Cor!! is launched. Popular stories include Gus the Gorilla (“You can’t make a monkey out of Gus!”) and The Slimms. One story, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke lasts until 2000 (in Cor!! and elsewhere).
Scorcher, Thunder and Wizard (II) are all launched.
Knockout is launched (an earlier Knockout ran between 1939 and 1963). Stories include Joker, Sammy Shrink, Fuss Pot, Dead Eye Dick and Beat Your Neighbour.
Chalky (“he’s quick on the draw!”) debuts in Cor!!
TV-themed magazine and comic Look-In is switched on.
Faceache debuts in Jet. Jet merges into Buster soon after.
Other mergers: Thunder merges into Lion. TV21 merges into Valiant.
Babyface Finlayson, (“The Cutest Bandit in the West”) debuts in The Beano.
Rent-A-Ghost Ltd. debuts in Buster. It’s arrival predates TV’s Rentaghost by three years and they are unconnected.
School swot and teacher’s pet, Cuthbert Cringeworthy takes his place in Class 2B of Bash Street School.
Countdown turns into TV Action.
Sweet Tooth debuts in Whizzer and Chips.
Supernatural comedy title, Shiver and Shake materialises, attempting a similar double-headed format to Whizzer and Chips. Enfant terrible, Sweeny Toddler is a highlight, long outlasting the comic itself.
Buzz starts as does girls’ title, Debbie.
Mergers: TV Action merges into TV Comic. Knockout merges into Whizzer and Chips, bringing Joker, Fuss Pot and Sammy Shrink with it.
Timothy Tester joins Whizzer and Chips.
Dennis the Menace moves to the front-page of The Beano, ending Biffo the Bear’s 26-year reign there. Dennis has remained there ever since.
Whoopee! begins, featuring Clever Dick and The Bumpkin Billionaires (and soon, Sweeny Toddler).
Jinty and Warlord both begin.
It is a tough year economically with a number of titles old and new folding: June (est: 1961) merges into Tammy. Lion (est: 1952) merges into Valiant. Romeo (est: 1957) merges into Diana. Scorcher merges into Tiger. Shiver and Shake merges into the new Whoopee!
Cor!! merges into Buster. Although the weekly comic proved short-lived, Cor!! annuals continue to appear until 1986.
War comic Battle begins.
Cracker is launched.
X-Ray Specs debuts in Buster.
Monster Fun featuring Gums and Kid Kong appears. It is ‘edited’ by Frankie Stein, formerly of Shiver and Shake.
Ball Boy kicks off in The Beano.
Pete’s Pocket Grandpa fits comfortably into The Dandy.
Buzz merges into The Topper.
The Dennis the Menace Fan Club is launched.
Action, the most controversial title of the 1970s, launches.
Krazy begins featuring The Krazy Gang and Birdman and Chicken. Pongalongapongo later Pongo Snodgrass makes his first appearance in The Krazy Gang.
Bullet, Captain Britain and Spellbound are launched.
Roy of the Rovers from Tiger gets his own comic. Tiger continues.
The Leopard of Lime Street creeps onto the pages of Buster.
Mergers: Monster Fun merges into Buster. Cracker merges into The Beezer. Diana (est: 1963) merges into Jackie. Hornet merges into Hotspur. Valiant (est: 1962) goes into Battle.
The ‘Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’ 2000AD is launched, ‘edited’ by alien, Tharg the Mighty. A new Dan Dare strip features but the real star is futuristic lawman Judge Dredd who debuts in the second issue.
Plug, centered round the character from The Bash Street Kids is launched. Cheeky, based around a similar looking character previously in Krazy is launched a month later.
Sparky (est: 1965) merges into The Topper. Captain Britain ends.
Action ends. Contrary to legend, it is not banned but merges into Battle.
Spin-off strip Gnasher’s Tale begins in The Beano.
Tricky Dicky debuts in Topper. A different character with the same name previously appeared in Cor!!
High quality 2000AD sister title Star Lord is launched. Sadly, it fails and merges into 2000AD quickly bringing Ro-Busters (featuring Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein) and Strontium Dog with it. All of these characters prove to be popular and enduring.
Sam Slade: Robohunter debuts in 2000AD.
Lazy Bones begins dozing away on the pages of Whizzer and Chips.
Book Worm debuts in Whoopee!
Emma begins as do the titles, Scoop and Misty.
Krazy merges into Whizzer and Chips bringing with it Pongo Snodgrass and The Krazy Gang. Spellbound merges into Debbie. Wizard merges into Victor. Bullet also misses its target and merges into Warlord. Target begins. It also misses its own target and promptly merges into TV Comic.
Adventure comic Tornado follows a similar trajectory to Star Lord (1978), quickly merging into 2000AD. No titles have merged into 2000AD in the forty years since. Hammerstein from Ro-Busters now joins the ABC Warriors. Ro-Jaws joins him later. Judge Dredd goes into The Cursed Earth.
Jackpot begins. Stories include Jack Pott (originally from Cor!!), Laser Eraser, The Incredible Sulk and Milly O’Naire and Penny Less.
Plug merges into The Beezer. For a short while, Plug thus has his own strip in The Beezer while also appearing regularly as usual in The Bash Street Kids in The Beano.
Rasher, Dennis’s pet pig debuts in Dennis the Menace.
General Jumbo is retired from The Beano after 26 years of service.
The first Bash Street Kids’ Book appears (dated: 1980). Dennis the Menace is the only other Beano character to have got his own annual.
Emma merges into Judy.
Tricky Dicky replaces Danny’s Tranny (ahem) on the front page of Topper.
The Crunch, Doctor Who Weekly, Penny and Starblazer all begin.
Acclaimed strip, Charlie’s War begins in Battle.
Chris Donald begins selling homemade copies of his adult comic Viz around pubs in Newcastle.
The ‘new’ Dan Dare fizzles out in 2000AD. Judge Dredd is now unquestionably the comic’s main strip.
Chris Hallam is a freelance writer. Originally from Peterborough, he now lives in Exeter with his wife. He writes for a number of magazines including Yours Retro, Best of British and Comic Scene – in which he wrote about Judge Death, The Ballad of Halo Jones, Dan Dare, The Eagle and Alan Moore’s Watchmen (amongst other things). He co-wrote the book, Secret Exeter (with Tim Isaac) and wrote A-Z of Exeter – People, Places, History. He was also wrote the 2014 annuals for The Smurfs, Furbys and Star Wars Clone Wars annuals as well as the 2015 Transformers annual.