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The First Comic I Ever Loved

I remember my dad bringing it home for me when he returned from work one night.  I know I also read TV21.  But it’s COUNTDOWN that sticks in my mind for some reason.  It was a science fiction anthology comic wherein all the stories were licensed from TV shows of the period, with one main exception.  That exception being the series within COUNTDOWN that was also titled COUNTDOWN, which licensed design work from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY:

The art on that strip, as you will have noted, is by the great John M Burns, one of the real unsung heroes of British comics.  As is this panel to the left.  For those of you who study comics, let me reiterate: this is commercial British comics art, mainstream sold-on-the-newsstand comics art, from 1971.

Below is another bit from COUNTDOWN-the-series, a recap block from a later episode.  This is the bottom half of a single page, and I cropped it so you can also see the page furniture.  The pagination on COUNTDOWN counted backwards, from 22 to 1.  So 6 was towards the back of the book.

A cheerful moment from the DOCTOR WHO strip that ran in COUNTDOWN (these were the Jon Pertwee years).  It was a mild curiosity of the strip that it always called him “Dr Who,” not “The Doctor,” something that I think only other happened in the Peter Cushing film versions.

A piece of a UFO episode, based on the Gerry Anderson series.  They did like their jagged layouts – I’m not sure if that’s a Frank Bellamy influence or not.  There’s certainly still some of the British newspaper strip style in it.


Ah, but the other thing they did in COUNTDOWN…

…was articles.  I’m sure I wasn’t able to understand much of what was going on.  But somehow I think some of it sunk in…

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