Step into any newsagent these days and you won’t see many comics on sale; some shops don’t sell any. If you visit WH Smith or any of the other larger stores, you’ll find a comics section, but it’ll be filled with TV and toy tie-ins and reprints of American fare. The only regularly-published, whole-cloth British comics to have survived are The Beano, 2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine, The Phoenix, Commando (that little square war comic – yes, it’s still around), and VIZ.
Until the 1980s, those same newsagent shelves were filled with 30 or 40 different comics every week; Whizzer & Chips, Buster, Monster Fun, Mandy, Whoopee, Battle, and Roy of the Rovers jostled with TV Comic, The Beano, Sparky, Topper, Bunty, Beezer, Hotspur, Warlord, and The Dandy. Then there were the US reprints: Mighty World of Marvel, Spider-Man Comics Weekly, Planet of the Apes, The Titans, Dracula Lives, The Avengers and many more. There were nursery titles and, if you were lucky, a squeaky swivel-rack at the back of the shop rammed with out-of-date American comics. And that’s just a snapshot of the mid-70s. Continue reading “Comics Are Dead. Long Live Comics!”