Tuesday 16 October 2012


Judging by SCREAM's lack of longevity (a mere 15 weeks, although it did enjoy an afterlife as a series of Holiday Specials), the above advert (a teaser from IPC weeklies dated 3 March 1984) really worked!

Halloween is approaching fast so - like Poundland and Asda - I thought I'd start getting in the mood, with some old old-fashioned scares.  

Today, I thought I would unearth a bunch of SCREAM! House Ads, published in IPC's other weeklies during 1984.

These small ads, initially buried on editorial pages, were sufficiently intriguing.  In an era of copious computer game adverts and Dungeons and Dragons, it wasn't immediately obvious that IPC were concocting a new launch.  

Scream! vanished without warning, its demise coinciding with an industrial dispute at the publisher which closed-down several titles for several weeks over the summer.  The others drifted back... but Scream! didn't.

The next thing anyone heard was the announcement (see the final ad below) that it was merging with EAGLE.  The other strips vanished without any further mention... or resolution.  

The most likely explanation for the cancellation was simply poor sales.  But that hasn't stopped conspiracy theorists claiming that the comic was cancelled because IPC management didn't fancy the potential press frenzy (remember ACTION?) that a horror comic could ignite.  That didn't stop them printing the first 15 issues (or subsequent specials) however and - it's often forgotten - Marvel UK quite happily cranked-out DRACULA LIVES! in the seventies without anyone apparently noticing.

BTW, I love how IPC were so confident of their own distribution that they couldn't cite a firm on-sale date for each issue.

I *think* there was also a TV advert to accompany the first issue.

Remember: the dates below are the cover-dates of the comics the adverts appeared in.  They would, typically, have gone on sale around a week earlier.

10 March 1984

17 March 1984
24 March 1984

1 April 1984
7 April 1984
1 September 1984

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