Archie Comics - UK Price Variants
Here is a summary of the Archie UK Price Variants (UKPVs) that I have found hiding between the cover dates of March 1960 to August 1960.
UK Price Variants were printed in the USA at the same time as their cents priced counterparts. They are part of the same first printing run and are not reprints. If you would like to know more about them, please click the picture below and you'll be magically transported to the Archie discussion thread in which we talk about them in more detail:
- Archie UK Price Variants have been found to exist between the cover dates of March 1960 to August 1960 inclusive. Across those cover dates, a total of 54 cents priced comics exist spanning 16 titles. At the time of writing, 25 of them have a matching single printed price UKPV confirmed spanning 11 of the 16 overall titles
- The first known Archie UKPV is, appropriately enough, Archie #108 priced at 9d. This book is not only the only known March 1960 cover dated Archie UKPV, but the earliest known UK Price Variant of any of the seven known pence producing US publishers (Archie, Charlton, DC, Dell, Gold Key, King, Marvel). It may be the only March dated Archie UKPV because it was the last to be printed according to the 'on-sale' / Library of Congress dates that can be found on Mike's Comic Newsstand website. Here are the March applicable issues, plotted by production date:
You can see how the instruction to produce a 9d book might have hit the printers some time after January the 18th. If this theory is correct, we may never see a UKPV for the other March dated books.
- The last known UKPV copies are Archie’s Pal Jughead #63 and Laugh #113, both cover dated August 1960 and also priced at 9d. I plotted the titles for the final months using their 'on sale' dates, and found no meaningful pattern. Consequently, the others August cover dated books may exist.
- Of the 16 titles in scope, the following 11 titles have one or more UK Price Variant confirmed:
- At the time of writing, no UK Price Variants have been found for the remaining 5 eligible titles:
I haven't found any UKPVs for giant 25c issues after four years of looking, so it's reasonable to assume that they were excluded from the UKPV experiment. The two remaining 10c titles, Jughead's Fantasy and Life With Archie, could have a UKPV hiding out there somewhere.
- All 25 issues have a printed cover price of 9d (nine pre-decimal English pence) in place of their US counterpart's 10c price:
- Only one pence copy may turn out to exist for the three ‘adventure’ titles of Adventures of Pipsqueak, Adventures of Super Duck and Adventures of The Fly, each of which currently have only one UKPV each confirmed. Adventures of The Fly #6 has surfaced multiple times as a pence priced copy but no pence copies have ever been seen to date for issues #5 and 7.
- It is not currently known who was responsible for distributing Archie Comics in the UK and copies have been found to exist with both ‘L Miller & Co’ and ‘Thorpe & Porter’ price stamps in evidence. My research here indicates that Thorpe & Porter were the more likely of the two
Happy hunting, if you decide to try and build a set!
By Stephen Cranch based on v1.9 of the ‘Archie Comics – UK Price Variant Summary’ (26.08.21)
Here are eleven 9d cover examples - one from each known title