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Countdown comic, Issues 1 & 2

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Nov 5th, 2019. Artwork published in .
    Countdown comic, Issues 1 & 2 1
    Source: https://www.the-saleroom.com Aston’s Auctioneers & Valuers. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Countdown was a British sci-fi comic published weekly under various titles from 1971 to 1973. In addition to comic strips based on various TV programs, such as Doctor Who and UFO, Countdown featured its own self-titled strip including spacecraft designs from the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    The comic’s type styles are clearly derived from 2001 (e.g., Microgramma) and other space-based entertainment of the day, and the Countdown logo appears to be lettering based on the 1965 typeface of the same name! Countdown is also used frequently in the interior of the comic, including the title of the recurring feature “Do Flying Saucers Exist?”.

    It was easy to see that someone with a creative eye was in charge of Countdown. It looked very modern and stylish. … it also had its own unique gimmicks, such as the page numbering which ran backwards! Living up to its name, the pages began at 24 and counted down to the back page being 1. Don’t worry; the stories themselves were not printed in reverse order. — Lew Stringer

    See more of issues 1 and 2 below, and many more issues at Saved From The Paper Drive.

    “The free gift in issue one was a fantastic ‘Giant Spacefact Wallchart’ with the first set of stickers to adorn the edges of the chart. (Other stickers would be given free in following issues, thus hooking the reader into continuing with the comic.)” — Lew Stringer
    Source: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com Image: Lew Stringer. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “The free gift in issue one was a fantastic ‘Giant Spacefact Wallchart’ with the first set of stickers to adorn the edges of the chart. (Other stickers would be given free in following issues, thus hooking the reader into continuing with the comic.)” — Lew Stringer

    “The free gift in issue one was a fantastic ‘Giant Spacefact Wallchart’ with the first set of stickers to adorn the edges of the chart. (Other stickers would be given free in following issues, thus hooking the reader into continuing with the comic.)” — Lew Stringer
    Source: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com Image: Lew Stringer. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The editor, Dennis Hooper, greets readers by touting Countdown’s photogravure printing process, common at the time for fashion magazines, but certainly not comic books.

    “The free gift in issue one was a fantastic ‘Giant Spacefact Wallchart’ with the first set of stickers to adorn the edges of the chart. (Other stickers would be given free in following issues, thus hooking the reader into continuing with the comic.)” — Lew Stringer
    Source: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com Image: Lew Stringer. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The Dr. Who title is set in Amelia. Speech balloon text uses Gill Sans in light roman and italic caps.

    Countdown comic, Issues 1 & 2 5
    Source: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com Image: Lew Stringer. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Countdown comic, Issues 1 & 2 6
    Source: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com Image: Lew Stringer. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Countdown comic, Issues 1 & 2 7
    Source: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com Image: Lew Stringer. License: All Rights Reserved.
    “The free gift in issue one was a fantastic ‘Giant Spacefact Wallchart’ with the first set of stickers to adorn the edges of the chart. (Other stickers would be given free in following issues, thus hooking the reader into continuing with the comic.)” — Lew Stringer
    License: All Rights Reserved.

    Countdown No. 2.

    “The free gift in issue one was a fantastic ‘Giant Spacefact Wallchart’ with the first set of stickers to adorn the edges of the chart. (Other stickers would be given free in following issues, thus hooking the reader into continuing with the comic.)” — Lew Stringer
    Source: http://savedfromthepaperdrive.blogspot.com Image: Saved from the Paper Drive. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Countdown continued to feature Countdown in subsequent issues.

    “The free gift in issue one was a fantastic ‘Giant Spacefact Wallchart’ with the first set of stickers to adorn the edges of the chart. (Other stickers would be given free in following issues, thus hooking the reader into continuing with the comic.)” — Lew Stringer
    Source: http://savedfromthepaperdrive.blogspot.com Image: Saved from the Paper Drive. License: All Rights Reserved.

    What is more futuristic than Countdown? Don’t miss the description of the autonomous cars of the future guided by computers and subsurface cables.

    Typefaces

    • Countdown
    • Microgramma
    • Amelia
    • Univers
    • Compacta
    • Placard
    • Monotype Grotesque
    • Grotesque No. 9
    • Condensed & Elongated Sans Serifs
    • Futura
    • Gill Sans
    • Times New Roman

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    4 Comments on “Countdown comic, Issues 1 & 2”

    1. Jake says:
      Nov 6th, 2019  6:16 am

      I see more fonts on the cover of Issue 2: There’s something that’s either Futura or (my guess) Twentieth Century; there are multiple Stephenson Blake grotesques, as befitting a British publication of the time period (No. 9 and Condensed No.7, perhaps); and a bit of what looks like Placard.

    2. Nov 6th, 2019  6:42 am

      Right you are! Added.

    3. Jake says:
      Nov 6th, 2019  10:02 pm

      Trying to figure out what they’re using for the article text. It looks like Akzidenz Grotesk regular and bold, but I can’t be sure at this size.

    4. Nov 7th, 2019  8:48 am

      The text typeface, at least the one seen in the second to last image, is Monotype Grotesque – the G is a good indicator. Image #5 has text in Times New Roman. There’s also Gill Sans, for the speech balloons in image #4 and elsewhere. In sum, an omnium-gatherum that is pretty typical for a British magazine from this period. I’m sure one could find even more typefaces in the images. We tend to credit only those that are clearly visible, though.

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