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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Edmund Harmse tribute

Ed Harmse - freelance journalist and illustrator from Port Elizabeth. He collected comic books for many years and had an extensive collection and an excellent knowledge on the subject. He was a true inspiration for comics collectors like myself in South Africa. I corresponded with him for a number of years.
In 1990 he published a fanzine - "Comics News" - Official Journal of the Comic Book Swop Club of South Africa.
This is the first issue - which contained articles on The Flash and Catman.
Issue 2 had contributions from John Wright (also from Port Elizabeth) - John was a professional writer of detective fiction and had also done many plays for radio. He had a comics collection going back to the Golden Age.
This issue had articles on The Green Lama, Zebra/Mimosa/Atlas publications and Tippy Teen. 
I corresponded with him for a short while until his health faltered.

John Wright produced a fanzine called "The Komix" in the 1960s. Here are the covers of issues 1 & 2:

Further biographical information about John Wright:

Mystery File Interview

The Avengers Declassified Profile

Issue 3 had a contribution from Johan Roux (Advertising copywriter from Johannesburg) - he was a well known illustrator and comics fan. He had a full-length strip accepted for publication by Charlton Comics - Scary Tales 40 (September 1983). Johan illustrated an article for this issue titled "What happened to old weirdo?".
Other articles were: Spy Smasher (Ed Harmse), Captain Cross (John Wright), Black Canary (Jaqui Ryan).

Issue 4 was a Batman Special - I wrote the main article "Batman - 50 years on". Ed Harmse illustrated the cover (after Neal Adams natch) and did an article titled "The Universal Batman".
This is the cover:

Thanks Mahdi from Readers Den (Cape Town) for these scans of the covers of Ed's fanzine Comix Collector issues 5-10 from 1994-1995. Visit their website:
Readers Den Comic Shop


  1. I remember when I first started collecting comics as a kid and age 13/14 corresponding with Edmund and ordering comics from him. In those days its was all through letters via the post office and payment was sent via post in the form of postal orders. I have all the comics I bought from Edmund and in every order was a kind, friendly and appreciative hand written letter from Edmund thanking me for all the support. You don't find that kind of service anymore. He was a true inspiration to me and always a gentleman. His Nick Fury Agent of Shield no 4 is still my pride and joy of my collection. Regards Marc Pleass

  2. Yes - Ed was a great friend - I still have all the Batman comics I bought from him for my collection. I met him once in Port Elizabeth. Wish there were more collectors like Ed!