November 4, 2010
The most interesting thing about last week’s relaunch of “The Dandy” was that it DIDN’T have a free gift sellotaped to the front. Once upon a time a free gift was only found in the first three issues of new titles, or used sparingly in existing comics for special events or to boost flagging sales. Now the bottom shelves are full of plastic bags containing so many toys and novelties that the comics also included seem like the free gifts.
In November 1965 the free gift of a Guy Fawkes mask in “Buster” must have tempted me. I’ve preserved one of these cardboard masks somewhere pushed inside one of the many Annuals that still reside in my “library”. Of course, I couldn’t find it today so I hope the people at http://www.bustercomic.co.uk don’t mind me borrowing their picture. I’ve no idea if Guy Fawkes actually looked anything like that. I think I may have mentioned before (and perhaps I’m stating the obvious and it is common knowledge ??) that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this image wasn’t the inspiration for the early 1980s Lloyd/Moore “V for Vendetta” strip.
What I did find was this similar idea of a very odd cardboard Batman mask from around 1966. I don’t know if this came free in a comic or was just sold as-is. Actually, it is so odd that if it didn’t actually SAY Batman on the forehead no one would know what it was meant to be !!
August 16, 2009
Whilst browsing the Internet for nothing in particular I found this (slightly torn) copy of “Buster” comic from 1967. Besides containing such delights as “Galaxus”, “Charlie Peace” and “The Toys of Doom” it also contained an advert/competition for Anglo Ace bubblegum. At the time I sent off the appropriate number of wrappers and a slogan. A couple of months later I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d won one of these exclusive wristwatches. Its only now all these years later that I realise that 999 other people also won one. Ah well…so much for exclusivity. I’ll bet less than 1000 kids would take the trouble to enter!!!
When new it had the most scarily bright green glow I have ever seen on a watch. Luckily the “radioactive” paint has faded over time. I seem to have mislaid the bezel somewhere over the last 42 years but despite some wear and tear it still keeps ticking, much like its owner…..
May 27, 2008
From the mid 1960s onwards many UK comics produced Summer Specials. On sale for two or three months each year with a much longer shelf life than the weekly editions they were incredibly popular.
The character “Buster” began as the son of “Andy Capp” (who had a comic strip in The Daily Mirror newspaper) but he soon just became another identikit comic figurehead like “Korky the Cat” in “The Dandy”. I like this story in the 1969 ”Buster Holiday Fun Special” of “Galaxus” the alien trapped on earth.
The unique selling point of “Whizzer and Chips” was two comics for the price of one. “The Dandy” and “The Beano” Summer Specials were always the most popular but the concept of Summer Specials lived on until the 1990s.