Marvel 'L Miller & Co' UK Indicia Variants (May 1960 ~ September 1961)
Here is a summary of the L Miller & Co UK Indicia Variants that I have discovered hiding in first printing Marvel Comics produced between the dates of May 1960 and September 1961. If you'd like to know more about them, please click the picture below and you'll be magically transported to the discussion thread in which we talk about them:
25 L Miller Variants are currently confirmed to exist out of a total of 26 eligible US issues
Here is a detailed summary of what I have found to exist, which I hope you will find of interest.
Notes and Observations
Most knowledgeable UK comic collectors know that ‘L Miller & Son Ltd’ were a Hackney based publisher who specialised in the reprinting of US original comic material in repackaged publications for the UK market during the 1950s and 60s. What those collectors don’t tend to know is that, alongside their core reprint activities, Miller also requested original first printing comics from Marvel with unique UK cover prices and/or indicias for a 17 month period from May 1960.
You will find a separate journal entry for the Charlton UK Price Variants which Miller distributed under my main journal page if you’d like to read about them. This entry here covers the L Miller variants for Marvel Comics.
To date I have found Miller variants in the following five Marvel titles:
- Amazing Adventures
- Gunsmoke Western
- Rawhide Kid
- Two-Gun Kid
- Wyatt Earp
You'll note that four of those titles are westerns. Marvel were actually producing five western titles at the time but the fifth title, Kid Colt Outlaw, was picked up by Thorpe & Porter - we know not why - and I can confirm that no Miller copies exist.
Miller variants are identified by the presence of either a UK 9d cover price with a regional UK indicia, or a US 10c cover price with a regional UK indicia.
Here are two examples of the Miller indicias - one pence, one cents:
And here is a summary chart which I have put together for the five confirmed titles:
From the chart you can see that:
- 25 of a possible 26 copies are currently confirmed - only Two-Gun Kid #58 is outstanding
- May 1960 to August 1960 dated copies are priced at 9d
- September 1960 to August 1961 copies are priced at 10c
- September 1961 is a unique month in as much as it has one further 10c L Miller copy for the title Amazing Adventures whilst the Miller title of Gunsmoke Western changes to Thorpe & Porter priced at 9d
- Issue #55 of the Two-Gun Kid, whilst clearly a Miller, has no regional indicia, but copies exist with the '6d LM' cover stamp on them
- From October 1961, all Marvel titles with 9d cover prices are Thorpe & Porter distributed
The only printed differences between a Miller copy and its US equivalent are the cover prices and / or the presence of the UK regional indicia. No other elements differ, although you may be able to spot a cents priced Miller by the presence of a '6d LM' cover stamp which appears on many of the copies that I have seen / own:
Occasionally, a hand applied 'PRINTED IN U.S.A.' stamp can be seen on the splash pages of early Miller copies:
Happy hunting, if you decide to build a set!
By Stephen Cranch based on v2.6 of the ‘Marvel 'L Miller & Co' UK Indicia Variant Summary (May 1960 ~ September 1961)’