Monday, 30 June 2014

Mini Adventure Comics #1 - The Dungeons of Doom

Welp, it turned out I had a little more time in-between chores for a bit more scanning, so here's the first of the eight Mini Adventure Comics.

You can find the file for the first issue here, or in the column to the right.

Preceding the Legendmaker series by up to a year, Mini Adventure Comics were released two at a time, and were available to newsagents in till-side display boxes, much like the packs of trading cards and bubblegum-cards with which they shared their size, and were meant to be a similar impulse purchase at the cash register.

They're only A6 in size... I imagine they're made up of four folded and cut sheets of A4 or something like that. They're fun and innovative for their size and price. 

As a comparison, it looks like The Beano (weekly) was also 35p at this point.

The last two issues (#7 and #8) were getting more ambitious, and added extra pages for the same price. Not coincidentally, those were the issues that advertised the upcoming release of Legendmaker #1, as the concept outgrew the format.

Issue #1: The Dungeons of Doom: The Master's First Challenge is a typical dungeon crawl. Goblins, golems and giant spiders, invisibility rings, wizards, spells, Arthurian knights and cryptic riddles... it really packs the storytelling in.

It's also the first of a trilogy within the series, which breaks down as follows:
#1, #5, #8 - The Master's dungeon crawl Challenges
#2, #6 - SF space marines with Galactic Command
#3 - Seafaring intrigue with pirates
#4, #7 - Pulp adventure with a historical twist, with Mississippi Smith

The standalone #3 was the weakest, for my personal tastes, but I always thought it a shame there wasn't more Mississippi Smith.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand! If you play strictly by the text as printed, you'll never get to meet this chap. A typo in Panel 20 directs you to 10 instead of 11, so there's a whole skeleton guard scene that you'll never see unless you cheat.

Unlike the meta-gag in #6, I think this is an honest mistake (like the 'Go to' command in Legendmaker #4 that was printed black type on black background - I've switched that to white for the .cbr edition), so I've made the archive edition fully-functional...

As I mentioned in the post on Legendmaker, the Mini Adventure Comics must have had an exceptionally small distribution. It was only because I was on holiday in Cheltenham (and the Lake District, later? Fuzzy memory) that I stumbled across them in my newsagents. Legendmaker had nationwide WH Smith distribution, by comparison. It was only thanks to mail order that I was able to complete the set.

Hopefully now a few more people will be able to discover, or rediscover, these little gems. 

I think the only way you'd be able to bring them back into print would be as a limited-edition box set - or perhaps as a single book volume, with each issue tabbed out in some form at the page edge?

Or Michael C. Watson, if you're out there... how about a Kickstarter commemorative edition collecting the lot? :D


  1. Hi. None of the Sendspace links seem to work. Can you please post the file again? Thanks.

  2. ^ What Zarbot said; the links don't (sadly) work.

    I'm incredibly jealous that you have the complete collection of the MACs. I only have issue #4 now (ironically, the only one I didn't have when I was growing up!).

    Just seeing the cover of #1 takes me back years, though — so thanks for that :)

  3. I am so glad I came across your blog! I loved these growing up, and I owned more than half of them growing up. I miss them and I wish to introduce these wonderful books to my students, I teach grade 3. Can you please re upload or fix the links?

  4. I *ADORED* these as a kid. I had the whole set of both Mini Adventure Comics and Legendmaker, but Legendmaker was my favourite. Still think about it from time to time. This and The Ancestral Trail. Wish I could own full sets of both.

  5. Hi Andrew,

    Is there any chance you could reupload the .cbr files please.
    I'd love to read the Mini Adventure and Legenmaker comics again.
    Thank you!

  6. I have one called labyrinth of legend the third challenge it says its issue 8

    Il post it on here when I have time ☺ can you fix the links also dude I would like to download the others aha

  7. The downloads have broken! Omg I was so excited when I found this blog. Can you fix the download links please :-)

  8. Apologies, I check this blog so irregularly! I've changed the links to Dropbox links, which should make them more accessible.

  9. My God! I cannot believe I found this! I'd lost the third issue in the series WAY back when I was a kid, and now after all these years I can read it again! This really means a lot to me. Thank you so much!

  10. So, it's taken six years (!), but all of the issues are now scanned and available as .cbr files in the column at the right. I hope they stir up some happy childhood memories...

    If there's interest, I'm happy to upload the high-res tiff files in case anyone fancies making a more interactive version of these - the only drawback of the .cbr format is it's difficult (though not impossible) to skip around as you would in print.

  11. Thanks for these! I had the first in a pile of my old childrens books and my 4 y/o is obsessed!

  12. Thank you so much! I got this specific one when I was a kid in a lucky bag. My dad used to play with me because my reading wasn't great back then. We both loved it. Unfortunately, it gradually fell apart because the binding wasn't great. Just the other day my dad mentioned this book to me. I just decided to google last night to see if I could find it and low and behold. Here it is!