Wednesday, December 24, 2014

More on Pendulum Press--the 1972 CI reprints

As reported by William B. Jones, Jr. in his excellent Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, the Pendulum Press "Now Age Books" series originated in 1972 as reprints of original Classics Illustrated and Classics Illustrated Junior titles.  When these failed to sell well, Pendulum decided to go with new adaptations and new art the following year.  I had never encountered a one of the CI reprints, either on line or off, until yesterday, when the Now Age Books reissue of CI's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea showed up on eBay. (It's on its way to my address as we speak.  Paid too much for it, and I'd do it again.)  I proceeded to locate two other Now Age/CI cover scans in cyberspace.  Behold:

Now I know these things exist.  Frankly, I was beginning to think Jones may be in error.  After all, even a survey as skillfully researched and organized as his CI history is bound to contain a few errors, given its sheer scope.  But, as it turns out, Jones' 1972 Pendulum data is spot on, to the delight of this CI fan.  The 1972 CI reprints really did happen, and I'm going to have one in my humble collection.  CI Santa is looking out for this collector....



  1. Can be this right?

    I've read quite a lot about Pendulum Press in the last 2 years. They were headed up by Vincent Fago (who filled in as editor for Marvel when their regular ratbag was in the Army).

    As far as I know, a few of their early book started out as reprints-- not from Gilberton's CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED, but rather from school newspapers, like "WEEKLY READER".

    As for the new material, every single book they did was illustrated by artists from the Phillipines. Can you say... "OUT-SOURCING" ???

    The current license holder of the Pendulum stories is Saddleback Publishing. Pendulum attempted to reprint their entire line around 1990 with COLOR added, and new painted covers... but only got about 6 books in before the whole project fell apart. Saddleback finally accomplished it around 15 years later. But it makes me wonder, were their painted covers new, or had they been sitting around unpublished since 1990?

    Also, find it annoying that they include NO information or hint as to where or when the books were originally published, and NO credits as far as who did the adaptations or artwork. They may be doing literacy a favor, but they're setting the comics biz back by decades.

    I managed to find their POE book posted online... and so, re-posted it as part of my massive POE project. The hardest thing to find was that damned original Pendulum cover. You would not believe how much work I put in Photoshop to get it to lok as good as it does on my blog.

  2. Yes, I've noticed the lack of credits in the Saddleback editions. I'm pretty sure I have the Poe cover, but I'm not sure in what condition. I may be able to get you a better scan.

    And, yes, Pendulum reprinted 10 (or was it 12?) CI titles before switching to outsourced artwork. I keep hoping to run into the Now Age CI "The Time Machine" reissue, but the things refuse to show up.

    Pendulum also did the obscure "Contemporary Motivators" series, featuring art by Charles Nicholas. In this blog, I scanned much of Nicholas' "Star Wars" and "Lost Horizon" art from that virtually unknown series.