Friday, November 19, 2010

British Girls' Comics: Diana Annual 1975 - The Man in Black


Diana was a British girls' weekly comic published by DC Thomson from 23rd February 1963 through 4th December 1976. Hard cover annuals continued to be published beyond the date of the last weekly issue. Appearing to have been a regular Diana feature, the Man in Black was a version of the spooky storyteller host found in EC's horror comics of the 50s and Charlton's and DC's late 60s/early 70s horror titles. This 8 page story simply entitled "The Man in Black" is skillfully drawn, although the story is very simple with a rather weak plot. The artist, David Matysiak, was kindly identified by his daughter, Janet Matysiak.


I don't know exactly what to derive from this story in terms of lessons about 1970s Britain, except that, like some other British comics from the period, it seems to share some commonality with its American counterparts, in this case the storyteller being the regular feature in an otherwise varied horror story slot. It is true that the USA and Britain do really share a special relationship, one that has involved trans-Atlantic sharing of culture for quite some time, back to the roots of the USA as a nation, and this is just another small example of that.

7 comments:

  1. my son is named Janek matysiak
    famous Commando Cover artist

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    1. Great to hear from you. I love your 70's work

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    2. Great to hear from you. I love your 70's work

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  2. Janeks website ..http://janekmatysiak.carbonmade.com/

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  3. I actually have the Diana annuals up to 1984, and a great Man in Black story in the 1982 one. Researching the author as we speak.

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  4. I actually have the Diana annuals up to 1984, and a great Man in Black story in the 1982 one. Researching the author as we speak.

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  5. David Matysiak was a huge inspiration to me as an artist as I was growing up. A great comic artist with a unique distinctive style

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