Buster Busts into WH Smiths

buster09.jpgEgmont’s latest Classic Comic collection – this time bringing Buster back to the shelves of WH Smiths – goes on sale soon, just in time to be a Christmas stocking filler.

This is the final special of four released this year, as well as the Egmont reprints, which included an edition of Whizzer and Chips, given away free with The Guardian newspaper back in September.

Buster ran for an astonishing 40 years between 1960 and 2000. A comic primarily aimed at boys, it was an anthology format with its own brand of anarchic and satirical humour, epiomised by Ken Reid’s ever popular creation Faceache (which arrived in the title via a merged title, Jet).

While this new collection, comprising material published between 1974 and 1976, focuses on the comedy side with strips such as X Ray Specs, Faceache, Ivor Lott & Tony Broke and others, it also features samplings of some of the title’s memorable adventure strips such as The Leopard of Lime Street and Pete’s Pocket Army. Sadly, the Leopard story is part of a larger story – a problem with the Roy of the Rovers and Battle Egmont Specials released earlier in the year – although Pete’s Pocket Army is better presented.

Commenting on the Special for his Buster comic web site, fan Matt Bowen argues that while the selected material is from a narrow window considering the title’s longevity, “by the time I got to the end, my own fears of it being of too limited an appeal were well and truly quashed.

“Ok, so it might not be for you if you first picked up Buster in 1996 and never read the classics,” he continues, “but I’d argue a high percentage of readers will enjoy getting nostalgic at their old favourites, whilst being introduce to some new friends.

“The only problem I had by the time I reached the back page, was the same problem I first experienced back in December 1999.”

• Read Matt’s full review of the special here on the Buster comic fan web site

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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