KEY VAL­UES

Across the At­lantic, Gold Key brought the screen to the spin­ner rack

SFX - - Features -

Suc­cess­ful US pub­lisher Dell had been in part­ner­ship with West­ern Pub­lish­ing since 1938, pro­duc­ing many suc­cess­ful comics in­clud­ing Walt Dis­ney ti­tles. West­ern de­cided to go it alone in 1962, tak­ing their me­dia li­cences with them to forge new comics line Gold Key.

Dell en­joyed some suc­cess with a long-run­ning comic based on SF an­thol­ogy The Outer Lim­its (1964-9), and even adapted the 1965 movie ver­sion of Dr Who & the Daleks, but even­tu­ally folded in 1974.

US news­stands were soon groan­ing un­der the weight of Gold Key’s cheap and cheer­ful pulp fare, grot­tily printed be­hind those glossy, dy­namic cover paint­ings.

Hav­ing briefly run twist-in-the-tale comics based on The Twi­light Zone for Dell in 1961, West­ern went on to pro­duce a colos­sal 91 Gold Key is­sues be­tween 1962-79.

There were pub­li­ca­tions for movie and TV mogul Ir­win Allen; sub­sea ad­ven­tures in Voy­age To The Bot­tom Of The Sea (1964-70), time-hop­ping tales from The Time Tun­nel (1966-7) and mi­nus­cules

se­ries Land Of The Gi­ants (1968-9). Pol­i­tics stymied any Lost In Space comic; hav­ing pre­vi­ously pub­lished their strangely sim­i­lar Space Fam­ily Robin­son comics since 1962, Gold Key de­clined to sue Allen, wary of up­set­ting the ap­ple­cart. The Man From UN­CLE (1964-9) ran 22 is­sues, though The Girl From UN­CLE proved less pop­u­lar. Quinn Mar­tin’s para­noid aliens-among-us fan­tasy The In­vaders spawned four comics (1967-8), while ABC’s day­time su­per­nat­u­ral soap opera Dark Shad­ows proved a sur­prise suc­cess, 35 is­sues ap­pear­ing from 1969-76. Star Trek mean­while ran a stag­ger­ing 61 is­sues from 1967-79.

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