"Comic Transfers — Collector's Album: NEW Series to Collect in a NEW Way".
A colossal collection of 252 syndicated newspaper comic strip transfers, from Semic Press in Sweden, 1971. Semic Press (now part of the Danish publishing giant Egmont) produced an album for collectors to rub down their transfers into; the transfers would have originally been sold in sealed packets of (probably) eight or ten transfers per packet.
King Features licensed their roster to Semic for European syndication, which is why so many of them are marked "Semic". The other characters are European; some of them Franco-Belgian, some of them Scandinavian or Dutch, & of course Andy Capp is British.
This album format, but adapted to use stickers instead of transfers, proved quite popular over the years, particularly for rival companies such as Panini.
The series was brought to my attention when Larry Purdy (eBay Seller thewonderyears) put them up for auction & they showed up in my searches. He still has some, if you're interested!
(STOP PRESS! Three more sold since this article went online yesterday!)
Needless to say, I bought one myself right away as a sample for scanning:
He thought this character might be Buffalo Bill, which I can confirm:
I bought these from a seller in Sweden some time ago. They were issued in packages like gum cards, but I don't have a sample package. I do have scans of many others.
The image above was edited & collated from Larry's scans. He didn't buy examples of all the different transfers (although see below). These are the titles shown here:
The average dimensions given of each transfer is 1⅝" x 2⅜", which yields several possible results for uncut Crown (15" x 20") sheets. There are two ways to get 72 transfers of this size on an uncut sheet: 9 transfers by 8 transfers (portrait on portrait), or 12 transfers by 6 transfers (portrait on landscape).
If there was no duplication, to fit 252 transfers would require three & a half uncut Crown sheets. However, often with packeted items there is a certain amount of duplication, in which case quite possibly this entails just four uncut sheets. If some transfers were intended to be rare, then that would require more than four sheets — which increases the size of the job significantly. It was very expensive, at the time, to prepare a sheet of transfers for printing; four sheets would be a significant expense, & more than four would be getting very expensive indeed…
Although Larry didn't have one of each, the seller he bought from did provide low-resolution scans of all the titles (apart from No.28, which was regrettably scanned bottom up!) by email. So I've been able to give you a very rough idea of the transfers missing from the above image:
We've managed to put a name to each of these second batch of comics, based on their low-res scans:
— Thanks, everyone, for helping to identify these!
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — Larry Purdy
© Tom Vinelott 2021