Spanish Editions: Ediciones Vértice – Volúmen 1
As promised a couple of weeks ago, it's time to introduce most of you to the first exposure for Spaniards to Marvel comics. The time: 1969. The publisher: Ediciones Vértice. The format: Insane!
Ediciones Vértice had started publishing British comics for the Spanish market in 1964, including The Spider in 1967, which they confusingly decided to name Spiderman, possibly due to them not having the rights to Spider-Man yet. It would be renamed Spider in 1968, making way for the real Spider-Man (and the rest of Marvel's initial titles) series in 1969. If you are wondering, yes, it was really confusing to grow up in a home where there were 2 series called Spiderman (no hyphen) starring different characters.
In any case, by 1969, Vértice had had some success printing foreign comics in Spanish and had a specific format for comics. Black and white 100+ page digest-sized comics with painted covers was their business. In the specific case of Marvel comics, every single one of their comics had a painted cover unique to this edition, so they are all pretty much what we refer to as Euro-Variants these days.
I am going to be using a Spiderman example in this article, but there are literally hundreds of comics with new covers. Some of them good, some of them not so much, but here's one that impressed me so much when I was a kid that I will never be able to forget it:
Most of these covers were painted by López Espí, who has a website with tons more of his covers.
I will also be using this as an example of the differences in the format we had to endure, because there were changes made to the art (and to the script, but that was mostly due to localization and bad translations), huge changes. I mean, you would speak a 126 page volume to have 5-6 US comics inside, right? But that's not the way things were done back then. They managed to squeeze a full volume out of 2 US issues (sometimes they would include a backup).
How the — ? I hear you ask. The oldest trick in the book, they just made panels bigger by adding some art to it … I told you it was insane!
Within the pages of the book with the beautiful cover above you could find Amazing Spider-Man #57 and #58, so let's take a look at the first couple of pages to see how the whole thing looked.
The first page of ASM57 is a splash page, and so was it in the Spanish edition, no problem there:
Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed that the placement of the thought bubble has been moved and some of the art slightly retouched (Spider-Man's left leg is missing, the clouds have been redrawn, …), but nothing too serious compared to what's coming next.
Page 2 is where you can really see the extent of the damage, so join me after these images to take a deep look at what's going on, and remember that this was the house rule:
Insane, right? I know there are some other countries that did the same (Indian editions of Mandrake, for example), but at the same time, it allowed a couple of generations to discover the same comics twice: the Vertice edition and then the regular one.
That's it for now. Hope you liked the article! If you did, let me know and I will do more like this … If you didn't, don't worry, next week we will be back to the regular format of Foreign Delicacies!!!