DC Super-Heroes UK Annual 1982 by Brian Bolland

February 26, 2023|In Comics, DC

In 1980, British comics didn’t exist for me beyond the occasional Dandy or Beano annual that appeared in Coles bookstore in the small Canadian town I grew up in. I didn’t like the look of those, so I never bought them.

I did have some minor knowledge of classic British strips through a copy of Maurice Horn’s The World Encyclopedia of Comics, and a Hamlyn hardcover of a number of chopped up The Trigan Empire stories by Don Lawrence got read over and over. But in that uninterneted world of 1980 – and a couple of years before the direct market reached my part of the world – I had no idea 2000 AD existed and that a new generation of UK writers and artists would be the up-and-comers who would soon transform North American comics for the better.

I was a devoted Green Lantern fan and by 1980 the book was on the ascent again with Marv Wolfman writing and Joe Staton pencilling. So I was there when some guy named Bolland showed up and did three covers for the book:

The earliest Green Lantern covers by Brian Bolland

Green Lantern covers.

And then the covers for The Green Lantern Corps mini-series:

The Green Lantern Corps mini-series covers by Brian Bolland

Tales of the Green Lantern Corps mini-series.

After that it was an Arnold Drake-written short story Bolland drew for Mystery in Space. Then came Camelot 3000 and The Killing Joke and no one who read comics ever went Brian Who? again.

About that stuff that didn’t quite make it across the Atlantic. There were a number of DC annuals packaged by Egmont for the UK market in the early 80s Bolland drew the covers for as he was kicking down doors.

1980s DC UK annuals with Brian Bolland covers

Three Egmont annuals for the UK.

And this piece which I’ve only ever seen as a scan on the web.

Colour by me.

Black and white Justice League of America pin-up by Brian Bolland

As published.

Original art scan of Brian Bolland JLA UK pin-up

A scan of the original art courtesy of Richard Starkings.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

First colour version.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

Second colour version.