Thursday, April 19, 2012
Monster Fun Joins Buster
Monster Fun was launched in 1975 and, just over a year later, it folded, becoming Buster's 7th merger on 6th November 1976. With it, Monster Fun brought a whole bunch of different characters, the most famous strips being Gums, Kid Kong and X-Ray Specs. All the new characters were shown on the front cover.
Even though Buster's strip didn't acknowledge the merge with Monster fun, there was a letter from him at the bottom of his page, welcoming all the new readers to Buster!
Gums also had a welcome message, politely introducing himself as he destroys a smiling Bluey's boat!
Another new strip is Terror TV, illustrated by Barrie Appleby. It's all about a television studio that scares the living daylights out of everybody! I haven't read many episodes, but I imagine it would start to get a bit repetitive after a while, but it's run wasn't too short, lasting just over a year when it finished in Febuary 1978.
A strip that didn't come from Monster Fun is Leo Baxendale's Clever Dick (I think this is a reprint as Leo had left comics by this time, but if not it could have been his son Martin who drew this strip). Clever Dick was always a brilliant strip, well written, well drawn and possibly inspiring kids around the country to have a go at making Dick's gadgets for themselves! Of course, his idea's would nearly always backfire somehow - even when the plan seemed flawless!
Ken Reid, the mastermind moster doodler, had several pages in this weeks issue, one comic strip (Martha's Monster Make-Up) and two more pages for a Funny Monster Competiton. All you had to do was guess the name of the monster from the selection underneath, save them and do the same for the next three issues. When you're done simply send in your answers and you could win a Detector Products Viking Transmitter Receiver (as used by the police) - that's a metal detector - and a Decimo Vatman pocket calculator! So, what names would you give to these fine beasts? (Options for above monster: A. Octo-Pussy, B. Pollupuss C. Bog Moggy. Options for below monster: A. Snuff-Grumpus B. Rhino-Snitch C. Elephantom.)
The War Children is an adventure serial written by Scott Goodall about a group of children who were captured by the Nazi's and ordered to do whatever they were told "without question". Naturally, they didn't like the sound of that, so they escaped and now have a hideout in the woods. This strip also shows that Nazi's can be easily defeated by a wild pig! Artwork by John Stokes.
Intrestingly, Gus's Gags is still the main jokes section, after two years since it joined Buster from Cor! in 1974.
Roy of the Rovers got his very own comic in 1976, just a number of days before Monster Fun merged with Buster! So of course, Fleetway would try and do everything they could to make it a success. Here is a half page advert, advertising the free gift - 'Roy Race's Favourite Footballers!' booklet.
Because of all the excitment about the merge most of the comic strips seemed to have forgotten that it was fireworks night when the comic came out (or maybe that was celebrated in the previous issue?). Apart from a small message at the bottom of Chalky's page, not a thought is given to it!