the 2018 entry here, the 2020 one here and the 2021 one here), children’s comics now aren’t a patch on what they were back in the 70s and 80s (and before that, even). Modern titles, sealed in plastic bags and littered with free gifts, have very little in the way of comic strips or stories (in fact, most seem to consist of quizzes) but back in the day the likes of IPC and DC Thomson produced a raft of weeklies that catered for most tastes (published on newsprint with a splash of colour).
Those weeklies, in turn, gave us the Summer Special to look forward to. A one-off edition of our favourite title, it was thicker and more colourful and the perfect reading accompaniment to a long car journey or a lazy afternoon in the back garden.
Comics historian Lew Stringer suggests (on his blog) that “today’s retailers dislike them because they occupy valuable shelf space for too many months” which didn’t bother newsagents in the 70s - Summer Specials were especially popular at seaside towns because they were pretty much guaranteed sellers, with a new batch of kids every week who’d need entertaining.
Here are a few more from my golden-era of reading them (the late 70s into the early 80s) - what were your favourites?
|1979 - a team-up between Spidey & The Punisher sees people disintegrate in a poisonous gas. Even read now, the imagery is cheerfully gruesome!|
|1979 - a real favourite of mine, I wrote a retrospective of Look-In which you can read here|