Rusty Staples was launched only about eight months ago as the fly crows, but already it’s in the top 100% of the most popular comic blogs ever! Amazing, I know, but there you go: you wonderful people know awesomeness when you see it!
Now, to welcome in the year 2019, I’d like to take you on a trip down Nostalgia Boulevard and revisit the blog’s ten most popular articles in reverse order of popularity. Note that older posts have had more time to be viewed so the lack of newer posts in the top-ten doesn’t necessarily mean that my quality-control is slipping…
If you’re ready, simply take my hand and off we go, a bit like the ghosts guiding Scrooge through his past in Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carroll…
10. Journey Planet #39: Judge Dredd
Journey Planet is an ongoing award-winning fanzine created by James Bacon and Chris Garcia. Each issue focusses on a different topic, and often they draft in guest editors to help out. I’ve been involved in a few issues — often providing articles or graphics — but this one was my masterwork: an entire issue dedicated to 2000AD‘s flagship character Judge Dredd. 99 pages of articles, interviews, comment, criticism, and even a couple of comic strips, and it’s all absolutely, totally and utterly free!
9. Stan Lee, 1922 – 2018
The great Stan Lee was one of my heroes. He was the first comic-book creator whose name I knew — and was possibly the first writer whose name I knew. My post marking Stan’s recent passing is very brief — not because I didn’t have much to say, but because I had too much to say.
8. Pocket-Money Comics: Jet
Jet was a short-lived mostly-action comic from the IPC stable that lasted a mere twenty-two issues before it was absorbed into Buster. It’s mostly forgotten now, but at least one of its many strips made a permanent and very welcome impression on the UK comics landscape…
7. Pocket-Money Comics: Captain America
I cut my comics teeth on the British Marvel reprints in the early 1970s: they seemed exciting and fresh and even exotic compared to the closer-to-home titles, but by the 1980s things had changed. Thought the source material was as strong as ever, it felt like the comics themselves had lost some of their former punch.
6. Bea: The Rarest Marvel UK Comic?
On the same theme as #7… Bea was a rare attempt by Marvel to capture the lucrative though elusive girls’ comic market. This is one I didn’t even know existed until a couple of years ago. (By the way, the answer to the post’s title is “No.” Bea is definitely not the rarest Marvel UK comic!)
5. Eaglution of British Comics, part 3 — My Guy
For the third of my Family Trees it was time to look at one of the most neglected areas of the British comics scene: girls’ comics. In the process of creating this one, I had to put out a call for help regarding My Guy magazine… If a publication doesn’t make a big splash about merging with another, then often its demise is slow and painful, and carefully hidden away like a shameful secret.
4. DC Thomson Comics Timeline
The first three Family Trees focussed on IPC/Fleetway/Amalgamated Press publications, so I wanted to turn to their famous rivals DC Thomson. Trouble was, their comics family trees tended to be a lot smaller. So instead I took a whole new approach and combined the tree idea with a time-line and included every DCT title I could find. This was the first of such features in which I provided the details of every title — something I should have done for the others, and plan to do in the future. (Also: by this stage the “Eaglution” pun was starting to wear very thin indeed.)
3. Eaglution of British Comics, part 2 — Buster
For almost four decades Buster was a tentpole of British humour comics, the closest IPC had to DC Thomson’s classic Beano and Dandy titles. It was also a particularly voracious comic when it came to mergers: as far as I can tell, it is the undisputed champion in that regard.
2. The British Comics Top-10 Longevity Chart!
Full confession time: I’ve tweaked this list a little. See, the old Top-11 chart actually has slightly more views than the Top-10 (because it’s been around longer), but I don’t want to keep directing people to it because it’s now out of date (ever since last October when 2000AD surpassed War Picture Library).
1. Eaglution of British Comics, part 1 — Eagle
Where it all began… and where I possibly should have stopped, because these things are a huge amount of work. This one wins the popularity charts thanks in no small part to John Freeman of Down the Tubes and Richard Sheaf of Boys Adventure Comics who gave it a lot of coverage on their excellent and always essential blogs. Thanks, guys!
Thank you all for your support throughout 2018, “Rusty Staples” readers! I wish you joy, happiness and success in 2019 and beyond!