Hatch, Match & Dispatch – October 2021

This month it’s a case of Hatch, Match, Dispatch and Abruptly Cancel All Engagements and Retreat to a Health Clinic Citing “Exhaustion.”

Forty-five years ago IPC’s hyper-violent comic Action was put on hiatus because, well, its content really was very, very intense compared to its contemporaries, and it was receiving a lot of very negative focus in the press. Issue #37 (cover dated 23 Oct 1976) was pulped before it could be distributed. A tiny number of copies made it out into the wild and thus have become much-yearned-for grail items for collectors of British comics

Action returned — heavily edited, with some strips missing and the violence greatly toned down — at the end of Nov 1976 (cover dated 4 Dec 1976). With much of its sting removed, it pottered along for another year until it was absorbed by Battle Picture Weekly. A sad demise for a once-groundbreaking comic, but we can take some comfort that as it disintegrated its particles effectively — albeit metaphorically — became fertiliser for 2000AD.

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, Jul, Aug, Sep


25 years ago:

October – Earthworm Jim launched.
Publisher: DeVere Entertainment Company
From: Oct 1996
To: Feb 1997
Duration: 4 months
Issues: 5

01 October – Jonny Quest – The Real Adventures launched.
Publisher: Titan Magazines
From: 01 Oct 1996
To: 01 Apr 1997
Duration: 6 months
Issues: 6

October – Wolverine Unleashed (1996) launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK/Panini UK
From: Oct 1996
To: Dec 2009
Duration: 13 years, 2 months
Issues: 171
Retitled Wolverine and Gambit from #55, then Wolverine and Deadpool from #104

09 October – Marvel Action Hour launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK/Panini UK
From: 09 Oct 1996
To: 20 Nov 1996
Duration: 1 month
Issues: 4

30 years ago:

01 October – Crisis final issue.
Publisher: Fleetway
From: 17 Sep 1988
To: 01 Oct 1991
Duration: 3 years, 1 month
Issues: 63
Fortnightly until issue #48, monthly thereafter.

October – Indiana Jones (1991) launched.
Publisher: Trident Comics
From: Oct 1991
To: Dec 1991
Duration: 2 months
Issues: 3
Reprinted Dark Horse Comics’ Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis adaptation.

05 October – Barbie (1991) launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 05 Oct 1991
To: 02 Sep 1994
Duration: 2 years, 11 months
Issues: 77
Fortnightly. Not to be confused with Fleetway’s Barbie Magazine (1 Nov 1985 to 10 Jul 1987, 45 issues). This one was later relaunched as a monthly which ran for at least 26 issues… and is possibly still the same Barbie magazine that’s still running: it’s really hard to pin down info for this comic!

19 October – Thunderbirds the Comic launched.
Publisher: Fleetway
From: 19 Oct 1991
To: 01 Mar 1995
Duration: 3 years, 5 months
Issues: 89
Fortnightly. Renamed The New Thunderbirds from #67. Relaunched as Thunderbirds are Go!

24 October – Toxic! final issue.
Publisher: Apocalypse Ltd.
From: 28 Mar 1991
To: 24 Oct 1991
Duration: 7 months
Issues: 32
Issue 0 was a special preview issue: there were 31 regular weekly issues.

35 years ago:

October – Avalon launched.
Publisher: Harrier Comics
From: Oct 1986
To: Feb 1988
Duration: 1 year, 4 months
Issues: 14

October – Dice Man final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: Feb 1986
To: Oct 1986
Duration: 8 months
Issues: 5

11 October – Acorn Green launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 11 Oct 1986
To: 13 Jun 1987
Duration: 8 months
Issues: 36

25 October – Hoot final issue.
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.

25 October – M.A.S.K. launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 25 Oct 1986
To: 22 Oct 1988
Duration: 2 years
Issues: 80

30 October – Jem launched.
Publisher: London Editions
From: 30 Oct 1986
To: 02 Apr 1987
Duration: 6 months
Issues: 12
Fortnightly. It’s likely that only twelve issues were published, although #13 was advertised in issue #12. However, several Jem specials were later published and possibly contained the material created for issue #13.

30 October – Thunder Action launched.
Publisher: Savoy
From: 30 Oct 1986
To: 30 Jan 1987
Duration: 3 months
Issues: 4

31 October – Katy launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 31 Oct 1986
To: 06 Mar 1987
Duration: 5 months
Issues: 10
Fortnightly. Includes coloured reprints from Misty, Tammy and Jinty. The covers were reused from Princess Tina.

40 years ago:

October – Blake’s 7 launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: Oct 1981
To: Aug 1983
Duration: 1 year, 10 months
Issues: 23

October – Worzel Gummidge (1981) launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: Oct 1981
To: Jul 1982
Duration: 1 year, 2 months
Issues: 15
Monthly. After its demise this one was revived on 9 March 1983 as a weekly, which ran for 23 issues before being absorbed by Rupert Weekly.

01 October – Marvel Classics Comics Pocket Book launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 01 Oct 1981
To: 15 Mar 1982
Duration: 5 months
Issues: 12
A ‘pocket-book’-sized title, two issues per month.

03 October – Buttons launched.
Publisher: Polystyle Publications
From: 03 Oct 1981
To: 22 Dec 1989
Duration: 8 years, 2 months
Issues: 459

03 October – Heartbeat launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 03 Oct 1981
To: 10 Apr 1982
Duration: 6 months
Issues: 28

10 October – Scoop final issue.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 21 Jan 1978
To: 10 Oct 1981
Duration: 3 years, 9 months
Issues: 194
Absorbed into The Victor.

10 October – Tops launched.
Publisher: DC Thomson
From: 10 Oct 1981
To: 28 Jan 1984
Duration: 2 years, 3 months
Issues: 121
Retitled TV Tops from #28 (17 Apr 1982), then reverted to Tops from #90 (25 Jun 1983).

24 October – Teddy Bear’s Playtime final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 20 Jun 1981
To: 24 Oct 1981
Duration: 4 months
Issues: 19
Absorbed into Jack and Jill (1954).

28 October – Marvel Super Adventure final issue.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 06 May 1981
To: 28 Oct 1981
Duration: 5 months
Issues: 26
Absorbed into Captain America (1981).

45 years ago:

October – Ally Sloper launched.
Publisher: Alan Class/Creative Comics
From: Oct 1976
To: Jan 1977
Duration: 3 months
Issues: 4

09 October – See-Saw launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 09 Oct 1976
To: 16 Jul 1977
Duration: 9 months
Issues: 41

12 October – Oh Boy! launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 12 Oct 1976
To: 12 Jan 1985
Duration: 8 years, 3 months
Issues: 428

13 October – Captain Britain (1976) launched.
Publisher: Marvel UK
From: 13 Oct 1976
To: 06 Jul 1977
Duration: 9 months
Issues: 39
See also: Enfari’s Syndrome: Captain Britain

13 October – The House of Hammer launched.
Publisher: Top Sellers/Quality Communications
From: 13 Oct 1976
To: 01 Nov 1984
Duration: 8 years, 1 month
Issues: 30
Renamed Hammer’s House of Horror for issue #19, then Hammer’s Halls of Horror from issue #20. Put on hiatus from #23 (August 1978), then later revived in 1982 by Quality Communications with contiguous numbering, first as a one-off special, then on a bimonthly schedule.

16 October – Krazy Comic launched.
Publisher: IPC
From: 16 Oct 1976
To: 15 Apr 1978
Duration: 1 year, 6 months
Issues: 79

16 October – Valiant final issue.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press/Fleetway
From: 06 Oct 1962
To: 16 Oct 1976
Duration: 14 years
Issues: 714
Absorbed into Battle Picture Weekly.
See also: Branding: Battle Picture Weekly

30 October – Monster Fun Comic final issue.
Publisher: IPC
From: 14 Jun 1975
To: 30 Oct 1976
Duration: 1 year, 4 months
Issues: 73
Absorbed into Buster.
I remember being rather upset at the demise of this kids’ fun horror comic… but now, forty-five years later, Rebellion (who recently acquired the rights to almost all of the IPC back catalogue) have announced the horrifically excellent news that Monster Fun is to be revived as a regular, bi-monthly comic in 2022! Woohoo! And, indeed, WoooOOOOOoooooooo!

60 years ago:

07 October – Huckleberry Hound Weekly launched.
Publisher: City Magazines/Robert Hayward and Sons
From: 07 Oct 1961
To: 28 Aug 1967
Duration: 5 years, 10 months
Issues: 308
Later absorbed Yogi Bear’s Own Weekly.

70 years ago:

October – Classics Illustrated launched.
Publisher: Thorpe & Porter
From: Oct 1951
To: Jun 1963
Duration: 11 years, 8 months
Issues: 181

October – Tarzan Comic (a) final issue.
Publisher: Donald F. Peters
From: 1950
To: Oct 1951
Duration: 1 year, 4 months
Issues: 19
Actual dates for this one are unknown… Please let me know if you can help!

October – The Saint (1951) launched.
Publisher: Thorpe & Porter
From: Oct 1951
To: Feb 1932
Duration: 4 months
Issues: 5

80 years ago:

01 October – Schoolboy’s Pocket Library launched.
Publisher: Gerald Swan
From: 01 Oct 1941
To: 1951
Duration: About ten years
Issues: 26
Actual end-date unknown!

110 years ago:

14 October – Fun and Fiction launched.
Publisher: Amalgamated Press
From: 14 Oct 1911
To: 21 Feb 1914
Duration: 2 years, 4 months
Issues: 124


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