1978 in comics
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|Years in comics|
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- 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).
- L’uomo di Tsushima (The man of Tsushima) by Bonvi, retelling of the famous battle as seen by Jack London, for the series Un uomo un’avventura (Bonelli).
- February 2: Belgian comics artist Maurice Tillieux is killed in a car crash. 
- The first issue of the Belgian comics magazine À Suivre is published. It will run until December 1997.
- Detective Comics #475, "The Laughing Fish" by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin. (DC Comics)
- On A suivre, first chapter of Ici meme (Just here), graphic novel of political satire by Jean-Claude Forest and Jacques Tardi.
- 2 March: in Spirou, the first chapter of La fille du vent, by Roger Leloup, is published.
- 21 March: In Pilote, the first chapter of the Valérian story Heroes of the Equinox by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres is published.
- 18 April: In the Le journal de Tintin, the first chapter of the second Thorgal story The island of frozen seas by Jean Van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosiński is published.
- 20 April: in Spirou, first chapter of Kodo le tyran, by Jean-Claude Fournier.
- 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.
- 14-21 May: In Topolino, The planetary wars, by Guido Martina and Giovan Battista Carpi, a spoof of Star Wars, is published.
- May 19: Scripps Company merges its two syndication arms, Newspaper Enterprise Association and United Feature Syndicate (established by Scripps in 1919), to form United Media Enterprises.
- 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.
- In the magazine Cannibale RanXerox by Tanino Liberatore makes its debut.
- 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
- 4 July : in Tintin, the first chapter of L'Espace bleu entre les nuages (The blue space amongst the clouds) by Cosey, fifth episode of the series Jonathan, is published.
- 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.
- In Pilote, the first chapter of The black order brigade by Pierre Christin and Enki Bilal is published.
- 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).
- In A suivre, Giuseppe Bergman makes his debut in HP and Giuseppe Bergman, by Milo Manara.
- October 14: IPC Magazines merged two comic books: 2000 AD and Starlord into "2000 AD and Starlord".
- October 15: The Dutch comics organisation Het Stripschap holds a dinner to celebrate their 10th anniversary. During the event one of their guests, Dick Matena, starts making a scene while drunk. The incident will become legendary afterwards.
- Fantastic Four #200: Double-sized anniversary issue, "When Titans Clash!" by Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard, and Joe Sinnott. (Marvel Comics)
- L’uomo delle nevi (The snowman), by Alfredo Castelli and Milo Manara, for the series Un uomo un’avventura (Bonelli).
- In Il mago Soviet secret agent Ivan Timbrovic by Massimo Cavezzali makes his debut.
- First volume of the Storia d’Italia a fumetti di Enzo Biagi (Enzo Biagi’s History of Italy in comics), drawn by some of the best Italian cartoonists (Milo Manara, Sergio Toppi, Dino Battaglia).
- Kamillo Kromo, book for children by Francesco Tullio Altan.
- Art Spiegelman creates Ed Head, published in Playboy on an irregular basis until November 1981. 
- January 1: Don Freeman, American comics artist, painter, illustrator and children's novelist (Corduroy), passes away at age 61.
- January 18: Clark Haas, American comics artist, animator and animation producer (Sunnyside, assisted on Buz Sawyer and Tim Tyler's Luck), dies at age 58.
- February 2: Maurice Tillieux, Belgian comics artist (Félix, Gil Jourdan), dies in a car accident at age 56.
- February 5: Frans Van Immerseel, Belgian painter, caricaturist, cartoonist, illustrator and comics artist (De Lotgevallen van Janssens), dies at age 68.
- February 7: Enrique Rapela, Argentine comics artist (Cirilo El Audaz), dies at age 67. 
- February 9: Woody Gelman, American comics artist, novelist and publisher (Co-creator of Bazooka Joe), dies of a stroke at age c. 62.
- February 9: Warren King, American comics artist (The Firefly), passes away at age 62.
- February 19: Gisela Zimmermann, German comics artist (continued Digedags and Abrafaxe), dies at age 65 of heart failure.
- February 28: Glenn Chaffin, American comics writer (Tailspin Tommy), passes away at age 80.
- March 3: Frank Fogarty, American comics artist (Mr. & Mrs., continued Clarence), dies at age 80. 
- March 8: Tjeerd Bottema, Dutch illustrator and comics artist (Er Was Eens Een Oud Vrouwtje), dies at age 94.
- April 9: Elmer Woggon, American comics artist (Big Chief Wahoo (Steve Roper and Mike Nomad)), dies at age 79.
- May 11: Clinge Doorenbos, Dutch comedian, singer, songwriter, 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.
- May 27: Jo Spier, Dutch illustrator and cartoonist, passes away at age 77.
- June 22: William Reusswig, American illustrator and comics artist (made comic adaptations of novels), dies at age 75.
- August 1: Geoffrey William Backhouse, British illustrator and comics artist, dies at age 74.
- September 9: Barbara Shermund, American cartoonist (Shermund's Sallies), dies at age 79.
- 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.
- November 8: Norman Rockwell, American painter and illustrator, dies at the age of 84.
- November 21: Orhan Ural, Turkish comics artist (Pazar Ola Hasan Bey), dies at age 64 or 65.
- December 4: Brian Lewis, British illustrator, comics artist and animator (The Suicide Six, continued Jet Ace Logan), dies at age 49.
- December 6: Dick Dreux, aka Rod Draga, Dutch novelist, radio writer and comics artist (Raket-Ridders), dies at age 65.
- December 28: Hi Mankin, American comics artist (the Roy Rogers newspaper comic, Hanna-Barbera comics, assisted on The Adventures of Smilin' Jack, Bringing Up Father, Buz Sawyer, Dotty Dripple), passes away at age 51 or 52 from a heart attack.
- December 31: Arsène Brivot, French comics artist and illustrator (Jojo Richissime), dies at age 80.
- December 31: Basil Wolverton, American comics artist (Mad Magazine, Powerhouse Pepper), dies at age 69.
- Specific date unknown: Jacques Gagnier, Canadian caricaturist, comics artist, children's book illustrator and cartoonist (La Vie en Images), dies at age 61.
Specific date unknown
- Aldo De Amicis, Italian comics artist (worked for Il Vittorioso), dies at age 74 or 75.
- Al Fago, American comics artist (Atomic Mouse, Atomic Rabbit, Timmy the Timid Ghost), dies at age 73 or 74.
- Frank Fogarty, American comics artist (Mr. & Mrs., continued Clarence), dies at age 90 or 91.
- Henry Le Monnier, French illustrator and comics artist (made various realistic adventure comics), dies at age 84 or 85.
- 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
- July 29–30: Comicon '78 (British Comic Art Convention) (London, England) — "10th anniversary special;" guests include Don McGregor (guest of honor), George Pérez, Jim Salicrup, Duffy Vohland, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Brian Lewis, Trevor Goring, Dez Skinn, and Dave Gibbons; 2nd annual presentation of the Eagle Awards
- 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
- September 2–3: Albany Comic Con (Turf Inn, Colonie, New York) — tentative guest list included Joe Sinnott, Joe Staton, and Al Milgrom
- November 13–15: OAF SF & Nostalgia Show 1978 (Tradewinds Show, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
- November 17–19: Delaware Valley Comicart Consortium Third Annual Convention Honoring Women in Comics (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) — guests included Paty, Mary Jo Duffy, Wendy Pini, Frank Thorne, Boris Vallejo, and Bill Ward
- 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 II (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 7, Director : Vincino.
- 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
- Harold Jordan, in Green Lantern #48 (January)
- Cinnamon, in Weird Western Tales #48 (September /October )
- Commander Steel, in Steel, the Indestructible Man #01
- 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 #01
- Martin Stein, in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #01
- Ronald Raymond, in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #01
- Killer Frost, in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #03
- Madame Xanadu, in Doorway to Nightmare #01 (February)
- Madame Zodiac, in Batman Family #17
- Multiplex, in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #02
- Ultraa, in Justice League of America #153
- Jed Rikane, in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #240 (June)
- Preston Payne, in Detective Comics #477 (June)
- Odd Man (comics), in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #02 (September)
- 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)
- "L'uomo di Tsushima - Slumberland.it". www.slumberland.it. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
- "Maurice Tillieux". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- 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.
- "News Features Services Merge As United Media". United Press International. May 19, 1978. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
- "United Features consolidates," The Comics Journal #44 (Jan. 1979), p. 17.
- "Jim Davis (II)". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Tanino Liberatore". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- DC Special Series #15 at the Grand Comics Database
- DC Special Series #16 at the Grand Comics Database
- "Nieuwe Leidsche Courant | 2 oktober 1978 | pagina 3". Historische Kranten, Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Will Eisner". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "The History of Lambiek (1975-1980)".
- "Ivan Timbrovic, divertente fumetto di Cavezzali parodia di 007 e della Russia comunista". www.slumberland.it. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
- "Clark Haas". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Frans Van Immerseel". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Enrique Rapela". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Woody Gelman". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Warren King". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Gisela Zimmermann". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Frank Fogarty". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Tjeerd Bottema". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Elmer Woggon". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Robert Louis Raemaekers Jr". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Jo Spier". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "William Reusswig". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Paul Cuvelier". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Geoffrey William Backhouse". lambiek.net. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "Barbara Shermund". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Sezgin Burak". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "J.R. Bray". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Norman Rockwell". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Orhan Ural". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Brian Lewis". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Dick Dreux". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Hi Mankin". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Arsène Brivot". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Basil Wolverton". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Jacques Gagnier". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Aldo De Amicis". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Al Fago". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Henry Le Monnier". lambiek.net. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- Bethke, Marilyn. "The Fanny Awards: Saluting the Best and Worst in Fandom," The Comics Journal #44 (Jan. 1979).
- 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.