Bullet, my favourite comic growing up (I wrote a retrospective on it here), was launched by D. C. Thomson on 9th February 1976. ‘Packed with action stories - fast and furious’, the figurehead and main character, Fireball, promised readers “rough, touch action stories” and the comic duly delivered. Focussing on action and adventure, science fiction, sport and war, this popular boys comic ran to 32 pages and cost 7p an issue.
As well as the decent array of stories, the comic featured Fireball Calling, a letters page that included trivia, password messages and competitions. Readers letters got a Fireball t-shirt and the letter of the week won an electronic pocket calculator, which was a big deal then. There were also sports profiles, mostly featuring footballers and fact files, while the back pages often carried “A to Z” entries on various topics.
The Fireball Club (which you could join for 25p, postal
orders only please) gave you the Fireball story (which also acted as the
decoder for the Top Secret messages in Fireball Calling) in a red plastic
wallet, an ID card and, best of all, the
Fireball ‘Flaming F’ pendant (which was not only very cool, it was worn
constantly by Fireball and saved his life on occasion). I wore mine with pride.
|Me, in 1981, proudly wearing the Fireball jumper knitted by my aunt|
Bullet’s fine run ended with at issue 147 on 2nd December 1978 (as I wrote about here), when it merged with Warlord, a linked comic from the same publisher. I read it for a while even though, as was often the case, most of the strips I enjoyed didn’t make the transfer while the rest quietly faded out as the weeks or months rolled on.
Reading it back now, more than forty years later, it’s still great fun and I’m thoroughly enjoying the nostalgic blast - in fact, I’m turning some pages and seeing a host of images that instantly push me back to the late seventies.