On this day, 2 October 1971: Buster and Jet
Buster was the last great survivor of IPC’s humour comics, running to the very end of the twentieth century, and on its way it incorporated a huge number of the other funny papers. Indirectly, I suppose, it swallowed all of them eventually, but directly I make it twelve mergers in which Buster was the lead title. This, the takeover of the very short-lived, misfiring Jet, is significant in that it was the first merger of humour comics to take place under IPC’s ownership of the range.
I’ve featured Jet a few times on the blog, and found it notable for a rather strange mix of outrageous story concepts (Paddy McGinty’s Goat, Adare’s Anglians) and soft jingoism (Crazy Car Capers). It did bring us Ken Reid’s wonderful Faceache, however, which thankfully made it into the combined Buster and Jet. Von Hoffman’s Invasion and The Kids of Stalag 41 are also fairly entertaining strips, and Reg Parlett’s Bonehead was also worth saving (anything of Parlett’s is always worth saving), so it’s good that they made it too. I’m less convinced of the merits of The Sludgemouth Sloggers or Bertie Bumpkin, which brought the total number of stories to transfer from Jet to six, and gave Buster a no-doubt useful shake-up of its contents – not to mention a bunch of bewildered new readers.