The Catacombs The Merchandise Guide
Comics: Look-In
Compiled by Martin Willey


Look-In 1975-38

UK, 1975-1977

Look-In was a weekly children's comic, with the strapline "The Junior TVTimes" (TV Times was one of the two TV Guide/listings magazines). It ran from 1971 to 1994, initially edited by Alan Fennell (who wrote episodes for several Gerry Anderson television series, and had edited the 1960s Anderson comic TV 21). In 1975, Colin Shelborn took over as editor.

The comic strips were all written by Angus Allan (1936-2007), also a veteran of TV21 as were artists John M Burns (1938-2023) and Mike Noble (1930-2018). Allan also wrote the World Distributors annuals.

The covers were paintings, usually by Arnaldo Putzu (1927-2012). Nine issues featured Space: 1999 covers, exciting and dramatic apart from the odd pairing of Koenig with Lee Majors or 1970s pop-stars.

Angus P Allen
John M Burns
Mike Noble
Arnaldo Putzu (covers)
Leslie Branton (1 strip, 1978 Annual)

The content was a mixture of comic strips based on TV series, and articles with full-page poster photos of pop stars. There was also regular sports (normally football) pages, and for a time Gerry Anderson had a one-page column.

There were 3 adventure strips per issue, 2 in colour, 1 in black and white. Each strip was just 2 pages with stories lasting 6 to 8 issues. When Space: 1999 started, it displaced The Adventures of Black Beauty; the two other strips were Six Million Dollar Man (colour) and Tomorrow People (black and white). When Space: 1999 moved to black and white, Tomorrow People was promoted to colour. In the middle of 1976, Tomorrow People was replaced by The Bionic Woman.

There were 12 Space: 1999 stories in all. First issue was 1975 issue 38 (dated 13 September), and ran for 20 issues on p8 & 9 in full colour, art by John Burns. In 1976 issue 6 (dated 31 January) it moved back to pages 20 & 21, into black & white with a new artist, Mike Noble. John Burns returned to draw a short 3-issue story in 1976 issues 46, 47 & 48. Year Two stories began with 1976 issue 37. The last story ended in 1977 issue 13 (dated 26 March). Reportedly the last story was supposed to last seven issues but was curtailed to four when the strip was cancelled.

The first strip by John M Burns. See story summaries.

News pages gave addresses for fan clubs, which is how many UK fans, myself included, entered fandom. One Star Trek fan club, Omicorn, was mistakenly listed as a Space: 1999 fan club; the response was so large that the club decided to create a 1999 section in its newsletter. Space 1999 was featured in several competitions (one offered the winner a trip to the set of the series to meet the stars).

John Burns was superb in his use of colour and dramatic frames, producing some very atmospheric stories. Noble excelled in sleek technology and characters in dynamic poses, making the stories exciting and action packed. Character likenesses were fair, and sets and Eagles were well done, if sometimes rather stylised. The Year Two strips introduced Maya, Tony and the new jackets, but continued to use Main Mission. The stories were routine science fiction adventure, the two-page instalments ensuring fast paced thrills. Some stories made excellent use of the "1999" format and paid attention to character. In the fourth story, they find a planet that is an apparent paradise, where a recently deceased Alphan is brought back to life. But Koenig discovers the paradise is an illusion created by an entity who will kill them to enslave their souls: he manages to escape and warn the Exodus Eagles just before they land. Another story featured an Alphan who murders a colleague over a girl. To avoid justice, he kidnaps the girl and escapes in an Eagle. Koenig & Alan follow the murderer to a planet, where they fight the primitive natives. The murderer lets the others escape; he will take his chances on the planet.

1975 issue 44 (25 Oct). Art by Arnaldo Putzu. 1975 issue 50 (6 Dec). Art by Terry Frost. 1976 issue 13 (20 Mar). Art by Arnaldo Putzu. 1976 issue 37. Art by Arnaldo Putzu. 1976 issue 40 (25 Sept). Art by Ivan Rose. 1976 issue 46 (6 Nov). Art by Arnaldo Putzu. 1977 issue 4 (22 Jan). Art by Arnaldo Putzu. 1977 issue 10 (5 Mar). Art by Arnaldo Putzu.

The introductory article in 1975 issue 38 (dated 13 September). This was reprinted in Look-in : The Best of the Seventies (2007, Prion Books)

An article about Martin Landau from 1976 issue 40 (25 September)

Five of the stories were reprinted in the 1978 Portuguese comic TV Junior. Other stories were featured in the South African magazine in Afrikaans "Radio & TV Dagboek". In Malaysia in the late 1970s, a set of playing cards featured some art from story 4, redrawn and coloured.

Several issues featured other 1999 content:

1975 issue 38 (13 Sept, first issue): A 2 page introductory article, with a magnificent cover painting by Arnaldo Putzu.
1975 issue 39 (20 Sept): a competition to win 100 prizes of Dinky Eagles.
1975 issue 44 (25 Oct): another cover painting (by Arnaldo Putzu) featuring Koenig with Sean Connery as James Bond.
1975 issue 47 (5 Nov): a competition for the Omnia board game based on 5 simple questions.
1975 issue 50 (6 Dec): Koenig shared the cover painting (by Terry Frost) with Lee Majors.
1976 issue 6 (31 Jan): spot the difference competition for the first 6 Orbit books.
1976 issue 13 (20 Mar): cover painting (by Arnaldo Putzu) of Koenig with pop group The Glitter Band.
1976 issue 37 (4 Sept): cover painting (by Arnaldo Putzu)
1976 issue 40 (25 Sept): cover painting (by Ivan Rose) of Koenig with Lee Majors; full page colour photo of Koenig.
1976 issue 46 (6 Nov): cover painting (by Arnaldo Putzu) with pop group Mud
1976 issue 51 (11 Dec): full page colour photo of Maya
1977 issue 2 (8 Jan): full page colour photo of Alan; "Worlds Of Gerry Anderson" begins
1977 issue 3 (15 Jan): full page colour photo of Tony
1977 issue 4 (22 Jan): cover painting (by Arnaldo Putzu)
1977 issue 10 (5 Mar): cover painting (by Arnaldo Putzu) with Abba

Gerry Anderson's column, The Worlds of Gerry Anderson started in 1977 issue 2 (8 January). Anderson would answer 2 or 3 readers questions in half a page; the lower half of the page was a semi educational "Starcruiser" strip.

Questions were sent to Anderson at Pinewood Studios (if they enclosed an SAE, a newsletter, Dinky Toys catalogue & Starcrusier badge were sent back). In 1977 issue 6 a design-a-space-city competition was announced, the results appearing in issues 16 & 18, & a report of the winner visiting the Blackpool exhibition with Anderson was printed in issue 37. In 1978 issue 4, a design-a-spaceship competition was announced, the results appearing in issue 15 (8 April), which was to be the last "Worlds of Gerry Anderson" column. The half page Starcruiser strip continued until 1979 issue 23 (2 June).

Copyright Martin Willey