few more issues of this series for the next few days, at least until the saga of the Time Witch has run its course. After that, I guess we'll see, but I do have to say it was a lovely comic to sit and drink my coffee with this morning. Onward!

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