Monday, April 2, 2012

Curious Comics - Fighter (1963)

Since I wasn't around in 1963, I hadn't actually seen or heard anything of the above comic, until I came across two copies earlier this year. I bought the two April editions at a car boot sale, and the May edition came from ebay, hence the fact it is in a tattier condition.

The comic was called Fighter, and is an incredibly scarce comic from the early sixties! It began on 18th March 1963, and, unlike most other comics launched around that time, the first issue didn't come with a free gift. My earliest issue is issue #3, and includes many brilliant stories including Jet Jackson (subtitled -The World's Bravest Pilot!), Samson's Tank and The Diamond Throne.

Unlike other adventure comics of the time, Fighter didn't have any humour strips, the only items not drawn in the style of adventure strips were the jokes! The below example is about smoking, something which would not be allowed in comics today!

The cover designs weren't bad either! They had a striking picture, a bright eye grabbing yellow logo on a red background and a loud promotional statement at the top!

Fighter cost 5d, which was around the same price as Buster, Lion, Wham! and other comics cost as well. So it had a nice selection of comic strips, looked fantastic and was good value for money - then how come nobody has heard of it?

The answer is simple, the contents was terrible. Unlike most other comics around the time, Fighter had 7 pages of advertisements, and only 9 pages of comic! And because most of the stories were continuous, very little was learnt and strips would take forever to get anywhere! Take a look at the below example of a comic strip named The Space Dominion, and you'll see what I mean. This comic strip was only two pages, and if that's three boxes per page, then the story is never going to get finished! Because of the lack of sales, many shops stopped ordering the comic, and at the end of its run it was only avaliable in a handful of different shops! 

After a mere 11 issues, Fighter was last sold on 27th May 1963, and then it disappeared from memory forever - as though it had never existed!


Harry Rickard said...

Nice spot, George! I've never heard of this comic before - I imagine it sold barely any issues? Shame because the front covers look great!

Lew Stringer said...

These comics are as rare as hen's teeth. You've sitting on a goldmine there George.

There's a reason why Fighter has been written out of history. It's the strip that always appears on page 8 of every issue. It's just a taboo that can, and should, never be mentioned today. The repercussions on the entire comics industry would be too great!

Niblet said...

I thought Fighter eventually merged with Punch-Up Weekly.

George Shiers said...

@ Lew - Yes, page 8! Imagine what would happen if it were to fall into the wrong hands!

And speaking of hens teeth, I'm sure I have a few somewhere ;)

@ Niglet - No, Fighter never merged, maybe your thinking of Biter? ;)

Harry Rickard said...

@George @Niblet

You're both wrong actually, George - you're getting confused with Fighty - another British adventure comic from the 1980's.

What you mean The Beaten To A Pulp Weekly. ;)

George Shiers said...

@Harry - Fighty - gosh so many comics that sound the same!