Marvel 'L Miller & Co' UK Indicia Variants (May 1960 ~ September 1961)
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Hello.

Last year, I started this thread about different price fonts on early Marvels:

During the debate, the board member EwanUK posted an image of a 10c copy of Gunsmoke Western #63 with additional UK indicia data. 

I'd seen it posted before and thought it was interesting so I started to look for more. Here are some images that I have collected since:

Capture58.thumb.PNG.03ae54909e4544fd588006a62cca23f6.PNG

58c283f0d4994_Capturegw60.thumb.PNG.c1dfb9683dacb86b0df5fb4f68e24624.PNG

58c2842706867_6310cLMillerIndicia-Cover.thumb.jpg.bbe1505622087226e28e7a302f4fc18a.jpg

58c284291d367_6310cLMillerIndicia-Indicia.thumb.jpg.b9b3e02dab3226abd1ac41adff99a630.jpg

 

L Miller were known for producing reprints of Marvel Western titles so it was a surprise to see their distribution data on US originals (note 60 and 63 are cents copies, 58 is a pence).

I kept looking and finally found an L Miller line in another title (I like mucking about with graphics by the way):

58c283bdbb0d1_Capture(2).PNG.760e9a653dd61f0af420630453d1b68b.PNG

 

So far, this is the only copy of RK I have found. There may be others, but they come up very infrequently in the UK.

In most cases I do have images of copies that do not have the L Miller data, making all the above copies variants.

As it stands, we can probably say now that Thorpe & Porter were not the 'sole distributors' of Marvel comics to the UK as is often stated. These four comics seem to prove otherwise.

I'm going to keep looking, and will report back if I find any further examples. If anyone in the UK has any early Western titles, take a look at their indicias would you?

Cheers, Steve 

 

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I've put this spreadsheet together to track the issues I own, or have images of, to see if I can build up a picture. The earliest L Miller indicia I have is May 1960 (Gunsmoke Western #58) and the latest is March 1961 (Gunsmoke Western #63).

It's interesting that in March 1961, Thorpe & Porter were distributing Kid Colt Outlaw #97 at the same time L Miller were distributing Gunsmoke Western #63.

58c3fda22ec0e_lmvtp.thumb.PNG.ccf7d2fdd853e61ce0cbbde8e9cef404.PNG

 

Also interesting is that both the 9d copy and 10c copy of Kid Colt Outlaw #97 have Thorpe & Porter indicias:

9d Cover

58c3fef9be137_979dTPIndiciaCover-Indicia.thumb.jpg.c724513a803864c711c54c6e9049d181.jpg

10c Cover

58c3fefbb398d_9710cTPIndiciaCover-Indicia.thumb.jpg.e404f1f12264eea55ced0ae6f93949dc.jpg

 

I've actually found that a lot - Thorpe & Porter distribution data on every copy of early Marvels - cents and pence.....

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Hello!

In my previous post I noted that the earliest L Miller indicia I have is dated May 1960 (Gunsmoke Western #58) and the latest is March 1961 (Gunsmoke Western #63).

I've found a later one - Gunsmoke Western #65, July 1961 issue :bigsmile:

This is what the 'regular' US version looks like:

65.thumb.jpg.564f8c71e3def2ae31bc26dae4645ae2.jpg

And here is the L Miller variant:

58d512d974fd1_65LMiller.thumb.jpg.54ab97ecb6f89673ffa42e65649c5e80.jpg

 

Note that the price stamp is for 6d again, not the 9d Thorpe & Porter were charging for their imported Marvels around the same time (so why was the L Miller #58 a 9d printed price I wonder?).

The indicia has the L Miller strapline:

58d512d4924e6_65LMillerIndiciacrop.thumb.jpg.b5478b44efad22d2071c4cc11bf1e604.jpg

58d512d6d8e16_65LMillerIndicia.thumb.jpg.e596fd2d21402c1d638ffdf3e3a70008.jpg

 

....which I'm guessing is absent from the US copies.

I've yet to find a pence printed copy of this issue.  58 and 66 have them, but not 59-65. Maybe 59-65 only exist as 10c copies with L Miller distribution indicias / price stamps?

t.PNG.8852c7cf8b97b87b4e44647b2d4812a8.PNG

 

These books surface painfully slowly over here, so it may be a long wait to find out! :taptaptap:

 

 

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Dah-da-da-da-dah dah dah daaaaaah!

Heh heh. Plonker 595e867e648f4_DogLikeSparkyCSMBAvatar.png.eb33b9642eb8609f96c215e4e7bbfbef.png

Here we go L Miller & Co Fans, I give you Gunsmoke Western #59, 9d Copy:

59.thumb.jpg.1383268c07d29e4494e516e06cd4da07.jpg

 

We have the distinctive 'LM 6d' price stamp (even though the book has a printed 9d price - figure that one out)...

595e839c3c096_59crop.jpg.0a9099550f18ef2668016f4c92e0b036.jpg

 

...and the exclusive L Miller indicia distribution data:

595e839e47df1_59indicia.thumb.jpg.89837e8b454bb5825c713642ec0fcfd1.jpg

 

So we have several Gunsmoke Westerns and one Rawhide Kid so far. The mixture of Cents and Pence printed prices, with LM 6d stamps is a real puzzle. I'd love to know the circumstances under which L Miller solicited these titles from Marvel and why the cover prices are printed at 10c in some cases (hence the need for a 6d stamp) but also printed at 9d (so, only a need for a stamp as the price is cheaper). If they were printed 'exclusively' for L Miller, then why not print a 6d price? Mysteries, mysteries.....

Now I said only one Rawhide Kid so far (#19 in my earlier posts above) but if you look at this picture from Heritage for #17, you can see the L Miller style 6d stamp on the 9d issue:

lf.thumb.jpg.36c60b806dc87f07a3001d1eadf27723.jpg

As an aside, this is a good example of those pesky font variations I bang on about here:

But back to the Rawhide #17.

9d.PNG.0238eea0cc81dbe66fa130ce93f69a18.PNG

Does that 6d stamp indicate that #17 has an L Miller indicia? It should in theory, as Thorpe & Porter weren't soliciting this title at the time. It will be hard to confirm this as the book is a silver age key and I've never seen one in the UK on Ebay or anywhere else for sale. Maybe one day I'll get lucky, or someone reading this will have a copy and dive in.

Anyway pardners, I feel a new illustrative L Miller existence chart coming on - I don't like the other one I did -  so keep watching. 

Chin chin :headbang:

 

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Morning My Miller Minions (Hey, I like that) :smile:

Some pence linked ramblings here, should you find the overwhelming urge to punish your brain this morning:

:headbang:

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On 06/07/2017 at 7:56 PM, Marwood & I said:

Anyway pardners, I feel a new illustrative L Miller existence chart coming on - I don't like the other one I did -  so keep watching. 

Something like this I think will better show what exists, the switch date from 9d to 10c cover prices, and the eventual switch date of L Miller to Thorpe & Porter hm

lm.thumb.PNG.6cf2146b448ea6adee7a86ae7cde474a.PNG

Yeehaar! :headbang:

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4 minutes ago, 1950's war comics said:

58d512d974fd1_65LMiller.thumb.jpg.54ab97ecb6f89673ffa42e65649c5e80.jpgI just love these KIRBY covers when the have grey figures all over the cover

this is a great ACTION cover !! every person is exquisitely drawn

I cannot disagree pardner!

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3 minutes ago, jsilverjanet said:

Fascinating 

Is that board code for "proper tedious"? ?

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Morning Miller Minions.

Sorry for the extended absence, but Marwood and I have been busy trying to break through the bottom of the tedium barrel whilst fighting against the slings and arrows of the fortune outrageous as Poirot might say, were he alive and real and not dead and fictional. As is often the case, the last few inches have proven problematic, but persist we did and we’re finally through. So prepare yourselves for a fresh round of musings from Camp Tedium on the rare genus comicana uninterestia nitpickia tediata.

In keeping with tradition, we will link the findings here to our sister thread the Mighty Marvel Pence Variant thread. We’ll be updating that soon to ensure we get to the year 3,000 and, in doing so, secure our next Boreds Title, unilaterally imposed on us as it is by Monsieur See-No-Hear-No-Speak-No.

We begin this final Miller post proper with a pretty picture of a brand new and mightily significant find, Two-Gun Kid #54. But look, let’s not call her ‘Two-Gun Kid #54’. Let’s call her ‘Two-Gun Kid #54, 9d Copy with L Miller & Sons distribution data’.

Ta-dahhh!

59ad241584736_549dLM-C.thumb.jpg.2e4cddf533b4aff5f418b2be9d42c1ab.jpg

 

And inside...

59ad2418c8da4_549dLM-I.thumb.jpg.eee1af2ae62dd87334c8b8b9c82c0776.jpg

 

What a lovely book, the only one we’ve seen in 800 years. Did we already mention the Jedi training? We did? Right.

We’ve just spent a few minutes holding it, smelling it and feeling nostalgically content with it. And then we looked at the comic. We were lucky enough to snag this copy from the Bay of the E and it now sits among its L Miller chums in a short box looking, we have to say, ridiculously smug and superior. And why not?

In addition to the TGK54, we also found photos of a book we sadly missed, so don't own, Rawhide Kid #22. You’ll see she’s also a Miller with cents:

59ad242998802_RK22LMiller10c.thumb.jpg.002c9e9011573388d065ff626b4f8240.jpg59ad24230448a_RK22LMiller10cIndicia.thumb.jpg.e2e9efc8777d80503cbc22c43a365c6d.jpg

 

When we started out on this journey last November it is fair to say that we knew very little (insert joke here) about this aspect of our comic history. One Gunsmoke Western with a 10c price and an L Miller indicia strapline courtesy of the much missed EwanUK was all we had to go on. Now, almost a year later, and after much digging and scraping, we think we’ve cracked the code. As is often the case, a chart is required to support the findings. There have been a number of charts to date. We like charts. But this is the final chart. Here she be:

lmc.thumb.PNG.c65ac4598e9be4a2030ed3d006588443.PNG

 

Imagine if you will the gallery theme tune from Vision On is playing in the background as we deliver the usual findings and conclusions.

First up, we can see that there are 5 western titles in the running from May 1960:

  • Gunsmoke Western
  • Kid Colt Outlaw
  • Rawhide Kid
  • Two-Gun Kid
  • Wyatt Earp

L Miller as we know were largely known for reprinting Atlas western titles from the 50’s, and we’ve found no evidence of any non-western L Miller first printing Marvel interventions to suggest they went for any other genres. Although this picture from the web got us wondering on this point for a while. Can’t see inside though, alas……

1246829.jpg.492834804fb86c0f859c8e9e1eb11a2e.jpg

hm

 

To further break the wordy monotony (TLDR! TLDR! …..WFOT), here’s a picture of an L Miller reprint example by way of timely interlude:

eg1.thumb.jpg.c2c939393c2e17c03311d62e9238cfb7.jpgeg2.thumb.jpg.a0e08a680a8efe51511f29f6d09da14a.jpg

Nice.

Back to the chart conclusions, we can see that Gunsmoke Western, Two-Gun Kid and Rawhide Kid all have confirmed L Miller copies. Poor old Wyatt Earp ended as it all started with number 29 and, as we only have a 9d cover image, we don’t know what’s inside. Clearly, L Miller were publishing Wyatt Earp reprints (see above interlude example), so it may be that if we ever find a copy of #29 it will have an L Miller indicia strapline (if it’s blank, i.e. no LM or T&P strapline, as can be the case, and has no 6d cover stamp, we may never know).

29.jpg.6c7629241a79da9662df9fa9cc0b8184.jpg

 

Kid Colt Outlaw seems to have escaped the Millers clutches with a number of copies in the ‘Miller’ date range appearing to indicate that Thorpe & Porter locked down this title. It makes you wonder how it all came about. Some chap in the Thorpe & Porter offices one day says “OK chaps, there’s money to be made here. Let’s import Marvel comics and get them to slap a nine donkey price tag on them. We’ll clean up”. As the deal progresses Mr Miller gets wind (terrible farter he was), dives in and says “Hey, just wait a cotton pickin minute pardner! (he liked westerns you see). We’ve been doing those western titles for more years than those cretins Marwood & I have been training Jedi – if anyone’s gonna distribute those titles it’ll be us ya varmint!”. “Oh do come on Mr Miller – at least let us have the Kid”. A deal is done satisfying all parties and in May 1960 a batch of 9d printed lovelies come hopping across the pond, some for T&P to distribute, some for L Miller. Ultimately, T&P win the day and muscle the Millers out of the game, taking over all titles from August 1961. Maybe the Millers failed to compete by charging 6d to T&P’s 9d? Miller the younger goes on to make films.

Speculation aside, these are the kind of details we may never know. We’ve tried hard to track down Arnold Miller – we don’t even know if he’s still alive – so this may all end up dissolving into history, much like the Batty replicant’s tears did in that rain that time, just off the shoulder of Orion. Sniff.

Those in the know of the knowing know all knowledge will know that we don’t have all the copies in the date ranges yet. For those that don’t, there are clues on the chart in the form of blank spaces. But we think we have enough information now to say with some certainty that:

  • L Miller exclusively distributed at least 3 Marvel titles from May 1960 to July 1961
  • The first two issues of those titles were 9d printed copies (possibly as a result of that being the price T&P requested) which L Miller sold subsequently for 6d (hence the cover stamp, and possibly an attempt to outprice T&P)
  • From Sep 1960 to Jul 1961, the L Miller titles reverted to 10c (but with L Miller distribution details added to the indicia) and Miller would add a 6d cover stamp. This may have been to prevent confusion – a 9d printed price with a 6d stamp would likely confuse in the UK, as both are valid prices, whereas a 6d stamp clearly overrides a cents printed price
  • From August 1961, the L Miller copies stop and Thorpe & Porter take over all Marvel titles

To conclude, Marwood and I feel that L Miller & Sons have been completely overlooked in the history of the distribution of Marvel first printing copies in the UK. Thorpe & Porter have taken all the glory. We hope this thread goes some way to rectifying that injustice, and we’re pleased to see that our ramblings and pictures now appear in the results of ‘L Miller’ Googleation attempts. We hope anyone else with an interest in this history will find their way here one day in the distant future and crack on with the search for the as yet unconfirmed copies. That person doesn’t seem to be here today alas, as this thread has met with universal indifference from a supposed enthusiast crowd. Possibly everyone has us on ignore as a result of that attention seeking scapegrace Dog Like Sparky and his embarrassing shenanigans but, as Michael Jagger once said, “A jumpin jack flash is a gas gas gas”. No one likes an insecure wing nut.

No matter. Marwood needs his medicine now and I need Divine Intervention so we’ll leave you with our best wishes and two final pictures. These two compare a Gunsmoke Western #65 US copy, which arrived in the post this week looking all pleased with itself, to an L Miller copy which was already in situ and planning a stand off with our new kid in town TGK #54 (“Flippin noobs he said. Who do they think they are!”):

59ad27068ce62_6510cLM.thumb.PNG.9e42faee98cab0fa0f5de071b54f15dd.PNG59ad271122a4c_6510cUS.thumb.PNG.0c985e3e6b5d7994dd110a295b2a6795.PNG

 

Indeed. Who do they think they are?

Super covers. Super comics.

Chin-chin! :tink:

 

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Hi All,

I finally managed to pick up a pence copy of Rawhide Kid #17 and, as expected, she's an L Miller distributed comic :headbang:

I have a cents copy too - here they are for comparative purposes:

Cents Copy

17c.thumb.PNG.a6634e8fcdceb0d6e06f0707ba8c6f91.PNG

Pence Copy

17lm.thumb.PNG.041c85d652bd3f48a4f50a21a79ad839.PNG

 

It's good to know that L Miller are responsible therefore for bringing one of the Marvel Western keys to the UK. Good on em :headbang:

Here's the updated summary chart:

lms.thumb.PNG.d54d3b7ccd7eb49493f6d573767ce2d9.PNG

 

I'll keep you posted if I find any of the missing copies (shown in the chart as either blank where I have no copy / image or with just the price where I have seen a copy but not the indicia page).

Cheers!

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Board member Mickeyc67 kindly dropped into my Font Variation Thread the other day advising that he had copies of Rawhide Kid 20 and 23 and that both were cents printed L Miller copies with pence stamps. He provided cover scans and I've asked if he could post pictures of the indicia pages too. Here are the two cover scans he posted:

59db8519b035f_RHK20LMCover(TBC).jpg.f9a54a544f524c186bc6e812e88dba8f.jpg  59db851da4289_RHK23LMCover(TBC).jpg.f6679f19b6ceb2b7ff532321c31cf655.jpg

Cool aren't they!

I trust Mikey completely, but will stick to the stance that has served me well throughout my pence research, which is to hold fire on confirmation until I personally have the evidence. That said, if I do update our Miller chart it means I have to push the L Miller date range down one month to include August 1961, the cover date of the RHK #23 (I've marked Mikey's RHK 20 and 23 down with 3 asterisks until they are confirmed:

Capture.thumb.PNG.28481061b49e07ae2c2272be06f6fa5f.PNG

 

So subject to the final confirmation, we potentially have 22 L Miller comics to look out for. This assumes that:

  • Kid Colt Outlaw was indeed fully taken up by Thorpe & Porter as previous evidence suggests (I've hidden the title in the latest chart above)
  • Wyatt Earp #29 is an L Miller title (it could be, as L Miller did the reprints - I just need to find a pence copy to look inside)
  • TGK #55 is indeed an L Miller (my copy has a blank indicia) - with 54 confirmed, and a scan held of 55 with an LM 6d cover stamp, it's a virtual certainty
  • The other missing issues on the chart exist (no reason to suggest they don't, although TGK's stubbornly blank 56-59 block does make me wonder hm )

So, 22 potential issues from May 1960 to August 1961 to collect. I currently own 9 of them and hope to one day own them all. Something tells me it's going to take a while though.......

:popcorn:

P.S. As an aside, if we assume the Sep 60 to Aug 61 block all turn out to be L Miller cents copies, that's 16 'pence printed variants' that we can definitely confirm do not exist.

See ya next time pardner :headbang:

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Mikey came through with the indicia scans (top man!) so I can now confirm that RHK #20 and 23 are indeed L Miller distributed copies :headbang::headbang:

59dc94240793f_RHK20LMiller.thumb.PNG.909d9f4dd51a3a583ab28b3152f4df46.PNG

59dc942ec3f7a_RHK23LMiller.thumb.PNG.da00b8d7badfce99d165e3184c1fc25a.PNG

 

Here's the updated chart:

Capture.thumb.PNG.ba43bf2d218a8ee46890893b87d49545.PNG

 

Only ten more books to track down to complete the picture:

  • Gunsmoke Western 61, 62 & 64
  • Rawhide Kid 18 & 21
  • Two-Gun Kid 56, 57, 58 & 59
  • Wyatt Earp 29

Yeehaarr! 

 

 

 

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I've just submitted a question to 'Ask CGC' to see if they would consider recognising these books on the CGC label. The question is pending approval - it would be cool if they agreed to do it :headbang:

t.thumb.PNG.b9235ed9f508f5fa29190e41c5fbd868.PNG

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Mikey agreed to sell his two RHKs to me in support of the quest to get all the Millers. What a top man (worship)

I've been making up labels to put on the backing boards of each Miller book. Here are his two. Sorry, my two! :headbang:

59eb4ffe88245_2010cLM-CI.thumb.PNG.86b44e8917c98945219b3626b0a01f57.PNG

 

59eb501049cca_2310cLM-CI.thumb.PNG.f8ba6ed7a39935af175b9aa3c1d319bc.PNG

:headbang::headbang:

 

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On 21/10/2017 at 2:46 PM, Marwood & I said:

I've just submitted a question to 'Ask CGC' to see if they would consider recognising these books on the CGC label. The question is pending approval - it would be cool if they agreed to do it :headbang:

t.thumb.PNG.b9235ed9f508f5fa29190e41c5fbd868.PNG

 

I just checked back and my question has been deleted. What a shame that the premier grading company in the world would not find these variants worthy of recognising. Or even of interest. Oh well, that's the circle for you..... :frown:

 

"Questions will be reviewed and answered by CGC experts. Questions will only be approved if they are of general interest."

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Hello.

Do you ever do that thing where you go to fairs and shops with an obscure want's list and, every time, without fail, you find nothing? I do.  Nevertheless, every time I do go, I say to myself "maybe this will be the time when I find that book". You know you're not going to of course, but you do that little routine in your head anyway. It passes the time.

So off I went to the last London Fair thinking this time - this time - I'm going to find an L Miller copy from my missing list. I just laid the ones I do have out on the floor. Aint they pretty (although I could do with a decent camera):

20171118_142356.thumb.jpg.664140e460f29800f7e4c34a5dc5515a.jpg

 

Anyway, I'm working my way around the fair, probably on my 27th circuit, and there it is. On the wall I see Rawhide Kid #18. My heart skips a beat and a little gasp escapes from my pants. You know the feeling, don't you. How did I not see this the first 26 times I looked? Rawhide Kid #18 appears in the UK at around the same frequency as Halley's Comet so I'm excited. It's a cents copy - as my research indicates that it will be, if it's a Miller.

It's a lovely looking FN/VFN copy. I ask to look inside. The gasp in the pants has now been replaced by a tremulous anticipation. I carefully remove the book from it's sleeve and place it flat in my palm. OK, here we go. I turn the page. And I find this:
 

Spoiler

 

No L Miller indicia :frown:

Spoiler

My heart sinks. The book, is lovely. But it's not a Miller book. Bugger, and thrice bugger. Now, do you ever do that thing where you go to fairs and shops with an obscure want's list and, every time, without fail, you find nothing? I do......

 

 

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