Publisher: DC Thomson
Publication Dates: April 1979 – 1st January 1991
Number of Issues Published: 281 (#1 – #281)
Color: Colour cover; Black and white interior
Dimensions: 5.5″ x 6.75″ (14 cm x 17 cm)
Paper Stock: Glossy Covers; Newsprint Interiors
Publishing Format: Was ongoing
Information thanks to the Grand Comics Database
Starblazer – Space Fiction Adventure in Pictures was a British small-format comics anthology in black and white published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.
The comic book magazine was launched in response to the popularity of science fiction in the 1970s at the cinema and on television. A science fiction comic had first been considered by Ian Chisholm and Jack Smith, editors at DC Thomson, in 1976. A decision was made to launch the comic in September 1978. Smith was the first editor. His successors in the role were Bill Graham and Bill McLoughlin.
There were 281 issues, the first published in April 1979, and the last published on 1 January 1991. The front cover was printed in colour while the back page featured an ongoing subject that was relevant to the space programme. This included pictures of astronauts and brief details of the missions they were on, other subjects were satellites and the planets and planetoids of the solar system. Issues 1 – 3 were issued on a 1 issue per month basis. From issue 4, there were two issues a month; this periodicity continued until the series reached its end in 1991.
Partway through its run, from issue 168 onwards, the anthology changed format. Instead of a single front cover and a black and white subject on the back, a new all-colour ‘wrap around’ cover was instituted, most of the time showing a collage of subjects from that issue’s storyline. The subject matters also appeared to have a more adult emphasis and there was a heavier focus on fantasy storylines. The cover title also changed format slightly to Starblazer – Fantasy Fiction in Pictures, despite the title change, there were still a considerable number of science fiction storylines up till the final issue.
British comics creators to have worked on Starblazer include Grant Morrison, Walter Cyril Henry Reed, John Smith, Mike Chinn, Mike McMahon, Colin MacNeil, Cam Kennedy, John Radford and John Ridgway. There were also a number of European and South American artists who did other work in British comics, such as Enrique Alcatena. Also Mike Knowles. Before the comic was launched he was one of a group of writers selected by D. C. Thomson to come up with stories for the comic.