Welcome to another edition of OFF THE RACK COMICS. This is not the first time that UFO comics have been covered here. In April of 2020 I covered the titles “UFO Flying Saucers” by Gold Key Comics and the Whitman reprints “UFO & Outer Space.” Thanks to one of my readers, I was made aware of another reprint of these comics called “UFO Encounters” and “UFO Mysteries.”
From what I can see, three volumes were released. The first is “UFO Encounters.” This featured 128 pages and cost a dollar. The second edition, “UFO Mysteries,” featured 96 pages and was also a dollar. Next came “UFO Encounters” with no issue number and featured 229 pages and cost $1.95. This edition reprinted the two other titles in one book.
These collections came out in 1978. They were the size of a standard comic book and featured a cover that was thicker than a regular comic book. These books featured painted covers that were featured in the original “UFO Flying Saucers” series. The 128 page “UFO Encounters” artwork is the same as was seen on “UFO Flying Saucers” number thirteen, from January of 1977. The “UFO Mysteries” cover artwork is the same as seen on “UFO Flying Saucers” number one, from October of 1968. I am not sure where the cover artwork came from for the standalone edition. It does look more like a science fiction title cover so may be from another series altogether.
The covers are beautifully painted, just as the original series had. As was the norm with these issues, artist credit was never given. This is a real shame as the artwork, both on the covers and in the stories themselves, are really good. I often wonder what happened to the original paintings used in the “UFO & Outer Space” covers. They were all beautifully rendered, drawing attention to the reader looking on the comic book rack.
You can still find these collections but be patient before purchasing. On eBay you will see that the selling prices range from reasonable to over a hundred dollars each. If you do not need a mint copy, the lesser-condition copies are worth the lower prices. You can also do Google searches on these titles and find other sellers as well.
I always loved these comics and this is a good way to get all of the stories that Gold Key Comics originally published from 1968 until 1977.
Make sure to check out my entire series of OFF THE RACK COMICS!