Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 24: Agent 21 Across

Welcome to the exciting world of Secret Agent 21, the Spy of the Future, whose day job was editor-in-chief of the comic TV Century 21! Now who says Grant Morrison invented meta comic books??!

Editorial column from TV Century 21 #1 (23 January, 1965)

Also, he has a game!

"U.S.S. versus S.O.F.R.A.M." from TV Century 21 Annual 1968
(Century 21 Publishing Ltd. and City Magazines Ltd., 1967); creators unknown
(Click picture to SHIELD*-size)

Because I know you're wondering: U.S.S. stands for Universal Secret Service. And S.O.F.R.A.M. stands for the Solar Organisation For Revenge and Murder! Man, the British are not as good with spy acronyms as Nick Fury, Napoleon Solo, or Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

In addition to Agent 21, the TV Century 21 series also featured comics starring Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Fireball Get Smart, My Favo(u)rite Martian, and The Munsters! Wha-huh?!?

As for Century 21, it eventually evolved from a British comics weekly into a real estate firm and a mid-range fashion department store. Wow, they really did adapt to the changing markets of the 2000s!

*Surprisingly Hypnotic In Extra-Large Dimensions


Blam said...

I didn't remember the dog and wondered if it was original to some UK spinoff. Apparently it's from a short-lived Saturday-morning cartoon spinoff that aired the fall I turned 3 years old, so...

Dave said...

I ask, in all seriousness, are these British humor mags supposed to be funny? I've never seen one that wasn't (painfully) the opposite of entertaining.

Bully said...

Some of them are, Dave — it's very gentle and obvious humo(u)r that's directed at pre-teen audiences, so nothing too sophisticated here, even in the adventure strips like Thunderbirds or Stingray. It seems to me that a more sophisticated type of British comic for an older audience didn't come around until the like of 2000 AD and Warrior, although I'm not as well versed in the history of UK comics as I am US ones.

In any case, I'm mostly spotlighting these because they' guess!