Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Buster Gets A Revamp!

This is the final post in the series of Buster posts, and this time we head back to the major revamp that took place in 1987. With issue 30th May 1987, Buster left the cheap newsprint behind and took a huge leap forwards, becoming the first comic to be printed on magazine-style paper (although not as glossy). Only a few years after this, Buster would go full colour, although I may cover another time.

Surprisingly, the revamp was hardly advertised, all it received was a one page advert in Buster and Whizzer and Chips the week before it happened (which was basically a black and white version of the cover), along with the Buster cover of the 23rd May 1987.

Whe the new Buster arrived, it came with a strapline 'New Size! New Look!'. The 'Bigger - Brighter' comic introduced some new characters, including Beastenders, Vid Kid and Dracula Dobbs.

The first new strip I'll take a look at though, is an advertisement strip for Mighty White bread. The strip was called Mighty Whiter presents The Kid and Shrimp.

This strip is very similar to a T.V. advertisement for the bread at around the same time!


Moving on, the first episode of Beastenders appeared in this issue, a comical rip-off of Eastenders (of course!). Halloween was becoming more popular towards the late 80's, so this strip could have been chipping in with the monsters theme. (Although Buster did already have Fright School.) The difference with this strip is it was just like a soap, there was a twist at the end and the strip was continued the following week. It was illustrated by Anthony Hutchings.

Vid Kid was a very popular strip illustrated by Jack Edward Oliver, although it was signed by Sue Denim, which was a pseudonym!

Dracula Dobbs was another popular strip, and a very good one in my opinion. It was drawn by Nigel Edwards.

And finally, Blub the Sub, illustrated by Mark Bennington, and was one of his earliest strips for comics.

That is the last post in the series, and it has lasted for five weeks. If you haven't read the all of the previous posts, click on the appropriate links below!

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Part 4:


Plus, if you'd like to read an article about Tom Paterson taking over drawing Buster himself, click on this link!



Kid said...

I've still got my copy of this issue from 1987 - which only seems like yesterday, incidentally. Big fan as I am of Tom Paterson's imitation Baxendale style, I never really cared for his version of Buster - which was in another style altogether.

George Shiers said...

It was a very different version of Tom's style. His Watford Gapp strip was another style altogether - if you have some Whizzer and Chips comic from the late 80's and 1990 take a look!

Lew Stringer said...

Nice trip down memory lane, although Buster wasn't "the first comic to be printed on magazine-style paper". Far from it.

Or did you mean this was the first time Buster had upgraded? Actually not so, as the comic moved to better paper for a few weeks in 1970 (or '71) - either due to a printer's strike or the newsprint process being otherwise unavailable.

George Shiers said...

I'ver never heard of that! Thanks for sharing the information - I might try and track down some copies.

I was lucky enough to come across some early Buster comics from 1960 (starting at #5) in very good condition, and the paper quality there is also quite good, similar, but not as good, to Eagle.

Lew Stringer said...

The paper quality of those early 1960s Busters was better than it was in the 1980s but it was still only newsprint.

Basically there were three types of printing back then for comics:

newsprint (comics such as Lion, Hotspur, Smash, Pow, Hornet, Sparky, Giggle, Jackpot, Monster Fun, and all the comics that preceded them such as Comic Cuts, Radio Fun, etc.)

web offset (comics like Cor!!, Jag, Tiger during the 1970s, Krazy, TV Action)

photogravure (Eagle, TV21, Joe 90 Top Secret, Countdown, early issues of Wham)

Eagle was photogravure for many years until it changed to web offset in 1967 or 68 towards the end of its run.

Buster was newsprint until the issue shown above, when it changed to web offset. (Except for the 2 or 3 issues in 1970 when it was also web offset.) Same for Whizzer & Chips; newsprint for most of its run, then web offset later.

I'm not sure what the modern printing style is called (for Beano, Toxic, etc).

George Shiers said...

Thanks for sharing those names - the only one I knew was newsprint, so it's very helpful! :) I'll see if I can find out the name for modern printing.