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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

It Was Invasion Earth 1988. It Was The Ultimate Game. It Was A Cosmic Fulcrum.

Way back in the year 1987....I think it was was last century and some of you were not even born in the 1980s but knowing the decade helps the story.  I'll stop rambling. Anyway, back in the 1980s I was in regular correspondence with a very nice fellow named Peter Sidebotham. We discussed comics a lot.  

Something he wrote made me think of an idea. At the same time I had watched the Peter Cushing Dr Who movie Dalek Invasion Earth 2150 AD.  This one...
What I came up with was Invasion Earth 1988.  Again, Fleetway stated that any new comic "requires a £60,00 launch" and they could not justify that. In fact, a comic launch was known as a Press Piss-up. Basically, invite journalists to a drinks party and when they did a big Roy of the Rovers relaunch it resulted in one inch (2cms) news snippets in the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Daily Express -well worth the "launch" money?

But it was quite clear Fleetway had lost its way -though I never gave up!  You simply "adjust" your project and make the changes to create something new.
It was "back in the day" (about 1989/1990?) and I was visiting the Fleetway-Egmont offices regularly if not to take in scripts for Revolver then to pitch ideas.

I have already posted on The Ultimate Game and mentioned its predecessor, The Cosmic Fulcrum. Blogger has managed to delete most of the images (AGAIN!) but you can find the text here:

And here are the rough images.
Above: Colour "swatch" page

Now this all became Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes.  And I had lost all the pages to the Cosmic Fulcrum....or so I thought.  I'll explain.

I had only photocopies of Fulcrum, drawn originally by Dean Willetts whose black and white art I posted samples of a couple days back. LOVELY  art but, though I never got excited since I knew what companies were like, Fleetway-Egmont expressed interest.  I had spoken to the Revolver editor and had a rather heated few words about WHY I was very unhappy that "Igor thinks this series title is so great he wants to use it so if you can re-name the series---" and on my way out bumped into another editor and we got talking.

Apparently, Egmont, owning Fleetway, were looking for something new.  I arranged to call back the following week having pitched The Cosmic Fulcrum.  Next week I turned up with the pages -black and white and the hurriedly coloured pages.  I was told it all looked good but he'd need to show it all to the boss.  So, he took everything and was going to copy it all and hand it back on my next visit (a third trip to London in a week -eugh!).
So, I turn up at the offices and the man "isn't here any more" -this happened a lot back then for no reason. But the young lady handed me my folders back and had been instructed to tell me "no thank you".

I got home not very happy.  A week later I needed to make more copies but the black and white pages were gone -someone had accidentally put various financial documents in the folder.  And some colour pages were missing while others had been hole-punched!  I return the financial papers but I never got the art returned.  After six months I gave up.

There are differences here compared to Return in which RIM (Robotic Infantry Man) and Femme Avenger and Justice (being watched by the trilby wearing shadow) never got to Neo Olympus.

Here is what I found in a folder at the bottom of a box -inked using Windsor & Newtons.  I've not tidied them up but this is comics history....somewhere!

So, after a couple decades or so it has all come together in the Invasion Earth Trilogy -Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes The Cross Earths Caper  and to be concluded in The Green Skies.

Its taken the "revolution" in self publishing to finally get the ideas rejected by dying companies (it wasn't just Fleetway) into print.  A lesson for anyone wanting to get into comics because the situation is worse in 2016.

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