The 1970’s were such a huge part of my development, shaping me to be the person that I am today. All of my interests that I have as an adult started in the 1970’s and thankfully, so many of these interests have created such fond memories of a time long past.
I don’t remember exactly when I became interested in UFOs but I know it was during this time period. I remember every week my grandmother would buy newspapers like The National Enquirer and Weekly World News, both of which reported UFO stories. When she was done reading them she would bring them to my house for my mom to read, and I always gravitated to the UFO stories. My grandmother was also instrumental in starting my love for comic books and knowing my fascination with UFOs, would often buy me UFO magazines. UFOs were very prevalent in the 1970’s with lots of books, magazines and comic books devoted to the subject. I was hooked.
As a comic book reader I was very much into the Marvel super-heroes but also loved the monster comics put out by Charlton Comics. At the time there was another comic book company called Gold Key Comics, that also featured a wide variety of titles including one called UFO Flying Saucers.
Gold Key was in business from 1962 until 1984 and during that time produced comics that did not feature the Comics Code Authority. They were one of only a few comic book companies that decided to not feature the code on their books. Despite this, they were quite successful, with many licensed characters from companies such as Walt Disney, Hanna Barbera and Warner Brothers. They also created many of their own titles, some carrying over from Dell Comics, that featured beautifully painted covers.
UFO Flying Saucers had a run of thirteen issues and ran from October, 1968 until January, 1977. Each issues had multiple stories, all based on actual UFO reports, usually having to do with alien contact. The stories were well drawn and right to the point. After the series ended, Gold Key started up a new title called UFO & Outer Space. This book ran from June, 1978 until February, 1980. This series ran for twelve issues and the first three issues were reprints of issues three, four and five of UFO Flying Saucers, with newly painted covers re-creating the original covers. In my opinion, these new covers were actually better as they were darker and more sinister.
At the same time that the Gold Key issues of UFO & Outer Space were on the newsstands, you could also buy all twelve issues in three-packed bags under the Whitman Comics name, both of which were owned by Western Publishing Company. They were the exact same issues, with the exact same covers, only available now in toy and department stores. The remaining nine issues in the series featured new stories.
I thoroughly enjoyed these comic books and still own some of them to this day. Unfortunately they do command collectors’ prices so buying them now would be cost-prohibitive. Hopefully, sometime soon, someone will reprint the entire collection into one book. Dark Horse and Valiant Comics have reprinted some of the old Gold Key titles so hopefully someday, my wish will come true. Until then, I have many great memories of reading about UFOs in the 1970’s.
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