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Australian comics 
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Incidentally, the publisher of that Giant Size Comic is given as 'Tricho Publications' in the indicia. Was that some kind of subsidiary of Frew?


Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:53 am
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philcom55 wrote:
Those are great! It's interesting that the Shadow story in Giant Size Comic #8 seems to be set in the UK with frequent mentions of Scotland Yard. These characters really ought to be better-known all over the world - possibly even revived in their own interconnected comic book universe (Earth Oz?). Does anybody know if the Shadow, Sir Justin and the Raven, et al are now in the public domain?


The Panther was reprinted as a series of comic books about ten years ago.


Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:41 am
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Most of the Australian, and by extension, the NZ comics are not pd. But most of the publishers are fallen flags and ownership died with the publisher disappearing. also, many of the characters and titles are long forgotten by all but a dwindling band of collectors, researchers and fans.
I'm sure I'll be pulled up about saying the above but, really, I doubt anyone is waiting to pounce on someone using Char Chapman or Grey Domino or The Blue Ghost or Jetman and lots more. But there is still the chance. Certainly, digital copies of these old comics exist and can be easily found. They were almost all work for hire with no continuing rights granted to the creators - Silver Starr and a few other titles excepted - and a lot of the publishers, Transport Publishing for instance, have simply shuffled off this mortal coil with no-one now knowing who, if anyone at all, has the rights.
The Panther was reprinted, although, and I haven't seen these reprints, I was under the impression there were new stories. So, that's me, wrong again :oops:
Thank Phil for i/ding the Range Rider. That's new info for me as I didn't know he had been reprinted in Australia.
As for Tricho, that need a bit of investigating, but by #4 the indicia lists Frew as publisher, while later issues, incl. # 23, lists Tricho. So I haven't a scoobie. Frew are/were the licence holders for Phantom and Mandrake in Australia, so there must be some connection. HELP.


Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:31 pm
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A friend of mine, Greg Gates, did the art restoration for the Panther reprints, but there may have been new material in the comics as well. Unfortunately Greg's several hundred miles away, and only on social media, so I can't ask him.


Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:58 am
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Sue, not much on the Aus comics site and this is all they have on the 2000 release of the Panther:-
http://ausreprints.net/content/main/?series=6044
and here are some covers from the original series:-
http://ausreprints.net/content/main/?series=2950

Phil and anyone else who is interested in this, and I fervently hope it's a lot of you, matrix came up with the goods in sending a link which led to some other pages.
This page has some info. on Tricho and Frew:-
http://ausreprints.net/content/main/?group=16505
and here on Tricho itself:-
http://ausreprints.net/content/main/?publisher=247
But having looked at the covers, I think there are a few small errors in the listings for all the Giant Phantom comics.
However, those pages lead you to the Deepwoods site with all the covers and a listing of the stories in almost every issue:-
http://www.deepwoods.org/giant_size.html

There must have been some sort of jiggery-pokery with the licence at the time, as Frew were still the official company allowed to reprint King material - Phantom and Mandrake - and I have found that WG Publications were at the same address as Tricho in Sydney, W.G.Publications Pty. Ltd. of 149 Castlereagh Street, Sydney , which is next door to Frew at 160 Castlereagh St, Sydney. So, despite my mention of jiggery-pokery, it does seem that the change of publisher name could have been for accounting or similar reason.

WG were publishers of Disney reprints.


Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:27 pm
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I followed the link to the Panther reprint. Not much info on it, but it's reminded me that the new covers were by Greg Gates.

Spiffy art by Moira Bertram on that site. Some of the Australian artists looked like they'd be happier drawing magazine illustrations, but her style is pure comic book and bursting with energy.


Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:48 am
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suebutcher wrote:
Spiffy art by Moira Bertram on that site.


For those that do not know, she had her first comic work published at fourteen, although she told them she was sixteen!

I am not sure but did she do any work in the UK 'Superman Bumper Annual' Origin of?
If so does anyone have an example?


Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:42 am
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Here is the 'Phantom' getting 'Catman' ready for 'Super Yank' comics! This also featured on the cover of 'Super Yank' comics No 2, although in colour and without the writing.

http://ausreprints.net/content/main/?issue=51436

Is this the first appearance of 'Catman' in Australia?


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Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:09 am
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Oh, that's great :D
Going back a bit, the American Catman comic, published by Holyoke, finished in 1946. The Frew Catman comic appeared in 1957 - this was his own title as opposed to the appearances in Super Yank in 1950/51. But were those Super Yank stories original Aus creations or reprints of Holyoke material? Certainly #1 of SY has reprints of Kid Eternty. But the costume on the cover of #2 is different from the original Holyoke costume and the later one from his own Aus title.
The American costume differed slightly over the years. Sometimes no chest emblem, sometimes a "C", sometimes a "C" with a small cat head design inside it.
I'm off out now but I'll have a think and a a dig to see if I can come up with something else.


Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:51 am
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Hi Paw

According to http://comicsdownunder.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... rhero.html "...Catman debuted in the second issue of Super Yank Comics, written and drawn by the Australian cartoonist Lloyd Piper. The most noticeable difference about this new, Australian version of Catman was that the character's sidekick was changed to a young boy named Kit!

"Ron Forsyth had an almost strange habit of changing things in the imported titles he published," according to Jim Shepherd. "He didn't like females having or sharing top billing, hence his request to replace Kitten with Kit - but he probably also thought it might be some sort of plug for the young Phantom character, also known as Kit.""
and
"Lloyd Piper's Catman strip appeared in issues #2-6 and #8-18 of Super Yank Comics (A seventh issue was apparently never published) Catman, however, did not have the staying power of his more popular rivals, such as Superman and Batman, and disappeared with the cancellation of Super Yank Comics."
and
"Ron Forsyth decided to expand Frew's comics' range by reviving Catman in 1958 - this time under the pen of John Dixon.

"Ron once told me he admired John Dixon's work and commissioned him for Catman, because he felt at the time that Frew's comic range could do with an uplift," according to Jim Shepherd.
John Dixon recalls that Ron Forsyth asked him to revamp Catman: "I wasn't asked to follow [the previous series'] style - I was given free reign."

John did indeed give Catman and Kit a makeover - he streamlined Catman's costume, gave the duo their own supersonic Cat Jet and a mist-shrouded mountain hideaway dubbed 'Cat Rock'. Catman frequently had to rescue his blonde, adventurous fiancée, Terry West, and her father, Doctor Martin West, from his foes' villainous clutches!

Teeming with Cold War spies, robots and aliens, the Catman comic was a showcase for some of Dixon's best work. The action-packed storylines were backed-up by Dixon's dynamic artwork and sophisticated page layouts.

Dixon only wrote and drew 12 issues of Catman between 1958-1959. Given that Frew actually published 22 issues of the comic, it's likely that issues #14-22 consisted of reprints from the first dozen issues. (Issue #13 was apparently never published)

"I was working on a revamp of Catman about the time I was trying to sell [the newspaper strip] Air Hawk," recalls John. "When the Sunday and, later, the daily version did sell [to newspapers], I quit comic book work so I could concentrate on Air Hawk."

This wouldn't be the last time that Aussie comic fans would enjoy the adventures of Catman. Commencing around 1965-1966, Page Publications (the magazine publishing arm of the Yaffa Syndicate company) reprinted Dixon's version of Catman. The series actually began with issue #12 and finished around 1968 with issue #26.

The reappearance of Catman during the mid-1960s was by no means accidental, as Page Publications may have been trying to capitalise on the popularity of the Batman TV show, which began broadcasting on Australian televison sometime during 1967, and was being promoted by rival publisher KG Murray on the cover of its own Giant Batman Comic."

There's more at the link above, but I think that's enough to be going on with


Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:05 pm
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Even more great info. :D
So the SY stories were Aus. originals. I have never seen those early stories :( it's the Dixon ones I'm familiar with, and they are well done.
Learning why Kitten became Kit is very interesting indeed. I have to admit to a preference for the John Dixon version of the costume, over that of Lloyd Piper.
Got up this morning and found the new info. from matrix, then I ran out to catch my bus and by the time I got back, there's all this new research available. Between this and what Colin is doing with his Bevan and Smith research, and all the great info. and knowledge from the Girls' comics section, we really are getting places. Trebles all round!


Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:52 pm
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matrix wrote:
suebutcher wrote:
Spiffy art by Moira Bertram on that site.


For those that do not know, she had her first comic work published at fourteen, although she told them she was sixteen!

I am not sure but did she do any work in the UK 'Superman Bumper Annual' Origin of?
If so does anyone have an example?


The scan below is the Moira Bertram example I was asking about.


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moira.jpg [ 263.68 KiB | Viewed 507 times ]
Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:09 am
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A sidelight on The Panther. Paul Wheelahan, who wrote and drew the original series, has just received a Ledger Award for his contribution to Australian comics. The bio here says that after the Panther folded he became a television writer, and he is currently writing Westerns for Black Horse under various pen names.


Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:22 am
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It's good to hear that he's still with us!


Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:53 am
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