Hatch, Match & Dispatch – Apr 2021

Very slim pickings this month, folks. In fact, I think this could well be the sparsest month since I launched this feature a year and a half ago.

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!

Previous episodes of Hatch, Match & Dispatch:
2019: Oct, Nov, Dec
2020: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2021: Jan, Feb, Mar

30 years ago:

April – Police Academy final issue.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: Jan 1991
To: Apr 1991
Duration: 3 months
Issues: 4

25 April – Heroes final issue.
Publisher: London Editions
From: 07 Mar 1991
To: 25 Apr 1991
Duration: 1 and a bit months
Issues: 8
Reprinted assorted DC titles such as Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Batwoman and Blue Devil.

35 years ago:

19 April – Sindy launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 19 Apr 1986
To: 14 Feb 1987
Duration: 10 months
Issues: 44
The first of two Sindy titles published by Marvel UK based on the popular doll. The second — Sindy Magazine — was a monthly (initially) that was launched six months after this one’s demise and ran for at least twenty-two issues.

40 years ago:

01 April – Marvel Action launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 01 Apr 1981
To: 08 Jul 1981
Duration: 3 months
Issues: 15
One of the shorter-lived Marvel UK reprint titles. In recent years Marvel had taken to chopping the original stories into little chunks: the first issue of Marvel Action acknowledged that and presented the “Mighty Thor” strip in its entirety — hooray! And then backed it up with six-page slices of “Dr. Strange” and “The Fantastic Four” — boo! It was quickly absorbed by Captain America.

45 years ago:

03 April – Vulcan final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 27 Sep 1975
To: 03 Apr 1976
Duration: 7 months
Issues: 28
Absorbed into Valiant. This was a reprint title, though I didn’t know that when it was launched. I also didn’t know, until I read it on Lew Stringer’s awesome blog, that this was a relaunched version that followed a thirty-issue run published only in Scotland (and Germany, via a translated edition). Strips included “The House of Dolmann”, “Kelly’s Eye”, “Mytek the Mighty”, “Robot Archie”, “The Spider”, “The Steel Claw” and “The Trigan Empire.”

60 years ago:

24 April – Walt Disney’s Weekly final issue.
Publisher: Disney-Holding
From: 26 Jan 1959
To: 24 Apr 1961
Duration: 2 years, 3 months
Issues: 111
Absorbed into Harold Hare’s Own Paper.
This was possibly a relaunch of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: the cover-date of that comic’s final issue was 24 Jan 1959, two days before the cover-date of this title.

100 years ago:

09 April – The Children’s Fairy final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 01 Nov 1919
To: 09 Apr 1921
Duration: 1 year, 5 months
Issues: 76
Relaunched as: Bubbles & The Children’s Fairy.

16 April – Bubbles & The Children’s Fairy launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 16 Apr 1921
To: 24 May 1941
Duration: 20 years, 1 month
Issues: 1024
Relaunch of: Bubbles & The Children’s Fairy.
Title later shortened to Bubbles.

115 years ago:

28 April – The Coloured Comic final issue.
Publisher: Trapps & Holmes
From: 21 May 1898
To: 28 Apr 1906
Duration: 7 years, 11 months
Issues: 415
Relaunched as: Smiles.
Dropped full colour from #72. I’ve often wondered how the readers reacted to that.

195 years ago:

03 April – The Glasgow Looking Glass final issue.
Publisher: John Watson
From: 11 Jun 1825
To: 03 Apr 1826
Duration: 10 months
Issues: 19
Fortnightly (roughly). After issue #5, the title was changed to The Northern Looking Glass. Arguably, this was the first ever comic book — which means that comics are yet another great invention for which we can thank the Scots!

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