Through the late 1950s and early 1960s Cecil Harmsworth King, chairman of the "Mirror Group" of newspapers, oversaw the buying up of several of Britain's magazine publishers, including Amalgamated Press Ltd in 1959, which he renamed Fleetway Publications after their London headquarters, Fleetway House, and Odhams Press in 1961.
In 1963 he created a parent company, International Publishing Corporation, or IPC, under which each company continued to operate semi-autonomously until 1968, when a management change saw IPC fully absorb the subsidiaries.
In 1987 (after several management changes), IPC's comics rights for titles and characters created after January 1970 (such as 2000 AD plus 26 specified characters from Buster - which predated 1970 but was still being published in 1987 with said characters actively appearing), were transferred to Fleetway, which was then sold to Pergamon Holdings, who in turn sold Fleetway on in 1991 to Egmont UK. Under Egmont's aegis, Fleetway sold 2000 AD and its associated titles in June 2000 to computer gaming company Rebellion.
IPC meanwhile sold the rights to Dan Dare separately to the Dan Dare Corporation, and retained the rights of characters whose creation predated 1970 (minus the ones from Buster).
In 1997 IPC was bought out by venture capital group Cinven, who sold the company on in 2001 to Time Warner. Though IPC is today mostly a magazine publisher, through fellow Time Warner company DC Comics and its subsidiary Wildstorm, a number of IPC characters were revived from 2006 on, initially via Albion, and then in Thunderbolt Jaxon and Battler Britton.
Reprint volumes were issued collecting the stories of some of the characters featured in Albion - a general volume Albion Origins, plus solo volumes for the Spider (titled King of Crooks to avoid trademark issues with the Pulp era Spider) and Steel Claw.
Log in to comment