On this day, 30 October 1976: Monster Fun
On this day, 30 October 1976 … I’ve commented previously on what a pivotal month this was, forty years ago at King’s Reach Tower. Action was banned, Valiant was merged into Battle, Krazy was launched, and now this sad end to the month as the excellent Monster Fun was brought to a close after nearly a year and a half. This final issue announced that it would be merged into Buster, and included a lovely full-colour, centre-page poster to celebrate the fact (while Buster’s announcement was a little more subdued – see scans at the end of this post – despite the fact that its new line-up of 17 stories would include a huge eight from Monster Fun).
I like Monster Fun, and not only because its wide margins allow double-page artwork to fit on my A3 scanner! I’ve always found it to have a larger-than-life quality. It’s an impression probably heightened by so many larger-than-life characters such as Frankie Stein, Kid Kong, Teddy Scare and Creature Teacher, but it also gave a lot more room to its stars. In contrast to Buster’s 17, Monster Fun would often have as few as 14 strips, more of which were spread over two pages. These were hardy monsters too. X-Ray Specs, Mummy’s Boy, Kid Kong and Gums (who had made his debut in Monster Fun on 7 February 1976 – a week before Hook Jaw in Action, shark fans!) all had long lives ahead of them in the pages of Buster, and of course there had also been big ol’ lunk Frankie Stein, who ran a couple of readers’ pages in Monster Fun as a sort of editor figure although he didn’t have his own story so didn’t cross over to Buster (his own strip was running in Whoopee!, via Shiver and Shake).
Those that didn’t make it into Buster included robotic rivals Dough Nut and Rusty, Brainy and his Monster Maker, Major Jump Horror Hunter, Freaky Farm, the Ron Turner adventure serial March of the Mighty Ones (which had a two-part conclusion this week) and – most sadly in my opinion – the classic Badtime Bedtime Storybook detachable mini-comics and Tom Williams’ fantastically-realised Creature Teacher, which ended this week.