Hatch, Match & Dispatch – Oct 2020

Welcome to the new-look edition Hatch, Match and Dispatch, readers! It’s mostly just the comics’ details and cover image this time — and far, far less of the usual rambling trivia from me. The excision of said rambling trivia saves me time writing it, and saves you time reading it: we’re all winners!

(See also Oct 2019, Nov 2019, Dec 2019, Jan 2020, Feb 2020, Mar 2020, Apr 2020, May 2020, Jun 2020, Jul 2020, Aug 2020 and Sep 2020.)

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!

25 years ago:

October – Deadline final issue.
Publisher: Deadline Publications Limited
From: Oct 1988
To: Oct 1995
Duration: 7 years
Issues: 71

18 October – The Exploits of Spider-Man final issue.
Publisher: Marvel/Panini UK
From: 21 Oct 1992
To: 18 Oct 1995
Duration: 3 years
Issues: 40

31 October – Space Precinct launched.
Publisher: Manga Entertainment
From: 31 Oct 1995
To: 30 Jan 1996
Duration: 3 months
Issues: 6

30 years ago:

October – Judge Dredd Megazine launched.
Publisher: IPC/Fleetway/Egmont/Rebellion
From: Oct 1990
To: present day
Duration: 30 years
Issues: 424
See also: Judge Dredd Megazine 30th Anniversary.

October – Slimer! final issue.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 21 Sep 1989
To: Oct 1990
Duration: 1 year, 1 month
Issues: 13
Absorbed into The Real Ghostbusters

October – Trident final issue.
Publisher: Trident Comics
From: Aug 1989
To: Oct 1990
Duration: 1 year, 2 months
Issues: 8

04 October – Zones final issue.
Publisher: London Editions
From: 01 Apr 1990
To: 04 Oct 1990
Duration: 6 months
Issues: 4

17 October – Whizzer and Chips final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 18 Oct 1969
To: 27 Oct 1990
Duration: 21 years
Issues: 1092
Absorbed into Buster
Correct date of last issue supplied by writer and comics historian Jonathan Crossfield!

35 years ago:

October – The Best of 2000AD Monthly launched.
Publisher: Egmont
From: Oct 1985
To: Aug 1995
Duration: 9 years, 10 months
Issues: 119
Relaunched as Classic 2000AD
See also: HM&D Sep 2020

19 October – Champ final issue.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 25 Feb 1984
To: 19 Oct 1985
Duration: 1 year, 8 months
Issues: 87
Absorbed into The Victor

26 October – Hoot launched.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 26 Oct 1985
To: 25 Oct 1986
Duration: 1 year
Issues: 53
Absorbed into The Dandy
See also: Comics on TV: The Deceived.

40 years ago:

25 October – Speed final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 23 Feb 1980
To: 25 Oct 1980
Duration: 8 months
Issues: 31
Absorbed into Tiger

45 years ago:

11 October – The Wonderful World of Disney launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 11 Oct 1975
To: 14 Feb 1976
Duration: 4 months
Issues: 19
Absorbed into Disneyland

18 October – Donald and Mickey final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 04 Mar 1972
To: 18 Oct 1975
Duration: 3 years, 7 months
Issues: 188
Relaunched as Mickey Mouse
This one was renamed “Mickey and Donald” from #182 (6 Sep 1975) shortly before Donald Duck was given his own comic, then it relaunched a few weeks later as Mickey Mouse, and then absorbed Donald Duck’s comic after its cancellation at issue #18.

25 October – Mickey Mouse launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 25 Oct 1975
To: 29 Nov 1980
Duration: 5 years, 1 month
Issues: 263
Relaunch of Donald & Mickey
Relaunched as Mickey Magazine

25 October – The Titans launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 25 Oct 1975
To: 24 Nov 1976
Duration: 1 year, 1 month
Issues: 58
Absorbed into: Super Spider-Man with The Superheroes
See also: The Titans
(Update: Thanks to Stephen Roddam for the correction on the number of issues!)

50 years ago:

01 October – Action Picture Library final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 01 Aug 1969
To: 01 Oct 1970
Duration: 1 year, 2 months
Issues: 30

17 October – Thunder launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 17 Oct 1970
To: 12 Mar 1971
Duration: 5 months
Issues: 22
Absorbed into Lion
See also: Thunder

55 years ago:

01 October – June and School Friend Picture Library launched.
Publisher: Fleetway
From: 01 Oct 1965
To: 08 Jul 1970
Duration: 4 years, 9 months
Issues: 251
Relaunch of School Friend Picture Library

01 October – Hospital Nurse Picture Library final issue.
Publisher: Pearson
From: 01 Feb 1964
To: 01 Oct 1965
Duration: 1 year, 8 months
Issues: 45

60 years ago:

01 October – Captain Miracle launched.
Publisher: Anglo Features
From: 01 Oct 1960
To: 01 Jun 1961
Duration: 8 months
Issues: 9
Monthly. Retitled Invincible from #6.

01 October – Cherie launched.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 01 Oct 1960
To: 19 Oct 1963
Duration: 3 years
Issues: 160
Absorbed into Romeo

01 October – TV Land launched.
Publisher: TV Publications
From: 01 Oct 1960
To: 16 Jan 1962
Duration: 1 year, 3 months
Issues: 68
Absorbed into TV Comic

22 October – Silver Star final issue.
Publisher: Pearson
From: 16 Oct 1937
To: 22 Oct 1960
Duration: 23 years
Issues: 967
Absorbed into Marty

85 years ago:

05 October – The Pilot launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 05 Oct 1935
To: 02 Apr 1938
Duration: 2 years, 6 months
Issues: 131
Relaunch of: The Ranger (1933)
Absorbed into: The Wild West Weekly
See also: The Pilot

26 October – Girls’ Crystal launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 26 Oct 1935
To: 18 May 1963
Duration: 27 years, 7 months
Issues: 1437
Absorbed into: School Friend (1950)
Weekly story-paper. Titled The Crystal for the first nine issues. Became a comic on 21 Mar 1953.

95 years ago:

17 October – Butterfly & Firefly final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 07 Apr 1917
To: 17 Oct 1925
Duration: 8 years, 6 months
Issues: 446
Relaunch of Butterfly (1904)
Relaunched as Butterfly (1925)

24 October – Butterfly (1925) launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 24 Oct 1925
To: 18 May 1940
Duration: 14 years, 7 months
Issues: 760
Relaunch of Butterfly & Firefly
Absorbed into Tip Top

110 years ago:

22 October – Merry & Bright launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 22 Oct 1910
To: 31 Mar 1917
Duration: 6 years, 5 months
Issues: 337
Absorbed into Merry & Bright the Favorite Comic
See also: Merry & Bright

22 October – The Empire Library (1) final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 18 Feb 1910
To: 22 Oct 1910
Duration: 8 months
Issues: 36
Relaunched as The Empire Library (2)

29 October – The Empire Library (2) launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 29 Oct 1910
To: 06 May 1911
Duration: 7 months
Issues: 28
Relaunch of The Empire Library (1)
Absorbed into The Boys’ Realm Football and Sports Library

115 years ago:

01 October – The Nugget Library (1905) launched.
Publisher: James Henderson
From: 01 Oct 1905
To: 01 Dec 1907
Duration: 2 years, 2 months
Issues: 108
Relaunched as The Nugget Library (1908)
(Cover image not available.)

125 years ago:

01 October – Comrades (1893) final issue.
Publisher: Shurey’s Publications
From: 14 Jan 1893
To: 01 Oct 1895
Duration: 2 years, 9 months
Issues: 142
Relaunched as Pals (1895)

07 October – Pals (1895) launched.
Publisher: Shurey’s Publications
From: 07 Oct 1895
To: 06 May 1896
Duration: 7 months
Issues: 31
Relaunch of Comrades (1893)

12 thoughts on “Hatch, Match & Dispatch – Oct 2020

  1. I love reading these features, lots of memories jogged. One quick correction: The Titans ran 58 issues, not 55.
    Please keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good catch, Stephen — thanks! (I’ve now made the appropriate corrections: my very first mention of The Titans correctly noted that it ran for 58 issues, but in my database I had it as 55. Don’t know how I got that wrong!)


  2. I was gutted when SPEED merged with TIGER – but thankfully my parents let me switch the comic I had delivered from the newsagent to BATTLE which was brilliant (as I recall Charley’s War had just started the “Blue” saga; The Sarge was just wrapping up)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t remember when I stopped reading Speed — or why. I definitely recall enjoying the early issues, but even so I had a feeling from the get-go that it hadn’t made a huge impact and before long we’d have “2000AD and Speed.”


  3. I love these monthly cross-slices of UK comic history and usually take some time to update my own spreadsheets with info I’m missing. If there are two things I’ve learned about collecting UK comics, it’s (1) how many gaps there are in the info – there is no single catalogue or reference work – and (2) how often the various sources we do have conflict with each other. It can be a painful hobby for a fact-checking pedant like myself. That’s why I love reading your investigative work to untangle some of this stuff.

    But, as for Whizzer & Chips, the final issue is def 27th October, not 17th. (I had it listed as the 27th, so just searched for a cover image to check: https://bit.ly/3kdBcmd) Also, in looking for a decent cover image, I noticed there are wildly different estimates for the number of issues. Comics.org & some other blogs say 1087, while the Comic Book Price Guide says 1038. Meanwhile, you and Wikipedia both have 1092 (frustratingly, Wikipedia doesn’t provide a citation). Do you know where your figure comes from and perhaps what’s going on here?

    It’s possible some estimates forget to account for missed weeks due to strike action – which can impact individual titles differently based on where each was printed. Just found this fascinating – read:pedantic – thread on Buster’s missed issues https://bit.ly/3jenm1w, which also touches on related titles. This means there are potential missed weeks due to industrial action in 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1980 (and I’m pretty sure there was another in the mid-’80s). And because I’ve had caffeine and my ADD has kicked in, I’m now obsessed with finding out the industrial action impact on each title …


    1. Hi Jonathan,
      Apologies for the delay: your message ended up in WordPress’s Spam folder — good thing I always check the messages rather than bulk-delete them!
      I can’t remember where I found the data for Whizzer and Chips: I started compiling my database many years ago and that would have been one of the first entries. It’s also entirely possible that my date of 17 October 1990 was a typo on my part! But I trust you’re right on that score: I’ve updated my database accordingly. As for the number of issues… I suspect I got that from Wikipedia! I’m happy to go with your expertise: if you reckon that 1087 is more likely to be correct, I’ll run with that until we can find out for sure!


      1. Possibly got marked spam cause I included links. Noted.

        Not sure “expertise” is the right word. I’m also not sure which of the different counts is more likely to be correct because none of the sources indicate how the figure was calculated. The industrial action notes are merely a thought on why there are different estimates, particularly if no one is completely sure how each of the printers’ strikes impacted each title, if at all.

        Using your Madcap tool (so good), if W&C never once missed a week, 1092 issues would end on 15 Sep 1990, which means your number allows for four lost weeks, so it could still be correct. Four is lower than other titles though. 2000AD had missed 8 weeks by the end of 1980 alone.

        And if by “comic historian” you mean an obsessive with a spreadsheet and too much time on his hands, then guilty.


  4. Just a quick note on TV Land. Denis Gifford had the final issue listed as #68 13 January 1962 and this appears to be correct, judging by the image of issue 66 in an old eBay listing. https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/KJ4AAOSw2dFfZJem/s-l1600.jpg

    This means it ended the same day as TV Express, which also merged with TV Comic the following week (issue 527 on 20 January 62). Oddly, #527 incorporates the Express into the title on the cover, but there’s no sign of TV Land on the cover.


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