Buster and Jet (1972)
|Publisher||IPC Magazines Ltd
|Publication date||28 May 1960 – 4 January 2000|
||The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (June 2012)|
Buster was a long-running British comic (28 May 1960 – 4 January 2000) which carried a mixture of humour and adventure strips, although the former increasingly replaced the latter. It was originally published by IPC Magazines Ltd; but in consequence of the sale of that company's comics division, Fleetway, in the 1980s, Buster passed into the ownership of Egmont UK Ltd, who thereafter published it under the Fleetway imprint.
The title character, whose strip usually appeared on the front cover, was Buster himself. He was originally billed as Buster: Son of Andy Capp; Andy Capp is the lead character of the eponymous Daily Mirror newspaper strip, and Buster wore a similar flat cap to reinforce the connection. In early issues Buster often referred to his father, and Andy was seen in the comic (attempting to find a gas leak in three frames of the 18 June 1960 issue; shown in two drawn photographs in the 2 July issue that same year, the first of which was displayed by Buster's mum with the pronouncement, "It's a photo of Buster taken with Andy! You can see he's got his dad's fine straight nose"). Buster's mum was often referred to by name, and was consistently drawn to resemble Andy's wife Flo.
The connection with Andy Capp was gradually forgotten over time, and Andy no longer appeared in the strip by the mid-1960s. From 1965 the strip instead featured Buster in two long-running series: as lead character in the extremely durable "Buster's Diary" (1960–68 and 1974–85) and in "Buster's Dream World" (1968–74).
In its final years, the comic mostly consisted of reprints from either Buster itself or from the twelve comics which had merged with it over its 40-year run.
Throughout, it was never revealed what Buster had under his cap, until the very last issue, when he took it off to reveal the same hairstyle that Dennis the Menace has.
The last page of that final issue also revealed how every story in the comic ended, typically in a humorous reversal of the obvious, or expected, manner. Here is a list of how the strips came to an end:
- Benny Bones of Lazy Bones tells the doctor that he is suffering from insomnia.
- Joker reveals that his real name is Jeremy Beadle.
- Chalky is arrested for vandalism.
- Captain Crucial has a bad hair day.
- Odd Ball bursts because he hides inside a thorn bush.
- Sweet Tooth suffers from tooth decay because of all the sweets he's eaten.
- Tom Thug now possesses great intelligence because he has passed an exam with flying colours, much to his disappointment.
- Bernie Banks of Memory Banks dies because he forgets to keep breathing.
- Junior Rotter becomes the Prime Minister.
- Tony Broke is happy because his parents have won 90 squillion pounds on the National Lottery, making Tony and his family mega-rich. Ivor Lott has broken down in tears because his father has lost all of his money investing in the Buster comic, making Ivor and his family very poor. Thus, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke have swapped places, with Tony being rich and Ivor being poor.
- Melvyn of Melvyn's Mirror breaks the mirror, resulting in seven years' bad luck, but in Mirrorland, it's the opposite (seven years' good luck), but unfortunately, it also means that Melvyn will never see his family again and will be stuck in Mirrorland forever.
- Bobby of Bobby's Ghoul has grown old, so his ghoul-friend (who never ages because she is a ghost) breaks up with him.
- Watford Gapp can't think of a word rhyming with "oblige", so he cannot finish his poem.
- Fuss Pot is too fussy to appear in the comic.
- Ray of X-Ray Specs has his specs taken back by I.Squint, the optician because he says that he only lent Ray the specs in 1975, and that he couldn't keep them.
- Jon and Suzy of Double Trouble have started to like each other. Also Sweeny Toddler says that he is going to like everyone from now on.
- Buster takes off his cap to reveal a Dennis the Menace-style haircut.
- The Millennium Bug affects Vid Kid's remote, resulting in the entire universe being turned off.
This final strip was written by the last cartoonist for Buster, J. Edward Oliver.
A Swedish edition of Buster began in 1967. At first, most of the material was taken from the UK edition; but as time went on the magazine produced more and more original material. See Buster (sport comic) for more information.
On 19 March the Royal Mail launched a special stamp collection to celebrate Britain's rich comic book history. The collection featured The Beano, The Dandy, Eagle, The Topper, Roy of the Rovers, Bunty, Buster, Valiant, Twinkle and 2000 AD.
In March 2009, Egmont UK announced they were intending to publish four one-off specials, celebrating the comics Roy of the Rovers, Battle, Buster and Misty. To mark this event, the website BusterComic.co.uk held a poll in which users could vote for their favourite Buster strip.
The results were released in May 2009, with "X Ray Specs" topping the poll. This was passed onto Egmont, and the special was due for release on 16 September 2009. Misty and Buster then had their release dates swapped, and the Buster special was finally released on 9 December 2009.
As occurred with other British comics such as The Dandy, many other comics merged with Buster over the years, in consequence of which Buster inherited some of their characters:
- Radio Fun (25/2/1961) - which itself had merged with The Wonder.
- Film Fun (15/9/1962) - which itself had merged with Picture Fun, Kinema Comic, Film Picture Stories, Illustrated Chips and Top Spot.
- The Big One (27/2/1965)
- Giggle (20/1/1968)
- Jet (2/10/1971)
- Cor!! (22/6/1974)
- Monster Fun (6/11/1976)
- Jackpot (30/1/1982)
- School Fun (2/6/1984)
- Nipper (01/09/87)
- Oink! (22/10/1988)
- Whizzer and Chips (7/10/1990) - which itself had previously absorbed Whoopee! (which itself had merged with Wow!, Cheeky and Shiver and Shake), Krazy, Scouse Mouse and Knockout
List of strips
- Adam Adman
- All Creatures Grunt and Smell
- All Humans Tall And Small
- Andy and Sandy (1961–1962)
- Andy'n'Fred (1966–1968)
- Athletes of Lost Island (1963)
- Back-Tracker Jack (1965–1966)
- Bam, Splat and Blooie (1960)
- Barney Bluffer
- Barry & Boing
- Benny Hill (1966–1968)
- Ben the Bad
- Bertie Bumpkin
- Bewitched Belinda (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Big Chief Pow Wow
- Big Daddy
- Big 'Ead (1960–1961)
- Big One, The (1965)
- Billy Blow
- Blarney Bluffer
- Black Axe the Saxon Avenger (1960–1965)
- Bluebottle And Basher
- Bobby's Ghoul (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Bob Morane and the Towers of Crystal (1965–1966)
- Boris and Shimmy in Dinkle Land (1960)
- Boy Who Knew Too Much, The (1963)
- Brayne Drayne (1965)
- Brett Shane frontier scout (1964–1965)
- Brian's Bike
- Bright Hunter
- Bruce Forsyth (from Radio Fun, 1962–1963)
- Bruise Brothers
- Bumpkin Billionaires, The (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Buck Rogers (1961–1962)
- Bully Buzzard, The (1974)
- Bungle Brothers, The (1965)
- Buster himself
- Buster's Bedtime Tale (1965)
- Buster's Diary (1960–1968, 1974–1985)
- Buster's Dream Time
- Buster's Dream-World (1968–1974)
- Buster's Good Deeds (1961)
- Busters of Bygone Days (1960–1961)
- Buster son of Andy Capp (1960–1961)
- Byrds of Paradise Isle
- Calamity Kate (1966–1968)
- Captain Crucial
- Chalky (from Cor!!)
- Champion the Wonder Horse
- Charlie Drake (from Radio Fun)
- Charlie Peace, The Astounding Adventures of
- Class Wars (from School Fun)
- Cliff Hanger (also published in Thunder from 1970–71)
- Consternation Street (also published in Smash! from 1969–71)
- Crabbe's Crusaders
- Cruncher - the tiny Termite with the B-I-G appetite!
- Deadly Hedley
- Delbert the Dynamite Dude
- Dinah Mite
- Disappearing Trix
- Dizzy Dimwitty
- Double Trouble (from Nipper)
- Dozy Derek
- Dracula Dobbs
- Drifter Long
- The Drowned World
- Elmer (reprinted in Smash!, as 'Wacker', between 1969 and '71)
- Faceache (from Jet)
- Faulty Towers - The Oldest School In The Land
- Fuss Pot (from Knockout)
- Freddie "Parrot-face" Davies
- Fright School (1985–1987)
- Frozen Summer
- Galaxus - The Thing From Outer Space
- George's Germs
- Good Guy
- The Happy Family
- Ivor Lott and Tony Broke (from Cor!!)
- Ivor Lott and Tony Broke with Milly O'Naire and Penny Less (Milly and Penny from Jackpot)
- Jackpot (from Jackpot)
- James Pond (Agent 008½)
- Joker (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Junior Rotter (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Kid King (from Jackpot)
- Kid Kong (from Monster Fun)
- The Kids of Stalag 41 (from Jet)
- Laser Eraser
- Lazy Bones (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Leopard from Lime Street, The
- Lucy 'Lastic
- Mag Max
- March Of The Mighty Ones
- Marney The Fox
- Master Mind
- Masters of the Loonyverse
- Maxwell Hawke
- Melvyn's Mirror
- Mervyn's Monsters (a.k.a. Mervyn's Undercover Monsters)
- Memory Banks (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Mickey Marvel's Multigun
- Micro Chip
- Mike's Bike
- Mr Crabbe
- Mummy's Boy (from Monster Fun)
- Nightmare on Erm Street
- Nits Of The Round Table
- Odd Ball (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Old Nick
- Park, The
- Pete's Pimple (from Oink!)
- Pete's Pocket Army
- Pete's Pop-Up Book
- The Pirates
- Rent-A-Ghost Ltd
- Ricky Rainbow (from Nipper)
- Rodney and Dez
- Sammy Brewsters Ski Board Squad
- School Belle (from School Fun)
- School Team (from School Fun)
- Scrapham Junction
- Shrinker, The
- Sid's Snake (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Skid Kidd by Rod McKie
- Slow Coach (from School Fun)
- Smiler and Dimps
- S.O.S. Squad
- Stan Still
- Star Wreck
- Store Wars (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Stupid Street
- Superman (from Radio Fun)
- Sweeny Toddler (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Sweet Tooth (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Tin Teacher
- Tomboy (from Cor!!)
- Tom Thug (from Oink!)
- Top of the Class (from School Fun)
- Toys Of Doom
- Twister, Trail of the
- Val's Vanishing Cream (from Cor!!)
- Vampire Brats
- Vid Kid
- Von Hoffman's Invasion (from Jet)
- Walt Teaser (from School Fun)
- Watch Out Beagle's About
- Watford Gapp (from Whizzer and Chips)
- Winners, The (from Jackpot)
- Wizard of Football, The
- Wonder Wellies 17 Sept. 1983 to August 1985
- World Wide Wheelers
- X-Ray Specs (from Monster Fun)
- Young Arfur (from School Fun)
- Zarga - Man of Mystery
- Back Page Of The Very Last Issue Of Buster - 4 January 2000 Comics UK
- "Beano's Dennis the Menace on Royal Mail comic stamps". BBC News. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-19.