Comics reaching their thousandth issue might be more common than you think. You just need to look around the globe.
The comic that introduced the world to a strange visitor from another planet reaches its 1,000th issue this week. It’s an iconic landmark for the publication that forever hamstrung the comics industry in a pair of red y-fronts. The pants are back on the outside, symbolic of the enduring appeal of Superman, at least when he isn’t killing people.
National Allied Publications’ Action Comics has been a steady fixture since April 1938 and Superman has mutated from a man able to leap tall buildings in a single bound into an all-powerful demi-god.
I probably won’t see my copy of Action Comics 1,000 until the weekend, but while I’m waiting for the postman to deliver that issue, I’d like to contemplate a few comics that already hit that landmark. The Man of Steel has already appeared in comics that broke the thousand barrier.
Not that he appeared in all of those issues, but Superman jumped ship from Triumph (last issue 884) and took up residence in Radio Fun which clocked up 1,167 issues before it closed and merged with Buster. I’m not sure how long the Kryptonian hung out with Andy Capp’s lad, but Buster ran for 1,902 issues.
Supes and Andy’s boy are not alone. I’m sure this isn’t comprehensive. Comic Cuts, the publication in which Tom Browne (who drew the Johnny Walker label) refined the modern comic ran to 3,006 issues.
The original Illustrated Chips only ran six issues, but a relaunched title hit 2,997 before merging with Film Fun which itself ran for 2,225 issues. In fact, Chips also had a bat themed crusader some decades before Young Master Wayne.
Talking of original runs, Knockout, which swiped Billy Bunter from The Magnet (1,683 issues) hit 1,251 issues before it merged with Valiant.
Bunty managed 2,249 issues. Topper was in the game for 1,963, while its sister, The Beezer ran to 1,809.
If you like the Dr Moreau section of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, some of the mad scientist’s creations originate in The Rainbow which produced 1,898 issues. Not quite sure about Tiger Tim’s Weekly?
Doctor Who’s old home TV Comic ran to 1,697 issues. The record breaking Dandy hit 3,607 issues when it closed as a print publication, while its sister comic, The Beano is 3,929 and climbing.
On the fantasy front, 2000ad has hit Prog 2.077.
And of course, DC Thomson’s Commando broke the 5,000 barrier last year.
The French comic Spirou is also celebrating 80 years and has clocked up 4,175 issues.
Its rival Tintin also broke the thousand barrier.
Any Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Canadian, African or Middle Eastern comics that deserve a mention?