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Action 40 years today 
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Forty years ago today, Saturdsy 7th February 1976, IPC launched Action, soon to cause controversy and eventually to sadly be neutered into a softer version. It was followed two days later by DC Thomson's dynamic but less challenging Bullet. I don't have time to write a new article about them but here's a blog post I did several years ago:

http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2008/ ... ullet.html


Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:32 pm
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Lew Stringer wrote:
Forty years ago today, Saturdsy 7th February 1976, IPC launched Action, soon to cause controversy and eventually to sadly be neutered into a softer version. It was followed two days later by DC Thomson's dynamic but less challenging Bullet. I don't have time to write a new article about them but here's a blog post I did several years ago:

http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2008/ ... ullet.html


I was just thinking about this as I was reading the book on Action last night. I can't believe it's 40 years already! The book is great for showing the differences when the "change" happened. I haven't read much Bullet yet but maybe now would be a good time.


Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:14 am
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Mr Valeera
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It's still a great article Lew. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:43 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
It's still a great article Lew. Thanks for the inspiration.



Thanks Colin. I've added a new post now, with a selection of covers:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/ ... rs-on.html


Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:48 pm
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Lew Stringer wrote:
colcool007 wrote:
It's still a great article Lew. Thanks for the inspiration.



Thanks Colin. I've added a new post now, with a selection of covers:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/ ... rs-on.html

I've updated my article to include that link.

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Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:25 pm
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Hi, Lew, enjoyed reading your article on Action; would like to see an equal apportion set out for Bullet as this series is largely forgotten. While never as intense as Action, I considered it a step up above the contemporary likes of Hotspur and Wizard.


Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:48 am
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The 'boys' comics' went through a much-needed surge in vitality in the mid-70s period;

---from what I remember, the chain of events that saw these comics break from their very staid past was:


WARLORD: BULLET/ ACTION [released virtually the same day ] BATTLE *around the same period, leading onto good old 2000 AD

The older Victor-styled comics were simply far too safe and set in their ways to attract me personally: they seemed to sell well over a long period though, so somebody must have been buying this stuff.


I can look through New Hostspur and Victor today, but they are a real artefact to Britains' Imperialist past, and succeed mainly on that level---some good graphics in these comics though: these comics were a force to be reckoned with at one point, in terms of sales.

* Battle may even have preceded Action and Warlord: 1975, anyone? Warlord was definitely the catalyst though: 1974!!!!!!

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Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:11 am
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Rab,

the timeline for the first issue of each comic is:

Warlord September 1974
Battle February 1975
Action February 1976
Bullet February 1976
2000AD February 1977
Starlord May 1978
Tornado March 1979
Crunch January 1979

I think that cover the launches of boys' comics from Warlord to the end of 1979.

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Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:50 am
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geoff42 wrote:
Hi, Lew, enjoyed reading your article on Action; would like to see an equal apportion set out for Bullet as this series is largely forgotten. While never as intense as Action, I considered it a step up above the contemporary likes of Hotspur and Wizard.
Geoff, that's not the worst idea I have ever heard. I think that the seed of a future article has now been planted. :D

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Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:52 am
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geoff42 wrote:
Hi, Lew, enjoyed reading your article on Action; would like to see an equal apportion set out for Bullet as this series is largely forgotten. While never as intense as Action, I considered it a step up above the contemporary likes of Hotspur and Wizard.


Thanks Geoff. I'm afraid I rarely collected the DC Thomson adventure titles so I only have a handful of Bullet comics. I'm sure colcool may be able to oblige though. :up:

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Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:59 pm
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ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:
Warlord was definitely the catalyst though
It wasn't much of a catalyst for its own company though, Rab, was it? Bullet lasted for less than three years with its 147 issues, and The Crunch, with a mere 54 issues, barely survived for one.


Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:35 pm
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Col: thanks for your very handy list regarding latter 70s 'boys' comics'.

Phoenix: yes, the dreaded 'law of diminishing returns' sure came into play, regarding the success of DCT boys' comics that followed WARLORD, : the 70s in general saw new titles lasting for a mere year or two: CRACKER, BUZZ, PLUG from DCT and SHIVER and SHAKE and MONSTER FUN from IPC also fall into the same sad bracket.


All of these comics ['boys' comics/humour titles] were pretty good in my view.


The 70s overall seems to be the period where sales starting dipping noticably.

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Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:42 pm
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ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:
The 70s overall seems to be the period where sales starting dipping noticably.
When seen in terms of the Good News For All Readers scenario, Thomsons' titles for girls in the 8 to 13 demographic do not support that view. The main three, Bunty, Judy, and Mandy had very long lives, to 2001, 1991, and 1991 respectively. Diana survived for thirteen years and 720 issues, and was the first of only two of the titles to give up the ghost in the seventies, the other being Spellbound, which had a mere 69 issues. Debbie, launched in 1973, survived the seventies, her demise arriving in 1983. However, thereafter there was little comfort for the company as their final four launches were disappointing. Emma managed only 81 issues, Tracy 277, Nikki 237, and M&J 315. It was left to Bunty to soldier on into 2001 with 2249 issues.


Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:54 pm
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Maybe males of the 70s had more distractions than females did, Phoenix; at the start of the 70s I devoured comics most rabidly, and I lost interest altogether around 1975, I just seemed to stop very abruptly: it was the opposite sex and popular music that supplanted comics in my affections.

Yes I know girls mature faster than us guys do but there must be some explanation why they seemed to cling to comics [in general] for longer than we males did.......

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Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:00 pm
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I don't know if the official circulation figures back it up but my impression is that - with a very few exceptions - most comics experienced a gradual but inexorable decline in sales from the early/mid 1960s onward. Eventually the profits became so marginal they just weren't worth bothering with any more!


Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:15 pm
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