Albion British Comics Database Wiki

Launched on 9th November 1951 and running for 1697 issues in total until 29th June 1984, TV Comic was produced by a succession of publishers: News of the World, beaverbrook, TV Publications and Polystyle. Its strip content, as the title implies, relied heavily on adaptations of popular children's TV programmes, the content moving with the times so that by the 1960s the original lineup (which included such fifties favourites as Muffin the Mule by Neville Main, Mr. Pastry and Larry the Lamb) had been replaced for the most part by the likes of Four Feather Fallls (also by Neville Main), Supercar and Fireball XL5 (again, by Neville Main). Initially aimed at a very young age group, it gradually moved its focus up from the nursery market to older (though still pre-teen) children, bringing in more adventure based strips including The Lone Ranger, Black Beauty and Star Trek. Probably the strip which more than any other makes TV Comic sought after by collectors today was Doctor Who, which ran in the title from 1964-1971 (when it transferred across to Countdown/TV Action) and again from 1973-1979 (when the strip was discontinued and the licence to produce it acquired by Marvel UK). As with many of the earlier strips, Doctor who was initially drawn by Neville Main, though later artists included Bill Mevin and John Canning.

Other notable series' included The Avengers, Tarzan, Dukes of Hazzard, Animal Magic, Titch & Quackers and Skippy, and various strips based on cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, while non TV originated strips included Mighty Moth and TV Terrors (the latter about a trio of kids forever trying to get into the TV studios and being opposed by Hoppit the doorman). With issue #1292, the title was changed to 'Mighty TV Comic', and the comic moved into a tabloid format, but it reverted to its previous size after incorporating Target with #1393. As sales waned, the title began to rely heavily on reprinted material (including, somewhat bizarrely, old Doctor Who strips in which the second Doctor was partly redrawn as the fourth!) before being unceremoniously axed with no warning after 33 years (though two of the ongoing strips, 'The A-Team' and 'Tales of the Gold Monkey' were at least allowed to announce in the final issue that they were actually ending; this was the only indication readers were given that the comic would not, in fact, be appearing the following week).

TV Comic Annuals were published from 1954-1980 and from 1984-85. TV Comic Holiday Specials were published from 1962-1984 (though the first one in 1962, which contained all reprinted material, was actually titled 'TV Comic Summer Special). There were also a number of one-off specials concentrating on specific strips or characters, including Doctor Who Specials in 1973, 1974 and 1977.

  • The original title of TV Comic's letters page was 'Let's be Gay'. Curiously, this was dropped in later years.