Extended Preview: ‘The Trigan Empire Volume 3’ – More Incredible Work As The Reprints Continue

by Richard Bruton

Well, Olly previewed this a little way back in May, but with the release date of 20th July creeping up on us, I figured it was time to show you a little bit more from Trigan Empire Volume 3, possibly one of the most beloved of Brit comics…

The third volume of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire is out on July 20 – a spectacular example of all that beautiful Don Lawrence artwork, one of the true greats of Brit comics.

You’re going to have to be quick to jump on the limited to 400 copies hardback with its exclusive Chris Weston cover, but there’s also the softback edition. And no matter which edition you pick up, you’re in for a fabulous read.

“This is the epic story of the Trigan Empire’s rise and fall, and of how Trigo, often alone, had to fend off usurpers and monstrous threats to save his people. The lush painted comic art that Don Lawrence produced in this period would solidify him as one of the greatest comic book artists of all time.”

The importance of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire just can’t be underplayed, a true sci-fi epic, brilliant space opera, it was also one of the few comics through the 60s and 70s that had that aura of respectability, thanks to its inclusion in Look and Learn, a respectable kids magazine – or as Neil Gaiman put it, “two comic pages a week… which even schools who banned comics allowed.”

The Trigan Empire – The Wish Fulfiller – art by Don Lawrence

The scale of Mike Butterworth and Don Lawrence‘s Trigan Empire is huge, telling a near-mythological story of the planet Elekton and the events of centuries gone by, where the Trigan Empire rose and fell. Butterworth and Lawrence mixed ancient mythology and ancient cultures with beautifully futuristic sci-fi elements. It was a place where soldiers in Greek or Roman influenced dress would fly in those retro-futurist aircraft, a heady blend of the ancient and futuristic, images that burned into the minds of children and adults alike, all of it brought to life thanks to the exquisite painted artwork of Don Lawrence, a giant of illustration and comics art.

But more than that, it was a true saga, charting the regular upheavals in the Trigan Empire. Certainly, Butterworth and Lawrence knew that they had to entertain and excite their readers and there’s no shortage of action within. But the real depth of Trigan Empire comes with the political aspects of the saga, with Butterworth and Lawrence chronicling the many different factions on Elekton, giving us war and peace, uprisings, machiavellian plots, scientific discoveries, even going into the socio-economic view of the world at times. There really is so much to the Trigan Empire, all lavishly and beautifully laid out on the page.

The Trigan Empire – The Duplicator – art by Don Lawrence

Over the years, there have been several attempts to reprint the Trigan Empire, but none of them were complete. Thankfully, were now getting the chance to read and view the Trigan Empire in all its glory, in full, thanks to the Treasury of British Comics.

Case in point, although the main attraction of the Trigan Empire has always been for the lush painted pages of Don Lawrence, there were several other artists involved over the years, with this third volume including, for the first time in any reprint collection, Miguel Quesada’s art on Doran the Hypnotist.

The Trigan Empire – Doran The Hypnotist – art by Miguel Quesada

Congratulations to the Treasury of British Comics for continuing to put out these gorgeous collections of something that definitely marks one of the many high points of British comics over the last century. If you’re already a fan, whether young or old, this is proving to be the definitive collection, complete and in order, restored to it’s original glory. If you’re completely new to the wonderful world of the Trigan Empire… well, we envy you for the brilliance you’re about to discover!

The Rise and Fall of the Trogan Empire, written by Mike Butterworth, art from Don Lawrence, Miguel Quesada.

Published by the Treasury of British Comics on 20th July.

Originally serialised in Look and Learn 462 (21 November 1970) – 578 (10 February 1973)

Now, an extended preview of what delights lie in wait for you, including some of the never before collected pages…

The Trigan Empire – The Menace From The Deep – by Mike Butterworth and Don Lawrence

The Trigan Empire – Doran The Hypnotist – by Mike Butterworth and Miguel Quesada


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