When "War Picture Library" was launched in 1958, it quickly became apparent that many of the most popular stories with the readers featured the adventures of the warriors of the air, pilots who soared and swooped through the sky, cannons and machine guns blazing. The flyers were seen as the glamour boys of the Second World War, handling the most sophisticated and technically advanced combat machines ever invented and there was almost limitless scope to develop stories based around their exploits. The machines that they flew - fighters such as Spitfires, Hurricanes, Messerschmitts, Mustangs and Zeros were lovingly recreated by the finest artists, in the brand new "Air Ace Picture Library" in 1960. Those images are reproduced here 25 per cent larger than in their original published form, pulling you into close formation in the thick of the action. The six stories in "Aces High" take you from the flak-blasted night sky over Germany to the sweltering heat of the tropics, twisting and turning like a Typhoon with a Focke Wolf in its sights.
Steve Holland is the author of over 1,000 articles and a dozen books relating to comics and pulp culture, including The Trials of Hank Janson, nominated for the Silver Dagger Award by the Crime Writers' Association. His latest book, The War Libraries Index charts the extraordinary history of Fleetway's war picture libraries.