Monday 22 February 2016


From September 1988: A British comics landmark (even if it didn't actually last that long) that largely passed me by at the time... the first issue of Fleetway's "grown up" comic (politics and stuff): CRISIS.

Thanks to some deft PR in the trendy mainstream media, the slipstream of Watchmen and the Dark Knight Returns, some top notch creators with established pedigree and the 2000AD connection, this grabbed the lion's share of the coverage of comics coming of age. 

It was also a canny move by IPC/Fleetway who were finding, in no uncertain terms, that the next generation of would-be readers were not flooding to their weeklies (toy and computer game promotions were helping stem the tide but the direction of travel was undeniably downward). So the other solution was to try and hang onto current and lapsed readers longer with titles that still held some appeal.  

Crisis was an early hit (although the US editions didn't fare so well) which opened the floodgates for every publisher who fancied a crack at the audiece. REVOLVER, STRIP, BLAST, TOXIC, MELTDOWN, SPACE JUNKK, the JD MEGAZINE and others all launched (and shuttered... with one exception) over the next few years. 

As you can see from the back cover, the launch was promoted with a national tour by the creative team. 

DEADLINE (we'll get to that in a future post) hit specialist stores at virtually the same time and enjoyed a more sustained run through to 1995. 

Crisis itself ran for 63 regular issues (issues 1-48 sold fortnightly before, in a familiar move, the frequency was cut to monthly for the remainder of the run) and two specials. 

Issue 39 continued the politics, and generated some more publicity, by teaming with Amnesty International. 

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