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Strip/Story Which Featured in the Greatest Number of Titles 
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:30 pm
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Apologies if this has been discussed previously, would anybody be able to satisfy my curiosity and tell me which UK comic strip/story featured in the greatest number of titles?

I’m thinking of a strip that either merged or moved title without a break in narrative or continuing as reprinted strips (I’m excluding the various versions of Dan Dare most of which were far removed from Eagle’s original version).

Billy’s Boots must surely be a contender, having continued across 4 titles over 20 years. Exploits of the Dorian Gray-like Billy Dane started in Scorcher on 10/01/1970, moved to Tiger on 12/10/1974, then over to Eagle on 06/04/1985 and finally to Roy of the Rovers on 10/05/1986 where, according to Wikipedia, the story ended May 1990 before turning into reprints. Can anybody post a scan of the final episode?

Thanks


Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:41 am
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Westy wrote:
Exploits of the Dorian Gray-like Billy Dane started in Scorcher on 10/01/1970, moved to Tiger on 12/10/1974, then over to Eagle on 06/04/1985 and finally to Roy of the Rovers on 10/05/1986 where, according to Wikipedia, the story ended May 1990
It might be worth pointing out to you, Westy, that there are very few characters in comics and story papers who age even a day. If you see Billy Dane as a Dorian Grey-like character after a trivial matter of a mere twenty years of existence, you would certainly hate to gaze upon the attic portraits of The Four Marys, whose comic life in Bunty lasted over twice as long.


Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:33 pm
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I should think Roy of the Rovers would be hard to beat when it comes to long-lasting title-hopping heroes.

On the subject of Billy's Boots it's worth remembering that Billy Dane was predated by Billy Binns who gained his sporting prowess from a 'magical' pair of glasses. What's more he's one of the few British characters to appear in two titles at the same time! One thing that always intrigued me about both Billys was the question as to whether their enhanced abilities were truly magical or just psychological in nature.

- Phil R.


Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:58 pm
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philcom55 wrote:
One thing that always intrigued me about both Billys was the question as to whether their enhanced abilities were truly magical or just psychological in nature.
There is such a thing in fiction as magical realism, Phil. The Colombian novelist and short story writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez was very into it. But persuasion and self-deception are natural bedfellows. Think of the nineteen-year-old Anne Elliot in Persuasion, and of how desperate she felt on being persuaded by Lady Russell to give up Captain Wentworth, the man she loved. And of how she felt seven long years later on discovering that the Captain was still in love with her. She must have believed that such a sudden and unexpected reversal of her expectations of a long, lonely future was the very essence of magic.


Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:11 pm
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Wilson must be a contender as I know he has featured in Wizard, Hornet, Hotspur and Buddy over the course of 30 plus years. He may have featured in others but I leave that to Kashgar and Phoenix to expand on my imperfect memory and incomplete collections. And compared to the non-ageing of Billy Dane and company, Wilsom remains ageless.

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Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:36 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
And compared to the non-ageing of Billy Dane and company, Wilsom remains ageless.
Well not quite, Col, because we know that Wilson was born on the First of November 1795.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:19 am
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Billy Bunter with a 68 year continuous career in multiple titles would take some beating.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:22 am
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Kashgar wrote:
Billy Bunter with a 68 year continuous career in multiple titles would take some beating.
And regularly at that. Just ask Mr Quelch!


Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:19 am
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Sticking to the original question, about which character appeared in the greatest numbers of titles in a continuing (though not quite unbroken) narrative: Captain Britain moved from his own 39 issue title in 1976/1977 to a roughly six month run in Super Spider-Man in 1977, then resurfaced (after a period as a hermit!) as a co-star in Hulk Comic in 1979/1980 (some installments just featured the Captain, and he duly got the masthead), before getting his own solo series again in Marvel Super-Heroes in 1981/1982, which then moved across to The Daredevils in 1983 and to Mighty World of Marvel in 1983/1984, and then into his own second title in 1985/1986. Seven titles spread over just short of ten years (October 1976-February 1986), one continuous narrative, though there were frequently breaks of a few months between titles (and, of course, a break of just over a year between his last appearance in Super Spider-Man and his discovery by the Black Knight). He later resurfaced in British comics again in The Knights of Pendragon series beginning in July 1990, but he'd made several years worth of appearances in American Marvel titles in the intervening years, so that can't really be considered "a continuous narrative" anymore as far as British comics are concerned, even though his personal continuity remained intact.

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:54 am
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I've always thought that "magic realism" was fantasy for snobs who wouldn't read something labelled "fantasy". Is there actually any functional difference between the two labels, other than who reads them?

It's like when Douglas Adams claimed that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was actually social satire and not science fiction at all. In fact it's both, but he was trying to woo the literary set who wouldn't touch anything labelled SF with a bargepole.

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Mon May 12, 2014 11:25 am
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I wonder how many long running characters were `updated` to fit a new era? I speak in a little knowledge as a big Sparky fan! The Sparky endlessly revived old comic characters from other comics! Some like "Invisible Dick" or "Meddlesome Matty" in Sparky mid 1960s looked very different to their first incarnations decades previous!

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Mon May 12, 2014 2:43 pm
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Speaking of Sparky I noticed that one dealer at Saturday's Birmingham Comic Mart had a couple of pages of original I-Spy art by Brian Walker - something that our resident fans might want to watch out for as they don't turn up very often!

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Mon May 12, 2014 4:06 pm
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Marionette wrote:
I've always thought that "magic realism" was fantasy for snobs who wouldn't read something labelled "fantasy". Is there actually any functional difference between the two labels, other than who reads them?.


Magic Realism describes work that tends to portray the imaginary and fantastic in a realistic or rational way, or blends the dreamlike/mythical/weird with realistic and everyday happenings, so it isn't the same as all "fantasy."


Mon May 12, 2014 8:42 pm
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Charley's War is very topical this year and has featured in quite a number of titles: Battle, Eagle, Judge Dredd, his own collected books.

Just aged 16 in 1916, he ages considerably by 1939 and the BEF in France.

Does anyone knows of any other titles he has appeared in?


Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:22 pm
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Muffy wrote:
Charley's War is very topical this year and has featured in quite a number of titles: Battle, Eagle, Judge Dredd, his own collected books.

Just aged 16 in 1916, he ages considerably by 1939 and the BEF in France.

Does anyone knows of any other titles he has appeared in?


Wasn't Charleys war all reprints by the time he was in eagle & judge dredd so would he count as billys boots was all new stories in his various titles as far as im aware.


Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:04 pm
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