T R A N S F O R M E R S  I N  N O R W A Y
BASIC HISTORY

Although the toys had been available in Norway since approximately the beginning of 1985, it would be close to two years before the comic book found its way here as well. While it's difficult to say precisely why, it seems a likely speculation that both the notion of publishing it on these shores and working out a distribution deal took a great deal of time to reach. The mere fact alone that the book went from publisher to publisher in the relatively short period of availability in Norway indicates that marketing it was anything but a straightforward task.

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Advertisement for the first issue, January 1987. (VG)

The first Norwegian issue was released in January 1987 following a relatively modest pre-advertisement in Norway's leading newspaper (for some reason featuring a slightly mistransformed Galvatron toy), VERDENS GANG (abbreviated VG). The comic was made available in most grocery stores, supermarkets, and of course bookstores specializing in comics, domestic as well as foreign. A total of 34 issues were outputted, the last one seeing the light of day in December of 1990. As in the States, the book was initially received with enthusiasm, but as each new year came and went, interest waned.

Ratchet

Ratchet, bravest of all. (ART: William Johnson)

THE TRANSFORMERS never managed to take the same kind of foothold in this country that properties like DONALD DUCK'S COMICS & STORIES, TOM & JERRY, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, X-9, and many others had. Again, the simple fact that the book had to be shifted between three different publishers in only three years is a clear indication that THE TRANSFORMERS was seen as more of an aberration than anything else in the Norwegian world of comics. Despite a staunch core of supporters, the book's diminishing popularity (and thus slumping sales) sealed its fate far sooner than should have been the case. Unfortunately, it was cancelled before all of the U.S. issues were translated into Norwegian, which means several story ends were never tied up, much to the chagrin of the book's loyal fans. The comic has been afforded a certain renaissance since the mid-1990s, but not officially. The only places you'll find the TRANSFORMERS series these days are various thrift stores and antique shops, and especially in downtown Oslo.

Mint copies aren't always easy to find (and to assemble a complete set may take some time if you're starting at zero), but in return, more often than not they can be had at a fairly reasonable price. The only problem is that you'll still be missing the end of the storyline, even with all the Norwegian issues in your collection. Of course, one can always dream about someone one day resolving to release the remainder of the original run -- as well as the TRANSFORMERS: GENERATION 2 series that was issued Stateside between 1993 and 1994 -- in Norway, but the fact that it's already been well over a decade since new issues have been available in Norwegian shops sadly indicates that THE TRANSFORMERS will never again find its way here.