Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bullet - the rough tough British comic

(Note - this is a revised version of a recent post on my other site www.thoseweleftbehind.co.uk)



For no apparent reason the other day, I began trying to remember the name of a comic that I bought a few issues of in the 1970s. All I could remember about it was the first issue having a red sports car on the cover, and there was some sort of free gift.

Checking the various British comic sites, it wasn't long before I got my answer. The comics name was 'Bullet', and its first issue was February 1976. The free gift with the issue was this rather lovely ring with lots of stickers to put in the centrepiece;


and there was indeed a red sports car on the cover;



To be honest I have no real recollection of this comic, unlike the brutal and bloody Action from the same era. I have already written about Action in the past, and you can read it here. 'Bullet' certainly got the better title though. It sounds like a title that could only come from the era of 'The Sweeney' and 'Dirty Harry'. It sounds tough and no-nonesense, and it is unlikely you would get a British comic off the ground today with a name like that.

They had all the requisite elements for a boys comic of the era. Football story?



Yup.

War Story?



Check. Wonder if all the action took place in the jeep........

Robot story (think Robot Archiefrom Lion comics)???



Oh yes indeed.

After reading a couple of excellent sites today, I have learned that DC Thompson (publishers of The Beano) put 'Bullet' out on the same day that IPC released their new comic....'Action'. Whether it was a publishing ploy from one of the companies to spark a circulation war, or whether it was a coincidence, one thing is certain. That certainty is this - Action has become a more celebrated (and infamous) comic, and its legacy is still felt today (without Action proving their combination of violence and thrills worked, would IPC have risked 2000AD and Judge Dredd??).

Bullet actually outlasted Action by a couple of years, eventually merging with another of the DC Thompson titles, 'Warlord'. The story of Bullet is brilliantly told on a couple of great sites, one of them I have mentioned before (sevenpennynightmare) and another one that is well worth giving your time to (lewstringer.blogspot.com). Here are the links;

Action Vs Bullet at Lew Stringers blog

sevenpennynightmare article on Bullet

also, these sites have a little information on 'Bullet';

The British comics site '26pigs' entry for Bullet

TV Creams tribute to the comics of the past include an entry for Bullet

I did go on and buy issue 2 - I remember the free gift;



but beyond that, I have no memory of the comic. Just the freebies. I don't think I made it to issue 3, because I don't think the free gift excited me as much as the previous 2......

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