Saturday, 3 December 2011

Marvel's heroes. On the wall. Off the wall.

Marvel UK super-hero posters, 1970s, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Daredevil, 6 for 90p
I've bemoaned in the past my lack of childhood super-hero wall stickers but, thankfully, stickers aren't the only things we can stick to our walls.

We can also stick posters to them.

The truth is that, somehow, despite my voracious comic-reading habits, as a child I only ever had two comics-related posters on my bedroom wall.

One was the one that came with Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes #1, and the other was the John Buscema poster that came with the first issue of The Titans. I'm proud to say I still have both those posters.

There were, however, another set of posters that always impressed me greatly.

And those were the six that frequently appeared on the back of Marvel UK's weekly comics in the early to mid-1970s. I can't remember ever seeing them advertised in the American comics and, therefore, what the story was behind them, I have no idea.

All I know is they were things of beauty, with a level of anatomical accuracy not always found in super-hero figures, suggesting that real-life models may have been used.

Who painted them?

I don't know.

The Hulk's face has a touch of the John Romita about it. The Thor figure's lean build, and pose, looks to be in the Neal Adams envelope - although I'm not convinced the painting style is. The mad thing is that, despite their obvious desirability to any true lover of the radiation-affected, I never nagged my dad into buying them for me, even though we could have had the lot for a mere 90 pence.

Then again, for all I know, taking inflation into account, 90 pence could probably have bought you a semi-detached house in the middle of London back then.

Still, if I missed out on such treasures, at least I have my Titans and Planet of the Apes posters to keep me warm at night.


Anonymous said...

Hi from Spain.

Those posters-stickers are very much known here, in my home country where they were printed, too.
They were painted by López Espí, an illustrator responsible for the re-made covers of the first Spanish editions of Marvel comic-books.
To be true, there was another artist who began re-doing the covers. This one is called Enrich (or Enric) but López Espí´s work lasted a decade and Enrich just painted the first ones. Painted, not just drawn.
Search in Google Images writing López Espí... He made some actual masterworks.
In those days there was an exchacing policy of material from Uk to Spain and viceversa, so that is the reason why they were printed in UK, I guess.

Greetings from Abraham García.

Boston Bill said...

Wow, don't you just love the internet? I was going to post my own theories about the artist/artists, but clearly Mr Garcia has the story.
By the way, my word verification was 'fluckgue' - is blogger trying to tell me something?

Kid said...

I like to think that I can claim a bit of credit for those posters, but perhaps I'm deluding myself. Here's how it happened: Avengers #1 (the UK edition, 1973) gave away transfers with its first issue, comprising four of those Spanish illustrations. Tiny 'though they were, one could still see that they were mini-masterpieces, so I wrote to Marvel UK and told them so - saying that they should issue them as posters. A year or so later they did. So you have me to thank. (And probably a few hundred others who no doubt wrote in to tell them the same thing.)

Steve W. said...

Abraham and Kid, thanks for the enlightenment.

Bill, thanks for the word verification.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to revisit an old topic - but - my brother and I actually had/shared this collection of posters...the most suprising of which was the Cap one which actually spelt his name CapITain America!!

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