1978 in comics
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Notable events of 1978 in comics. See also List of years in comics.
This is a list of comics-related events in 1978.
- 1 Events
- 2 Deaths
- 3 Conventions
- 4 Awards
- 5 First issues by title
- 6 Canceled titles
- 7 Initial appearances by character name
- 8 References
- DC suffers the DC Implosion, the abrupt cancellation of more than two dozen ongoing and planned titles, including All Star Comics, Aquaman, House of Secrets, Our Fighting Forces, Showcase, and The Witching Hour. The vast majority of the books leave uncompleted story lines (most of which are later wrapped up in other titles).
- Archie Goodwin resigns as Marvel Comics editor-in-chief, replaced by Jim Shooter (who will hold the post until mid-1987).
- Underground publisher the Print Mint stops publishing comics.
- "The Korvac Saga" story arc, written by Jim Shooter and David Michelinie, with art by George Pérez and David Wenzel, runs through The Avengers, beginning in issue #167 (February) and running through issue #177 (November)
- "The Cursed Earth" Judge Dredd storyline runs in 2000 AD (May – October)
- Green Lantern #100: Double-size special featuring Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Air Wave. (DC Comics)
- Detective Comics #475, "The Laughing Fish" by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin. (DC Comics)
- Claw the Unconquered, with issue #10 (April /May), is revived by DC after an 18-month hiatus.
- Power Man, with issue #50, changes its name to Power Man and Iron Fist.
- Showcase #100: "Awesome Anniversary Edition! 60 Sensational Super-Stars" — featuring almost every character who ever appeared in Showcase — by Paul Kupperberg, Paul Levitz, and Joe Staton.
- IPC Magazines publishes the first issue of the short-lived comics magazine Starlord
- Continuing the "DC Explosion," the company increases its titles' page counts to 25 story pages and increases the price of a typical comic from 35 cents to 50 cents.
- Batman #300: "The Last Batman Story—?", by David V. Reed, Walt Simonson, and Dick Giordano.
- Garfield, by Jim Davis is launched on June 19 in 41 newspapers.
- DC Special Series #15 — "I Now Pronounce You Batman and Wife!", marriage of Batman and Talia al Ghul, by Dennis O'Neil, Michael Golden, and Dick Giordano. See also Batman: Son of the Demon
- The DC Implosion takes hold, as the company cancels 4 ongoing titles, Aquaman, Claw the Unconquered, Mister Miracle, and Shade, the Changing Man.
- Fledgling publisher Eclipse Comics releases Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species, by Don McGregor and Paul Gulacy, considered one of the industry's first "graphic novels".
- With issue #10 The Rampaging Hulk changes its title to The Hulk!, and goes from black-and-white to color (Curtis Magazines).
- Suffering from the DC Implosion, the company cancels 8 ongoing titles, All Star Comics, Battle Classics, Black Lightning, Doorway to Nightmare, Dynamic Classics, Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, Showcase, and Our Fighting Forces. In addition, DC cuts back comic story pages to 17, and the typical cover price to 40 cents.
- Gold Key Comics, with issue #19, picks up Flash Gordon (1966 series) from Charlton Comics, which had stopped publishing the title in 1970.
- After many delays, DC releases All-New Collectors' Edition #C-56, featuring the story Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.
- DC Special Series #16 — "The Last Bounty Hunter!", death of Jonah Hex, by Michael Fleisher and Russ Heath. DC Special Series goes on hiatus after this issue and is revived in Summer 1979.
- The DC Implosion forces the company to cancel 6 more ongoing titles, Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, House of Secrets, Secrets of Haunted House, Star Hunters, Steel: The Indestructible Man, and The Witching Hour.
- Will Eisner's graphic novel A Contract with God is published by Baronet Books. An early landmark of the graphic novel form.
- Will Eisner's "Signal From Space" storyline begins in Spirit Magazine #19 (continuing through issue #26, October 1980).
- October 14: IPC Magazines merged two comic books: 2000 AD and Starlord into "2000 AD and Starlord".
- Fantastic Four #200: Double-sized anniversary issue, "When Titans Clash!" by Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard, and Joe Sinnott. (Marvel Comics)
- January 1: Don Freeman, American comics artist, painter, illustrator and children's novelist (Corduroy), passes away at age 61.
- February 2: Maurice Tillieux, Belgian comics artist (Félix, Gil Jourdan), dies in a car accident at the age of only 56. 
- February 9: Woody Gelman, American comics artist, novelist and publisher (Co-creator of Bazooka Joe), dies of a stroke at age c. 62.
- May 11: Clinge Doorenbos, Dutch comedian, singer, song writer, children's novelist, poet, journalist and comics writer (Flippie Flink ), passes away at age 93.
- May 17: Mort Weisinger, American comics editor (Superman, co-creator of Aquaman, Green Arrow and Johnny Quick), dies at age 63.
- June 25: Dave Fleischer, American film producer and director (Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Popeye), dies of a stroke at age 84.
- October 4: Sezgin Burak, Turkish comics artist (Tarkan), passes away at age 43. 
- October 10: J.R. Bray, American animator and comics artist (Singing Sammy, Mr. O.U. Absentmind, Colonel Heeza Liar), dies at the age of 99. 
- December 4: Brian Lewis, British illustrator, comics artist and animator (The Suicide Six, continued Jet Ace Logan), dies at age 49. 
- December 31: Basil Wolverton, American comics artist (Mad Magazine, Powerhouse Pepper), dies at age 69. 
- Comicon '78 (British Comic Art Convention) (London, England) — "10th anniversary special;" guests include Don McGregor (guest of honor), George Pérez, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, and Dave Gibbons; 2nd annual presentation of the Eagle Awards
- Summer: Atlanta Fantasy Fair (Dunfey's Royal Coach, Atlanta, Georgia) — official guests included Stan Lee, Jim Starlin, Howard Chaykin, Jim Steranko
- June: Houstoncon (Houston, Texas) — guests include Frankie Thomas, Kirk Alyn, Ron Goulart, Gil Kane, Jenette Kahn, Frank Brunner, Ray Harryhausen, Greg Jein, Kerry Gammill, Jim Newsome, and Paula Crist
- July 2–5: Comic Art Convention I (Americana Hotel, New York City)
- July 8–9: Comic Art Convention II (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- July 14–16: Chicago Comicon (Pick-Congress Hotel, 520 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois) — 3rd annual convention under that name
- July 26–30: San Diego Comic-Con (El Cortez Hotel, San Diego, California) — show reaches attendance mark of 5,000 for the first time. Official guests: John Buscema, Howard Chaykin, Shary Flenniken, Alan Dean Foster, Gardner Fox, Steve Gerber, Burne Hogarth, Greg Jein, Bob Kane, Gray Morrow, Clarence "Ducky" Nash, Grim Natwick, Wendy Pini, Frank Thorne, Boris Vallejo
- September: OrlandoCon (Orlando, Florida) — guests include Will Eisner, Bob Clampett, Les Turner, Ralph Dunagin, C. C. Beck, Edmund Good, Bill Black, Morris Weiss, Ralph Kent, Bill Crooks, and Zack Mosley
- November 13–15: OAF SF & Nostalgia Show 1978 (Tradewinds Show, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
- November 17–19: Delaware Valley Comicart Consortium Convention Honoring Women in Comics (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- November 24–26: Creation '78 (Statler Hilton, New York City) — guests include John Byrne, Howard Chaykin, Jim Steranko, Herb Trimpe, Gray Morrow, Bob Larkin, John Romita, Sr., John Romita, Jr., Gene Colan, Rudy Nebres, and Tom Yeates
- December 1–3: Wintercon '78 (Tradewinds Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
- December 29: Albany Comic Con (Albany, New York)
Presented in 1979 for comics published in 1978:
- Roll of Honour: Steve Englehart
- Favourite Writer: Chris Claremont
- Favourite Artist: John Byrne
- Favourite Inker: Terry Austin
- Favourite Comic Book (Drama): Uncanny X-Men (Marvel Comics)
- Favourite New Comics Title: Micronauts
- Favourite Single Story: "Mindgames", Uncanny X-Men #111, by Chris Claremont and John Byrne
- Best Continuing Story: "The Korvac Saga", in The Avengers #167, 168, 170-177, written by Jim Shooter and David Michelinie, with art by George Pérez and David Wenzel
- Favourite Cover: Master of Kung Fu #67, by Paul Gulacy
- Favourite Team: X-Men
- Favorite Supporting Character: Wolverine
- Favourite Villain: Magneto
- Character Most Worthy of His Own Title: Silver Surfer
- Favourite Specialist Comics Publication: Comic Media News
- Favourite Writer: T.B. Grover
- Favourite Artist: John Bolton
- Favourite Comic: 2000 AD (Fleetway)
- Favourite Character: Judge Dredd
First issues by title
- Release: September/October. Writer: Robert Kanigher. Artist: Joe Kubert. (Immediately cancelled as a victim of the DC Implosion.)
- Release: September/October. Editor: Cary Burkett. (Reprint title immediately cancelled as a victim of the DC Implosion.)
- Release: April. Writer/Artist: Jack Kirby.
- Release: April. Writer/Artist: Jack Kirby.
À Suivre magazine
- Release: February by Casterman.
- Release: February 4 by Fleetway.
- Release: May 13 by IPC Media.
- All Star Comics, with issue #74 (September/October)
- Aquaman, with issue #63 (August/September)
- Army at War, with issue #1 (November )
- Batman Family, with issue #20 (November ) — folded into the newly reformatted DC Dollar Comic Detective Comics
- Battle Classics, with issue #1 (September/October)
- Black Lightning, with issue #11 (September/October)
- Challengers of the Unknown, with issue #87 (June/July)
- Claw the Unconquered, with issue #12 (August/September)
- DC Super Stars, with issue #18 (January /February )
- Doorway to Nightmare, with issue #5 (September/October) — folded into the DC Dollar Comic The Unexpected
- Dynamic Classics, with issue #1 (September/October)
- Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, with issue #5 (October/November)
- Freedom Fighters, with issue #15 (July/August)
- House of Secrets, with issue #154 (October/November)
- Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, with issue #59 (September/October)
- Karate Kid, with issue #15 (July/August)
- Metal Men, with issue #56 (February /March )
- Mister Miracle, with issue #25 (August )
- Our Fighting Forces, with issue #181 (September/October)
- Return of The New Gods, with issue #19 (July/August) — the numbering had continued from the New Gods 1971 series, which itself had been cancelled in 1972.
- Secret Society of Super Villains, with issue #15 (June/July)
- Secrets of Haunted House, with issue #14 (October/November) — revived a year later, however, with issue #15; the title continues until issue #46 in March 1982.
- Shade, the Changing Man, with issue #9 (August/September)
- Shazam!, with issue #35 (May/June) — folded into the DC Dollar Comic World's Finest
- Showcase, with issue #104 (September ) — the numbering had continued from the first volume of Showcase, which itself had been cancelled in 1970.
- Star Hunters, with issue #7 (October/November)
- Steel: The Indestructible Man, with issue #5 (October/November)
- Super-Team Family, with issue #15 (March/April) — the basic concept is reborn a few months later with the July debut of DC Comics Presents
- Teen Titans, with issue #53 (February )
- Welcome Back, Kotter, with issue #10 (March/April)
- The Witching Hour, with issue #85 (October ) — folded into the DC Dollar Comic The Unexpected
- The Champions, with issue #17 (January)
- Devil Dinosaur, with issue #9 (December)
- The Eternals, with issue #19 (January)
- Kull the Destroyer, with issue #29 (October)
- Marvel Classics Comics, with issue #36 (December)
- Bullet, with issue #147 (D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd, December ) — merged with Warlord
- Ghostly Haunts, with issue #58 (April, Charlton)
- Krazy, with issue #79 (IPC, April 15) — merged with Whizzer and Chips
- The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves, with issue #65 (Charlton, May) — the title picks up again with issue #66 in May 1981
- Starlord, with issue #22 (IPC Media, October 7)
Initial appearances by character name
- Air Wave (Harold Jordan), in Green Lantern #48 (January)
- Cinnamon, in Weird Western Tales #48 (September /October )
- Commander Steel, in Steel, the Indestructible Man #1
- Count Vertigo, World's Finest Comics #251
- Doctor Mist, in Super Friends #12
- The Elementals, in Super Friends #14 (October)
- Fadeaway Man, in Detective Comics #479
- Firestorm, in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #1
- Killer Frost, in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #3
- Madame Xanadu, in Doorway to Nightmare #1 (February)
- Madame Zodiac, in Batman Family #17
- Multiplex, in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #2
- Ultraa, in Justice League of America #153
- Arcade, in Marvel Team-Up #65 (January)
- Big Wheel, in The Amazing Spider-Man #182
- Bethany Cabe, in Iron Man #117
- Carrion, in Spectacular Spider-Man #25
- Devil Dinosaur, in Devil Dinosaur #1 (April)
- Vindicator (later Guardian), in Uncanny X-Men #109
- Hoder, in Thor #274
- Hypno-Hustler, in Spectacular Spider-Man #24
- Kiber the Cruel, in Black Panther #11 (September)
- Moon-Boy, in Devil Dinosaur #1 (April)
- Moonstone, in The Incredible Hulk #228
- Mystique, in Ms. Marvel #16
- Ben Urich, Daredevil #153
- Virako, in Thor Annual #7
- Wendell Vaughn (Marvel Man), in Captain America #217 (January)
- Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Running Press. p. 163. ISBN 0-7624-3663-8.
In this fondly remembered tale that was later adapted into an episode of the 1990s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series, the Joker poisoned the harbors of Gotham so that the fish would all bear his signature grin, a look the Joker then tried to trademark in order to collect royalties.
- DC Special Series #15 at the Grand Comics Database
- DC Special Series #16 at the Grand Comics Database
- Shenker, Israel. "Comic-Book Fans Gather for 'Creation '79': The Hand Is the Ticket," New York Times (25 November 1978), p. 26.
- Letters page, Uncanny X-Men #119 (March 1979).
- Bolton profile, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999.
- Johnson, Dan (August 2013). "We Are (Super-Team) Family". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (66): 8–14.