Tuesday, 19 January 2016

1974: BUSTER BOOK OF SPOOKY STORIES 1975 (IPC)

From 1974: Not the sort of thing you'd expect from BUSTER...

In what must constitute one of the oddest brand extensions from the IPC stable, Kings Reach Tower issued this not-quite-like-the-weekly BUSTER BOOK OF SPOOKY STORIES (described as an "annual" but actually more akin to a softback album) in late 1974 for the Halloween/ gifting season.  

Does Skinn (him again) put this (and the following year's second and final outing) together after his pitch for a new IPC horror weekly (to be called CHILLER... a name he finally revived as one of the MARVEL UK POCKET BOOKS in 1980) was staked by the publisher's higher echelons. Apparently they didn't see the potential/ didn't fancy the backlash (delete as applicable) of a horror comic but thought they would get away with it... and shift more copies... by making it into a spin-off from one of their venerable humour weeklies (Buster turned out to be a good choice... it eventually became the once mighty humour group's last-man-standing title... before eventually succumbing as well). Despite the association, the links with the weekly were actually few and far between with the normal Fleetway mix of new commissions and vintage already-paid-for reprints residing in the Fleetway vaults. 

Copies of these two books don't seem to surface very often. I found this in a secondhand bookstore last year for a couple of pounds. 

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