Hatch, Match & Dispatch – September 2020

Welcome to the twelfth monthly Hatch, Match & Dispatch feature here on Rusty Staples! It’s a hefty one this time, chums, and took me a rather long time to compile (I’d like to thank the decision-makers at WordPress for forcing me to use their new editor and thus making the process even longer).

Standard disclaimer: unless I decide otherwise, these are only the “big” anniversaries (25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60, 70, 75, 80, 90 & 100+ years); dates are cover-dates where known; monthly comics with no confirmed day of launch default to the start of the month; and this list is accurate only to the best of my knowledge, so do please let me know of any important errors or omissions! (See also Oct 2019, Nov 2019, Dec 2019, Jan 2020, Feb 2020, Mar 2020, Apr 2020, May 2020, Jun 2020, Jul 2020 and Aug 2020.)

Also: see the end of this post for some Great News for All Readers!


classic2000ad

25 years ago:
September – Classic 2000AD launched.
Publisher: Egmont
From: Sep 1995
To: Jan 1997
Duration: 1 year, 4 months
Issues: 15
Relaunch of: The Best of 2000AD Monthly.

As mentioned in last month’s HM&D (and in the recent Pocket-Money Comics post), both of Egmont’s 2000AD-related reprint titles (The Best of 2000AD Monthly and The Complete Judge Dredd) were relaunched in mid-1995 in the shadow of the Judge Dredd movie. And, sadly, neither lasted very long.

casper1995

13 September – Casper (1995) launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 13 Sep 1995
To: 19 Jun 1996
Duration: 9 months
Issues: 11

Published every four weeks. Follows a Casper movie special published in Aug 1995. This was the second regular British Casper comic following the Thorpe & Porter title that ran for twenty-four issues from 1973 to 1974. A third regular publication — from Marvel / Panini — ran for four issues from October to December 1997.

starlovestories

30 years ago:
September – Star Love Stories final issue.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: Apr 1965
To: Sep 1990
Duration: 25 years, 5 months
Issues: 1120
Relaunch of: Golden Heart Love Stories

Dates and issue-count unverified: issues were undated. Relaunched from Golden Heart Love Stories with contiguous issue numbers; the first issue was #98. Love and Life Library merged with issue #99, Blue Rosette Romances with issue #100, Silver Moon Romances with issue #101 — all within the same month. Until around 1970, the logos for the merged title were featured on a four-week cycle. Renamed Star Love Stories in Pictures from #620 (1976). If this sounds confusing, check out the DC Thomson Timeline for a visual representation of the mergers.

bogieman

September – The Bogie Man final issue.
Publisher: Fat Man Press
From: Sep 1989
To: Sep 1990
Duration: 1 year
Issues: 4

The classic tale of a Glaswegian man obsessed with Humphrey Bogart… brilliant stuff from 2000AD stalwarts John Wagner, Alan Grant and Robin Smith.

willyfog

30 years ago:
12 September – Around the World with Willy Fog final issue.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 04 Jul 1990
To: 12 Sep 1990
Duration: 2 months
Issues: 6

A fortnightly comic based on a cartoon version of Around the World in Eighty Days. This one possibly ran for more than six issues, but I’ve not yet been able to confirm that.

topper

15 September – The Topper final issue.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 07 Feb 1953
To: 15 Sep 1990
Duration: 37 years, 7 months
Issues: 1963
Relaunched as The Beezer and Topper.

beezer

15 September – The Beezer final issue.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 21 Jan 1956
To: 15 Sep 1990
Duration: 34 years, 8 months
Issues: 1809
Relaunched as The Beezer and Topper.

22 September – The Beezer and Topper launched.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 22 Sep 1990
To: 21 Aug 1993
Duration: 2 years, 11 months
Issues: 153
Relaunch of: The Beezer and The Topper.

Two classic DC Thomson comics given a new lease of life as a composite title… The Beezer and Topper is presented as a brand-new comic, rather than just the usual case of one absorbing the other and eventually all traces of the absorbee disappear. The following year, the publisher did the same thing with Mandy and Judy, and in that case the composite title — Mandy & Judy, later retitled M&J — lasted for six years, twice as long as The Beezer and Topper.

mylittlepony

35 years ago:
05 September – My Little Pony launched.
Publisher: London Editions
From: 05 Sep 1985
To: 1993
Duration: 7 years, 9 months
Issues: 223

This one was mostly fortnightly throughout its run, though it appears to have at times switched to a weekly schedule.

12 September – Enid Blyton’s Adventure Magazine launched.
Publisher: London Editions
From: 12 Sep 1985
To: Jan 1987
Duration: 1 year, 4 months
Issues: 16

A monthly title about which information is hard to pin down. The issue-count and end date are estimated.. some sources say there were sixteen issues, some say seventeen.
Update: Richard Sheaf (of the indispensable and informative Boys’ Adventure Comics blog) writes: “there were 16 numbered issues and an un-numbered pilot issue [which is basically issue 1 but with a different border] so that’s the discrepancy between 16/17 issues.”

nutty

14 September – Nutty final issue.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 14 Feb 1980
To: 14 Sep 1985
Duration: 5 years, 7 months
Issues: 292
Absorbed into: The Dandy.

As mentioned back in the February 2020 edition of HM&D, this was a very silly comic, but great fun!

dcsuperheroes

40 years ago:
September – The Super Heroes Monthly launched.
Publisher: London Editions
From: 01 Sep 1980
To: 01 Apr 1982
Duration: 1 year, 7 months
Issues: 19

A monthly DC Comics reprint title that tried to compete with Marvel UK, but sadly was eight years too late. Collectors should be aware that the issue numbers were reset to #1 for the comic’s second year, creating volume #2.

teamup1

11 September – Marvel Team-Up launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 11 Sep 1980
To: 04 Mar 1981
Duration: 6 months
Issues: 25
Absorbed into: Spider-Man Comics Weekly

Shame that this one didn’t really last: it was great fun, but like so many Marvel UK titles of the era, its contents were reprinted US tales chopped up into smaller pieces. Still, how about that for a first-issue cover? Fantastic!

dickorydock

20 September – Dickory Dock final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 01 Mar 1980
To: 20 Sep 1980
Duration: 6 months
Issues: 30
Absorbed into: Jack and Jill (1954).

As I mentioned back in March — when we were celebrating the fortieth anniversary of this comic’s launch: you remember — I don’t know much about this one at all. I thought it might have been based on a cartoon, but I’ve still not found any evidence to support that. Also, based on the cover of the first issue I initially believed it was called We All Live in Dickory Dock, but the “We All Live in” part has been dropped from the cover from issue #4 (if not earlier).

fabhits

20 September – Fab Hits final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 10 May 1980
To: 20 Sep 1980
Duration: 4 months
Issues: 20
Relaunch of: Fabulous
Absorbed into: Oh Boy

A weekly music magazine that was a relaunch of Fabulous (AKA Fabulous 208 and Fab 208) and might have had a comic strip or two, or maybe some photo-strips: it’s included here mainly because it was absorbed into Oh Boy! which did indeed have comic strips.

donaldduckipc

45 years ago:
27 September – Donald Duck (1975) launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 27 Sep 1975
To: 24 Jan 1976
Duration: 4 months
Issues: 18
Absorbed into: Mickey Mouse

Shortly before this one was launched, IPC renamed their Donald and Mickey comic Mickey and Donald, then relaunched it as Mickey Mouse, which ended up absorbing this one.

vulcan

27 September – Vulcan launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 27 Sep 1975
To: 03 Apr 1976
Duration: 7 months
Issues: 28
Absorbed into: Valiant

A reprint title, but I didn’t know that back in 1975 when I got the first issue. Forgive the language, but I absolutely bloody loved this comic! Mytek the Mighty, The Spider, The Trigan Empire, Robot Archie, The Steel Claw… Fantastic stuff!

scoreroar

50 years ago:
19 September – Score ‘n’ Roar launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 19 Sep 1970
To: 26 Jun 1971
Duration: 9 months
Issues: 41
Absorbed into: Scorcher

A football comic that, like Whizzer and Chips, pretended to be two comics in one. The title was simplified to Score from issue #34 (8 May 1971).

schoolfriendpl

55 years ago:
September – School Friend Picture Library final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: Feb 1962
To: Sep 1965
Duration: 3 years, 7 months
Issues: 88
Relaunched as: June and School Friend Picture Library

Relaunched as June and School Friend Picture Library, but there was never a June Picture Library, as far as I know. This one was so renamed because the regular weekly June comic (18 March 1961 to 15 June 1974, 690 issues) absorbed School Friend (20 May 1950 to 23 January 1965, 766 issues). However… see the following entry!

schoolgirlspl

September – Schoolgirls’ Picture Library final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: Jul 1957
To: Sep 1965
Duration: 8 years, 2 months
Issues: 327
Relaunched as: June and School Friend Picture Library.

Now we’re getting into kinda murky territory because this one also appears to have been relaunched as June and School Friend Picture Library… Or, to be more accurate, June and School Friend Picture Library continued its numbering from this title rather than from School Friend Picture Library. I think.

storytime

11 September – Story Time launched.
Publisher: Odhams Press
From: 11 Sep 1965
To: 06 May 1967
Duration: 1 year, 8 months
Issues: 87
Absorbed into: The Robin

This was a free supplement with Woman’s Realm magazine: the full title is Woman’s Realm Story Time for Little Children. Not a lot of grown-up magazines gave away free comics for the kiddies so they’re to be commended not just on the practice, but on a cracking good idea: keep the younglings busy while parent relaxes a little with the mag.

marilyn

18 September – Marilyn final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 19 Mar 1955
To: 18 Sep 1965
Duration: 10 years, 6 months
Issues: 547
Absorbed into: Valentine

Observant readers might recall that we recently looked at Marilyn in a Pocket-Money Comics feature on this very blog.

ranger #01

18 September – Ranger launched.
Publisher: Fleetway
From: 18 Sep 1965
To: 18 Jun 1966
Duration: 9 months
Issues: 40
Absorbed into: Look and Learn

“Britons Never, Never, Never Shall Be Slaves!” was the second British appearance of Asterix the Gaul – he first appeared in Valiant as the title character of “Little Fred” but here the character was renamed “Beric the Bold.” Ranger was covered in more detail in an Enfari’s Syndrome feature.

longbow

60 years ago:
September – Long Bow launched.
Publisher: Atlas Publishing
From: Sep 1960
To: 1963
Duration: 2 years, 9 months
Issues: 31

Long Bow‘s subtitle is “Indian Boy” — and though it was massively politically incorrect, not just bordering on offensive but actually deep into that territory, it did at least portray a Native American character as the hero, which was comparatively rare for the time. The comic’s contents were reprinted from assorted American comics published by Fiction House.

luckystar

85 years ago:
19 September – Lucky Star launched.
Publisher: Pearson
From: 19 Sep 1935
To: 09 Jan 1960
Duration: 24 years, 4 months
Issues: 635
Absorbed into: Silver Star

Fortnightly. Issue count is estimated. From 21 Aug 1950 is subtitled “and Peg’s Paper” but Peg’s Paper had been absorbed by Glamour in 1940 – there doesn’t appear to have been another publication of that name.

theranger2

28 September – The Ranger (1933) final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 12 Aug 1933
To: 28 Sep 1935
Duration: 2 years, 1 month
Issues: 112
Relaunch of: The Ranger (1931)
Absorbed: The Pioneer
Relaunched as The Pilot.

Ah, The Ranger! Tales of derring-do and adventure! Pirates and pioneers and explorers! Or: murderers and invaders and conquerors, depending on which end of the sword is nearest to you. They don’t make ’em like this any more!

skipper

90 years ago:
06 September – The Skipper launched.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 06 Sep 1930
To: 01 Feb 1941
Duration: 10 years, 5 months
Issues: 544

One of DC Thomson‘s famous “Big Five” comics — and the only one that was never absorbed by another title, thus it had no direct legacy.

midgetcomic

12 September – The Midget Comic final issue.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 05 Jun 1930
To: 12 Sep 1930
Duration: 3 months
Issues: 4

A free giveaway with The Wizard, this was a DC Thomson comic that predates The Dandy by seven and a half years! Later, the publisher gave away other “Midget Comics” with other titles: The Rover (11 Feb 1933 & 21 Dec 1935), The Skipper (10 Nov 1934), Red Letter (21 Aug 1937), and The Wizard (11 Sep 1954).

chicksown

100 years ago:
22 September – The Chicks’ Own launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 22 Sep 1920
To: 09 Mar 1957
Duration: 36 years, 6 months
Issues: 1605
Absorbed: Bubbles & The Children’s Fairy, Bo-Peep and Little Boy Blue, Happy Days
Absorbed into: Playhour

A nursery-age comic in the “captions under the picture” style. As I mentioned in the Playhour Timeline, words lon-ger than a sin-gle syll-a-ble were hy-phen-at-ed. It’s a little-known fact that all Daleks learned to read from this comic.

boysoflondon

120 years ago:
15 September – The Boys of London and Boys of New York final issue.
Publisher: Henry Wells Jackson
From: 01 Jun 1877
To: 15 Sep 1900
Duration: 23 years, 3 months
Issues: 1219

Reprinted tales from the US publication The Boys of New York.

125 years ago:
11 September – The Boys’ Leader (1885) launched.
Publisher: Henry Wells Jackson
From: 11 Sep 1895
To: 14 Feb 1900
Duration: 4 years, 5 months
Issues: 229
Revival of: The Boys’ Leader (1880)

Unfortunately I’ve never seen an issue of this one, and can’t even find a cover on-line! I do mention it in my article on researching British comics, though.

illustratedchips2

130 years ago:
06 September – Illustrated Chips (2) launched.
Publisher: Harmsworth/Amalgamated Press
From: 06 Sep 1890
To: 12 Sep 1953
Duration: 63 years
Issues: 2997
Relaunch of: Illustrated Chips
Absorbed: The Joker
Absorbed into: Film Fun

The second incarnation of this title, following a six-week trial run. Simplified its title to Chips in September 1952.


A Brief Note from Unky Rusty:

When I started this feature back in October 2019 I figured I’d give it a twelve-month trial run, and for a while it was quite popular, but over the past few months the page-hits and feedback have been way down, far too low to warrant me sacrificing a whole day (or more) each month. I guess it’s mostly (or even chiefly) my own fault because I can generate the basic list for each month in mere microseconds: the rest of the development time is spent tracking down the covers and adding my delightful and informative commentary notes… So my options are:

  1. Keep going as things are.
  2. Produce the basic list each month with no covers and no commentary (except maybe in special circumstances).
  3. Call time on this feature and never do it again. I don’t know if it’s actually of any use to anyone!

Haven’t yet decided which way I’ll go, but in the meantime, thanks to everyone who’s contributed suggestions and corrections, and to those who have promoted the series on their own websites and blogs and the like!

6 thoughts on “Hatch, Match & Dispatch – September 2020

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