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On this day, 31 October 1987: Super Naturals

On this day, 31 October 1987: Super Naturals

 Cover artwork: Sandy James

Cover artwork: Sandy James

Is it a ghost? Is it a man? Aaaaaagh! It’s a hologram!

Super Naturals was a short-run (only nine issues) comic series that IPC published over the autumn and winter of 1987-88, as a tie-in to the range of toys produced by Tonka. The toy range – the usual hard plastic affair, supplemented with a face-changing hologram element – offered a roster of mystical heroes and villains, the legends of which were expanded upon in this rather nice comic. (The legend being: ‘Throughout the centuries, men [and, presumably, some women] have found the Tomb of Doom! By entering its doors they have made the journey into Ghostworld, where they would be trapped until the force called Specter decided to release them … Release them with incredible new powers.’ The heroes and villains of Ghostworld could each change their identities at will – by the power of hologram! – as could their familiars, secondary, more relatable characters known as Ghostlings.)

There’s a couple of TV ads for the toys on YouTube:

I’m sure you get the idea!

It’s a shame that Super Naturals the comic didn’t last long, as it has good content. Some of IPC’s strongest artists of the day were involved in it, including Sandy James, John Gillatt and Jim Watson. The strongest strip is one unrelated to the toy range, although ironically it is called The Doll. Francesc Masip (I’m fairly certain it’s him), who drew The Terror Toys among other adventure strips for Jackpot, is the artist on a horrific little tale of a demonically-possessed child’s mannequin. And the comic offers an opportunity for readers to submit story ideas for The Scary Cat Challenge, a one-off horror strip in each issue.

Ian Wheeler has written a more comprehensive summary of the comic series (and the toys!) on the downthetubes website.

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 The Legend of the Super Naturals: John Gillatt (artist)

The Legend of the Super Naturals: John Gillatt (artist)

 The Legend of the Super Naturals: John Gillatt (artist)

The Legend of the Super Naturals: John Gillatt (artist)

 Ghostlings!: Anthony Williams (artist)

Ghostlings!: Anthony Williams (artist)

 Ghostlings!: Anthony Williams (artist)

Ghostlings!: Anthony Williams (artist)

 The Doll: Francesc Masip (artist)

The Doll: Francesc Masip (artist)

 The Doll: Francesc Masip (artist)

The Doll: Francesc Masip (artist)

 The Doll: Francesc Masip (artist)

The Doll: Francesc Masip (artist)

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 The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

 The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

 The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

 The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

 The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

The Scary Cat Challenge: Jim Watson (artist)

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 Mount of Athos: Alan Langford (artist)

Mount of Athos: Alan Langford (artist)

 Mount of Athos: Alan Langford (artist)

Mount of Athos: Alan Langford (artist)

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On this day, 1 November 1980: Whizzer and Chips

On this day, 1 November 1980: Whizzer and Chips

On this day, 30 October 1976: Tammy

On this day, 30 October 1976: Tammy