Tuesday, 26 February 2008

From Cents to Pence - Rob Kirby to chart the history of Marvel UK

As announced by Simon Williams, over at the Make Mine Marvel UK!!! Facebook group, this week, there are plans afoot for the publishing of a written history of all things Marvel UK. Rob Kirby is the guy who's been piecing stuff together over the past couple of years, and while 'Marvel: From Cents to Pence – The Definitive Guide to Marvel’s British Comics 1951-2007,' to give it its full title, does not have a release date (as of yet) Simon assures us that work is complete on the text itself and its indices.

The book will apparently be published in hardback and as 'A Quality Guide' - the first in a new imprint of books from Dez Skinn's long-running publishing company. Dez was, of course, a former Editorial Director of Marvel UK, as well as being in charge of Warrior magazine in the 80s (V for Vendetta, Miracleman) - so if ever there were a right company for job...

Kirby promises that:

the first half of Marvel: From Cents to Pence will contain a copiously
illustrated 26 chapter history of Marvel’s activities in the UK, and is chock
full of surprising revelations, candid admissions, rib-tickling anecdotes, and
unexpected connections to the American side of Marvel’s many publishing
activities (thanks, in no small part, to much exclusive commentary by many of
the editors, writers and artists to have worked on the UK comics on both sides
of the big pond over the years). That leaves the latter half of the book to
dedicated to indices that, character by character, dissect in painstaking detail
almost every story ever printed by Marvel in Britain since 1972.

The book will also cover the post imprint days we live in now, and Panini's role in Marvel's distribution here in the UK, and will include breakdowns of pretty much everything Marvel UK ever put out; from US reprints to full ‘Printographies’ of every creator to have produced original material, which appeared here in print first, in the UK.

I have to say that this sounds really promising. I think that for every Marvel UK fanboy out there, regardless of age, there's always been a little bit of resentment at the lack of recognition given to some of the great work done for Marvel UK. Seeing it both discussed and recorded in print will hopefully remind a few people just how much was done over here.

And, as I keep reminding people, the term "Earth 616" originated here, long before the rest of the Marvel Universe embraced it.

Like I say, no finite details yet, but I'll spread the word as soon as I hear more. And for more details, if you've got access to Facebook, you can find the full item posted up on the Make Mine Marvel UK!!! group. They're a friendly bunch, and you can find them here:


Been a bit busy this week, but with any luck the the long-promised piece I've been working on about the current state of Captain Britain should be up by the weekend.

In the meantime, as always, feel free to comment on this blog post, or anything else regarding Britain within Marvel. Have you been reading the new Clan Destine? What are your thoughts on the announcement of the new Captain Britain & MI:13 series? Does anybody know what format Wild Angels was published in Italy?

Folks, it's over to you. ;-)


  1. With the greatest respect to Rob, when is this book actually going to be published? I think he's been working on it now for nearly 20 years...

  2. Indeed. At least if the main body of the book is complete we could see it sooner rather than later.

    And now would be the time really. With Captain Britain becoming the headline character of a book again, and Union Jack and Spitfire getting spatterings of guest appearances in US books recently, interest in the UK properties seems top be on the up. It'd be a good time to for such a publication to be on offer.