Countdown was a British comic published weekly by Polystyle Publications – ultimately, under several different titles – from 1971 to 1973. The pages in each issue were numbered in reverse order, with page 1 at the end – a gimmick which was derived from the comic's title in order to create a "countdown" to the number one every week. Initially it was a high-quality (but expensive) publication, featuring full-colour art on the cover and on many of the inside pages, and was printed on coated paper.
Under the title Countdown, the comic ran for 58 weeks, beginning with the issue cover-dated 20 February 1971. Countdown was unusual in carrying both weekly serials and complete stories, rotating the latter among the various TV programmes that it featured. In addition, it carried a totally original strip, "Countdown", drawn by John M. Burns and including spacecraft designs from the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Another remarkable feature of Countdown was the inclusion of non-fiction articles about current space exploration, mostly written by Arnold Kingston. These included a level of technical detail more typical of the technical trade journals aimed at adult professionals: for example, in a 1971 issue of Countdown, the fourth installment of a series on Unmanned satellites, entitled Space Lighthouses explained the Doppler effect and gave details of US and Soviet navigation satellite programmes.
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