This doesn’t need much of an introduction, I’ve written about it before but to get up to speed this was a comic strip appearing in issues of DC Thomson’s (TV) Tops comics in 1982. A full colour series featuring the pop star alias of Stuart Goddard, Adam Ant. Adam travels through time, adventuring in various personas inspired by his glamourous stage presence. I’ve been trying to piece together the various strips for a while, which is not an easy task considering the scarcity of the source material.
A little over forty one years since the last strip appeared, I’ve believe I’ve managed to find every page.
There were a number of scans of the magazine existing in the sorts of places on the Internet that has old comic scans, but this particular era was not really represented. Tops had other TV strips, the one perhaps mostly remembered was Buck Rogers which started in Tops 48 so I was looking for issues of the comic between issue 15 where Adam’s strips started and 47 by when it must have completed publishing as the magazine wouldn’t have had these two marquee full colour features running simultaneously. Other strips in the magazine usually only had one colour page if any and the rest monochrome (or black and white photography).
Mag-a-zone, Comic Vine & Crazyaboutmagazines had a number of Tops covers listed so I started with these to try and determine which issues I would need to track down. I set a number ebay searches but it wasn’t something that came up often. And I’m not in the UK, so sellers didn’t always offer postage to my place even if they did appear. And so, for the past 5 or so years I’ve been getting search results and sometimes the seller did provide internal page images so I started compiling these, those results you can see on the previously linked article.
The nature of ebay searches didn’t make it easy either as Tops is a common word and resulted in false positives and there are other people out there searching for these so sometimes a hit would have been scooped up before I even saw it. However, I kept at it building a list of issues and interior pages when I could find them, sometimes even a blurred image could be useful in allowing me to identify which interior pages the strip was on so I persisted.
And so it progressed like this, I was able to figure out the run lasted from 15-44, with some skips. 15 (1982-01-16) : 24, 25, 27 : First appearance of strip
16 (1982-01-23): 08, 09, 11
17 (1982-01-30): 24, 25, 27
18 (1982-02-06) : 08, 09, 11
19 (1982-02-13) : 08, 09, 11
20 (1982-02-20) : 08, 09, 11
21 (1982-02-27) : 08, 09, 11
22 (1982-03-06) : 08, 09, 11
24 (1982-03-20) : 08, 09, 11
25 (1982-03-27) : 08, 09, 11
27 (1982-04-10) : 06, 08, 09
28 (1982-04-17) : 08, 09, 11
29 (1982-04-24) : 08, 09, 11
38 (1982-06-26) : 08, 09 (Strip returns after hiatus, now 2 pages per issue with a new storyline. Kind of.)
39 (1982-07-03) : 16, 17
40 (1982-07-10) : 24, 25
41 (1982-07-17) : 08, 09
42 (1982-07-24) : 24, 25
43 (1982-07-31) : 08, 09
44 (1982-08-7) : 08, 09 Final Appearance of Strip
53 pages in total across 20 issues.
The storyline has Adam plucked from the timestream, then a few variations of him act out their own tales and eventually they all team up. Also, he kicks Hitler down the stairs at one point. Anyway, without further ado.
Part 1; issues 15-29
Part 2; issues 38-44
And an aside, my investigation indicated that the British Library has a full collection of the magazine but that’s out of my reach. A few years ago I’d have reason to go to London due to business, but due to, well, everything since 2019 I’ve not been anywhere near a suitable library room to check this but someone in London or Yorkshire could theoretically order them for perusal at the reading rooms just in case I’ve miscalculated.
And as a final aside, this was published by DC Thomson of Dundee, of who I am reminded of their disagreements with Viz in the past. 25 years ago according to this article, so you’ll excuse me if I turn to dust at this moment.
As mentioned in the article, Viz retorted with DC Thompson.
And after this, DC Thomson clapped back with The Jocks & The Geordies.
Viz then put Corky the Twat on the cover, but I think the joke had run it’s course by then. I also seem to remember a later Viz riff on The Jocks & The Geordies but I can’t seem to find that one.
Anyway, if you’ve managed to read all the way down here, here’s a comic book reader friendly version of the collected pages.