Friday, 23 January 2015


Images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

Well, look what I found in the same box as my MARVEL POCKET BOOKS - now that's what I call a bombastic blast from the past.  I was working in the warehouse of BAIRDS department store in the main shopping area of my home town in 1979 when the above comic hit newsagents' shelves, but not for long.  A few weeks later and I'd be working in the Central library just a short walk away.  Ah, happy memories of a time so long ago, but which somehow seems like only yesterday.

I always felt that D.C. THOMSON's 10p comic The CRUNCH was, to a degree, intended as an answer to IPC's 2000 A.D.  It was a good-looking comic and one would've thought it was destined to survive for far longer than the meagre 54 issues that it actually managed.  Looking at the 'cheap' paper, it convinces me that the argument that today's comics need to be printed in full colour on glossy paper in order to compete for the attention of readers is arrant nonsense.  If a comic in this format were published today, I'd buy it - and I bet I'm not the only one.

I'm sure I still have the free gifts somewhere - I've certainly got the poster and the skull pin-badge.  I used to have the poster up on my wall - more to fill a space than anything else, because I'm not a fan of motorbike racing or BARRY SHEENE - nothing against him though.  Anyway, if you bought this short-lived weekly comic back in the day, here are a few images to refresh your memories of 36 years ago.  If you weren't born at the time, don't blame me - I was out most weekends doing my best to increase the population.  Why, I could pull any girl I pleased.  Trouble was, I just didn't please any.  (And thanks to BENNY HILL for that joke!)

Pin back your peepers and away we go!


baab said...

First time seeing this for me.
The contents and art look good.
I was discussing this morning with my kids how British comics would give away a couple of free gifts which were usually unrelated crap.

Obviously,as featured on your blog and elsewhere, there were exceptions.

We were discussing this was because last night I treated them to a comic each from the local Tesco shelf.
Like most kids today they are lego collectors(well,more like consumers)and a comic caught my eye which gave away a free mini figure on the cover,all for £3.25 which is a relative bargain.
They were delighted and this morning at breakfast they were still reading through the comic.
They see it slightly differently though.
Its a magazine,not a comic.
The contents are meagre,two posters,a spot the difference page,articles and competitions and a couple of comic strips featuring the lego characters.
My kids think a comic is part of the contents and not the thing itself.

The whole thing serves as an advertisement and catalogue for the lego sets.

One other thing struck me as I read your post though.
The Crunch may be sold in the seventies but it's still guns,fighting,teams and how to hate Hitler.

I always preferred the fantasy or super hero stuff.

Which was also, guns,fighting,teams and how to hate Hitler!

I hated the plastic aeroplanes.

Kid said...

Strange, eh? A lot of comics nowadays seem to be more like activity mags, with very little comics content. I doubt that they'd much interest me. They must be incredibly cheap to throw together. What do your kids think of The Beano, Baab?

Colin Jones said...

I've never heard of this but it highlights one thing that bugged me about British comics and that's the way they were divided into girls' and boys' comics. This is such sexist crap - I loved my Marvel comics and once in a blue moon I'd read something like 'Warlord' but I also used to read my sister's comics like 'Mandy' and 'Judy' and shock, horror I quite enjoyed the stories in them.

Kid said...

You've been brainwashed by the feminists or the PC brigade, CJ. There's nothing wrong with aiming something at a specific readership, especially as not all girls would pick up a superhero comic, nor all boys a romance one. Funny how 'wimmin' want men's mags to also be for women, but their own mags to cater exclusively to them. Besides, there's nothing to stop anybody from reading anything they want (IF they want to), regardless of who the target audience is.

Colin Jones said...

Well, I admit I wouldn't want to read a romance one either but the stories in Mandy and Judy weren't like that and I didn't feel they were particularly girly. The Beezer/Topper/Beano etc were unisex and the good thing about Marvel was you could read Spiderwoman and Ms. Marvel and they weren't "for girls" just part of the same Marvel universe as Spidey and the Hulk. I also used to read The Three Investigators books and the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew - a few years ago I found out that Nancy Drew was for girls which I was completely unaware of at the time. Just because Nancy was a girl the books were for girls ? Does that mean 'Prime Suspect' was only for women because it starred Helen Mirren as a woman cop ?

Kid said...

Some of the stories in Mandy & Judy may have been written by Pat Mills, I believe - if so, that might explain why they weren't particularly girlie. Used to read the Three Investigators myself. Read a couple of Hardy Boys books, but never a Nancy Drew one. Probably the same team of writers on each one, writing under a stock name.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

The really poor paper quality of British comics back then , and in particular DCTs books really put me off buying them (although I had all but stopped buy non Marvel / DC UK comics from about 1977) this was brought home to me all the more earlier today on a visit to the West End (of Glasgow) actually looking for an issue of The Crunch ( based on another recent blog article on this book) when I came across several boxes of old UK comics (Score, Scoop, Dandy, Beano, Buster, Tiger..... etc) from about 1975 - 1983 and they looked really poor and lacking in an visual interest to me at least (although they weren't kept in great nick) - A daft name for a comic all the same what is "The Crunch" anyway. The stories seemed to be really interesting albeit they were about Hitler and fighting but strips like the "The Walking Bombs" etc sound different types of story for DCT. The "Arena" strip was collected and published recently.

I always thought putting "for boys" or "for girls" on the comics was a bit strange as it was pretty obvious in 99% of these cases that the stories were aimed and whatever gender (and a lot of girls do like adventure so that may have put them off reading them). As always a nice wee blog there Kid.

Kid said...

Talking about condition, funnily enough, I've just been looking at my run of Mighty TV Comic from the '70s and 99% of them are in the same condition as when I bought them. I think it's all down to how they're looked after, McScotty, not the paper they're printed on. All my issues of The Crunch are likewise nearly perfect, and look almost as new (and in most cases you can forget the 'almost') as the day I got 'em. Comics of this type DO look incredibly tatty when they're not looked after 'though, I agree. Glad you enjoyed the post - it was JP, I think, who I'd promised to do a Crunch post when I found them, so I'm glad I did.

baab said...

Only one of my kids is a reader,and a trivia enthusiast.
The other takes a slight interest but is lost in the world of minecraft and youtube.

In their world youtube is where its at.
They actually watch video footage of others playing minecraft.

And of course lego which has been their thing for the past six or seven years.

I bought a selection of british comic annuals for them to read,The Dandy and the Beano among them.

So I just asked my son who read them, what he understood or enjoyed about them.

He rhymed off a few names, Dennis the Menace,The Numbskulls and Minnie the Minx and he mentioned something about The Dandy going digital only but he was not sure.
He did say he reads whatever is on the Tesco shelves while his mum shops but he would never buy or seek any out.
He is not interested in any weekly or monthly comics at all,preferring to read graphic novels and even then its various titles from the libraries or my shelves.
The world is changing at a scary rate,technology has taken over.

Interesting comments on reading the Girls comics,I have said before I would read any comic/magazine that came my way.

Cereal packets.

Kid said...

I suppose your boy would fall into the category of 'casual reader' then, Baab, as opposed to that of 'collector'. Like you say, the world is changing at a scary rate. Soon, there may be no such thing as paper comics, with everything being done in the digital format. Me no like.

John Pitt said...

It wasn't me this time, Kidda, but I'm really glad you did as I don't remember The Crunch when it came out, but I WOULD have bought it, as I did with Champ and Spike.
Anyway, I am looking forward to your going through your boxes.Something makes me think this year is going to be VERY interesting for us on the receiving end!

Kid said...

I'm sure someone mentioned it not that long ago. Could it have been CJ? Or did I imagine it? I ain't going a-hunting!

Colin Jones said...

It wasn't me either, Kid - I'd never heard of The Crunch until a couple of days ago (Lew Stringer also did a post on it, great minds think alike, eh ?)....I think there was a song called The Crunch, I must have a look on YouTube.

Kid said...

Or is it idiots seldom differ, CJ? Who the hell mentioned it then? GB, Ken, someone...? Oh dear - I feel a trawl through the comments coming on - must try and resist.

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