Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Retro Foreign: Greek Il Grande Blek #65

In 1954, a comic named Il Grande Blek was published in Italy and received considerable success.  Il Grande Blek starred a blonde haired trapper who fought the British for American independence during the American Revolutionary War.  Il Grande Blek went on to be published in Greece, Turkey, France, Yugoslavia, and other countries in Europe.  In 1969, Stelios Anemodoura brought Il Grande Blek to Greece in Μπλεκ a weekly digest-sized comic named after the Italian comic.[1]  The first volume ran for 428 issues.[2]  In 1977, the second volume began and only ran for 120 issues.[3]  Finally, in 1979, the third volume began and ran for 756 issues until 1994.[4]  At it's peak, the Greek comic would reach a circulation of 130,000 copies.

Initially, Μπλεκ would just publish stories about Il Grande Blek, but over time, other stories would be publish to keep the content of the comic fresh. [5] Each issue contains multiple different stories making the title an anthology.  The comic reflected the Greek pop culture of the time and would feature covers with sports, TV, and movie stars as well as comics.  It is no surprise that the Marvel Comic adaptation of Star Wars would find its way into the pages of Μπλεκ in the third volume.

Μπλεκ #65a - Stelios Anemodoura, Greece (early 1980s)
Star Wars #1 minus last page
The cover to Μπλεκ #65 is the same cover as Star Wars #1 framed with a green border.  In addition to the verbiage, the cover was altered to show a picture of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the upper left hand corner and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia where the UPC symbol usually appears.  The Star Wars adaptation was spread over 7 issues from Μπλεκ #65 to 71.  For this reason, each issue did not contain a complete issue from the Marvel comic.  For example, Μπλεκ #65 contains Star Wars #1 minus the last page.

References:

  1. Tangle: The blonde giant recirculated
  2. Entangle A SEASON (1969)
  3. Entangle B SEASON (1977) - NEW DYNAMIC entangle
  4. Entangle III PERIOD (NEW SEASON 1979)
  5. The modern era of the legendary tangle !!

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