Hatch, Match & Dispatch – July 2021

It’s another quiet month here in the Comics Anniversary Celebration Annex of Rusty Towers… Most notable is Commando, celebrating its 60th birthday — more on that below — but there are also five other “picture library”-style comics, and four Marvel UK titles.

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, Apr, May, Jun


30 years ago:

13 July – Havoc launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 13 Jul 1991
To: 07 Sep 1991
Duration: 3 months
Issues: 9
One of the few Marvel UK comics of the era that wasn’t absorbed by another on its demise: it simply stopped. Issue #9 featured list of contents that would be appearing “Next Week” but sadly that issue never arrived. Still, I really liked this one: it reprinted some comparatively hard-core non-superhero Marvel comics: Conan, Deathlok, Ghost Rider, Robocop and Star Slammers.

40 years ago:

July – Frantic final issue.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: Mar 1980
To: Jul 1981
Duration: 1 year, 4 months
Issues: 18
Absorbed into Marvel Madhouse.
This was Marvel’s version of Mad magazine, so it had parodies of movies and TV shows. But on the positive side, it also reprinted Howard the Duck, which was great.

08 July – Marvel Action final issue.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 01 Apr 1981
To: 08 Jul 1981
Duration: 3 months
Issues: 15
Absorbed into Captain America (1981).

45 years ago:

14 July – The Avengers final issue.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 22 Sep 1973
To: 14 Jul 1976
Duration: 2 years, 10 months
Issues: 148
Absorbed into The Mighty World of Marvel (1972). This was one of my most beloved comics as a kid — I still have (most of) my very first issue!

55 years ago:

July – Buster Adventure Picture Library launched.
Publisher: Fleetway
From: Jul 1966
To: Dec 1967
Duration: 1 year, 5 months
Issues: 36

July – Tales of Terror Picture Library final issue.
Publisher: Famepress
From: ? 1966
To: Jul 1966
Duration: Unknown
Issues: 14

60 years ago:

July – Commando Comics launched.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: Jul 1961
To: Ongoing
Duration: 60 years
Issues: 5450+
Commando has the highest number of issues of any British comic — as regular readers of this blog will know from the ever-popular Issue-Count Chart — although, as the comic’s own site admits, “Commando prints four issues every two weeks — two all-new issues and two classic reprints.”

July – Lone Rider Picture Library launched.
Publisher: Fleetway
From: Jul 1961
To: Feb 1962
Duration: 7 months
Issues: 16

July – Princess Picture Library launched.
Publisher: Fleetway
From: Jul 1961
To: Jun 1966
Duration: 4 years, 11 months
Issues: 181

July – Tiger Sports Library launched.
Publisher: Fleetway
From: Jul 1961
To: Dec 1961
Duration: 5 months
Issues: 12

70 years ago:

July – Little Sheriff launched.
Publisher: Westworld Publications
From: Jul 1951
To: 1958
Duration: 7 years(ish)
Issues: 94
Actual final date unknown.

100 years ago:

23 July – Wonderland Tales final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 01 Jun 1919
To: 23 Jul 1921
Duration: 2 years, 1 month
Issues: 106
Absorbed into Young Folk’s Tales (1921).
Renamed Wonderland Tales Weekly on 5 Jun 1920, then Wonderland Weekly on 5 Jul 1920.

115 years ago:

28 July – FMN Handy Stories launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 28 Jul 1906
To: 13 Feb 1926
Duration: 19 years, 7 months
Issues: 1021
Retitled Handy Stories from 16 Mar 1907. Not much is known about this one… I’ve never even been able to find a cover!


2 thoughts on “Hatch, Match & Dispatch – July 2021

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