Thursday, 25 February 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: TV Century 21

TV Century 21 was a British comic that was released by City Comics in 1965. It was originally designed to cash in on the success of the Gerry Anderson show Stingray. It was different in that, rather than being akin to any other printed comic of the era like the Beano, it was printed as a newspaper for children. It had "Stop Press" style covers with pictures and articles adorning the cover, 

The internal comic strips were designed to be news reports relayed directly from whatever source they were from. For example, as with the Thunderbirds strip, it was supposed to be a Danger Zone report direct from Thunderbird 5. The artworks were indicative of their era and was designed to closely resemble their puppet counterparts.

As the comics progressed throughout the mid to late 60s, they incorporated Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet into the fold as part of the TV 21 shared continuity between Gerry Anderson shows like Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet. In 1966, Doctor Who made the jump into the TV Century 21 comic and became a regular feature. However, in 1968. after 192 issues, the comic was revamped. It was merged with Tornado and they dropped "Century" from the title, rebranding it to TV21 and Tornado. 

By 1969, Joe90, Gerry Anderson's latest puppet series had hit TV screens and was making the jump to the comic world. However, as his comic failed after just 32 issues, he was merged with TV21. They reset the numbering back to issue 1 and titled it NEW SERIES. It retained the original style and format as the previous comics, however, the newsprint format had sadly gone and they had started printing comics in black and white to save money. It was also at this time, that they had gotten their hands on Star Trek and Land of the Lost comics from the USA and were printing those in the series.

In 1971, after a grand total of 242 issues and 7 years on the market, TV21 ceased publication and was merged with the Valiant comic. Gone were the Gerry Anderson and Doctor Who strips, instead they kept up with the Star Trek and Land of the Lost series. 

For any of the comic fans that are interested in seeing what these were like, they are easy to find on the secondary market like eBay or even conventions and collector fairs.