The Incredible Adventures of Janus Stark is a perfect-bound 48-page magazine showcasing one of the forgotten heroes of the heyday of British comics – a rubber-boned Victorian escapologist capable of incredible feats of agility and able to squeeze through the smallest gaps!
It will be available exclusively from the Treasury of British Comics webshop from 27th November, with online pre-orders from 4th November. Early preview copies will be available from the 2000 AD stand at the Thought Bubble convention in Harrogate this weekend (Tables 10-12, Comixology Originals Hall).
This is first in a series of specials from Rebellion bringing classic British heroes out of the archive and back onto the page. It follows the company’s acquisition of the vast IPC back catalogue in 2017, creating the world’s biggest archive of English-language comics and encompassing more than a century of comic book publishing.
The Incredible Adventures of Janus Stark collection begins with his very first adventure in the pages of Smash from 1969. Written by Tom Tully and drawn by Francisco Solano López, the series ran in syndication until 1971 and was one of the few to survive Smash’s merger into Valiant in 1971.
Janus Stark is an escapologist in Victorian London who appears to be a simple music hall act, but who privately uses his extraordinary abilities to battle crime and injustice. With an unusually flexible bone structure, Stark is able him to get out of an astonishing variety of tight situations at will, all the while either dressed in a three-piece suit or with his shirt off – a unique, unusual, and quintessentially British character.
Born in 1840 as the orphan Jonas Clarke, he was sent to an orphanage where he was mistreated, but escaped and lived in the streets. There he befriended a beggar, Blind Largo, who taught him pickpocketing but also trained Clarke to use his unique gift. As an adult, Clarke became Janus Stark, escapologist and private detective!
Oliver Pickles, editor at Rebellion Publishing, said: “Janus Stark is such an interesting character, but perhaps more beloved abroad that at home, after all his adventures continued with original stories in his own comic in France which culminated with his death in 1990, and none of those tales have been translated back into English. But this is a chance to restore his profile as a mainstay of classic British comic characters in the start of this series of affordable collections of his adventures.”
The Incredible Adventures of Janus Stark 48-page perfect-bound magazine is out on 27th November and available to pre-order now from www.treasuryofbritishcomics.com.
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