Monday, September 26, 2016

This week in 1971: BUSTER AND JET merge

Concluding my look back at a few comics from this week in 1971, it's also 45 years since IPC's short-lived Jet comic merged into Buster. The first combined issue of Buster and Jet went on sale Saturday 25th September 1971 (the exact same day as the first merged issue of Valiant and TV21 shown in an earlier post here). 

Jet brought several strips to its new home; Von Hoffman's Invasion, The Kids of Stalag 41, The Sludgemouth Sloggers, Bonehead, Bertie Bumpkin, and Faceache. Here's a few of them...

Von Hoffman's Invasion was probably the best of Jet's rather weak adventure strips so it's easy to see why it proved popular enough to survive into Buster. Art by Eric Bradbury...




Bonehead was drawn by the ever-reliable Reg Parlett...
Faceache was of course by Ken Reid, and became the most enduring survivor of Jet's strips, lasting for many years in Buster...

A healthy number of Buster's strips also survived the merger, including the wonderful Clever Dick by Leo Baxendale, and Galaxus drawn by the Solano Lopez studio...




As Rebellion now own the rights to these strips it's hoped that some of them will eventually be collected into trade paperbacks. I'd personally like to see compilations of Clever Dick and Faceache but obviously it all depends on whether Rebellion think there's a big enough market for such books. It's a tough call, and while I'm sure a couple hundred people might buy them the company would need to know there's far more interest than that to make the books worthwhile. 

4 comments:

Manic Man said...

never understood the .. reader side of mergers.. bussines wise you take a failing comic, take some popular strips into another one to catch the few remining readers from that comic and bring it to the more successful comic in order to keep the readers from one to boost the readers of the other.. Or take two semi-okay comics which are not failing but getting close, combined them in order to create a better selling one..

but reader side.. "Great news, this two comics are joining forces!".. for the average reader that only reads the one of them.. doesn't mean too much, though it might mean your favourite strips are getting pushed out as the other comic 'invades'.. for people who buy both comic.. it means they have more money, I guess.. which surely means the company gets less.. anyway, but I can't fully understand why it's great news for the reader.. never seen them try to explain it very well either.. unless you read the surviving comic which then says 'your favourites are joined but great new strips', hoping that your favourites are in the popular surviving strips..

like with STC, when they started 1 reprint.. fair enough.. meant I was personally getting less out of the comic as instead of 4 new strips, I was only getting 3 but fair enough.. when they try to claim 1 new strip with 3 reprints was a good thing?... that made no sense as a reader.. and because of the 'adventure' side, it's not like they could pass the strips off as new to get the new fans who missed getting the old issues..

Peter Gray said...

Jet really added to Buster especially Faceache..

There are so many books they could do the complete Cliff Hanger...Mastermind..

Tom thug! :)

also some nice adventure stories..
Fishboy...Marney..Galaxus..
Lets hope they bring back the best of Buster or Big comic..

Lew Stringer said...

I really don't see the comics themselves returning, Peter. A few selected reprints perhaps in book form but not ongoing comics. They had their day.

Unknown said...

Loving these trips down memory lane Lew, all the better as I am just back from a 2 week holiday so I am in need of a wee "lift" now I am back to the 9-5 treadmill. 1971/2 was about the last year that I regularly picked up UK "traditional" comics and it seemed to be a time of change when my old favourites were merging more than was normal (or at least that was the impression I had) - Buster, Lion, Valiant were 3 UK comics I got most weeks until 1972 (and irregularly until around 73) Jet was never a comic I liked (unlike Thunder) and i was not surprised at the time that it didn't last, however as Peter says with Faceache (and Von Hoffman) it had at least 2 UK classics so it was a good plus for UKs comic scene.

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