Publication Dates: 1988
Color: Black and White
Dimensions: 226 mm x 280 mm
Paper Stock: Newsprint
Publishing Format: Ongoing Series
Reprints material from other Fleetway Publications: Buster, Cheeky, COR!!, Jackpot, Krazy, Monster Fun, Whizzer and Chips, Whoopee, and Wow
Big Comic Fortnightly run from 1987-1994. Not sure how many issues at present. BUT THERE WAS AT LEAST 158 Issues for sure. Maybe more. Let you know when I have a definite answer how many issues. Big Comic Annuals were a total of 8 from 1987-1994 for sure.
Big Comic Fortnightly was launched in June 1988. It was another addition to The Best of… family. You may well consider another Best of whilst other’s were running slightly odd, but Big Comic Fortnightly had a fairly extensive run through to 1994.
Possibly the strength in Big Comic was the fact it also brought back some of the strips from “dead” Fleetway comics like Krazy and Jackpot. Big Comic also tried to find the first strip for many characters so that you could see how the stories began.
Like The Best of Buster et al, Big Comic did not have a letters page, however it did have a jokes page where you could win £2 and also a toy of some kind (whatever was in fashion at the time).
It’s worth mentioning that Big Comic was also joined by Funny Fortnightly (1st Issue released 25th March 1989) another reprint comic featuring many old Fleetway Favourites. Funny Fortnightly eventually went monthly (changing its name to Funny Monthly) before folding.
Between 1987 and 1994 Big Comic produced an Annual. Funny Fortnightly gave us an Annual in 1991 and 1992.
In 1995, Big Comic & The Best of Buster/Whoopee/Whizzer & Chips did a kind of mass merger to produce BVC.
Fleetway’s answer to Big Comic Fortnightly, The Best of Buster, Whoopee, Whizzer & Chips. All of those titles had folded, but they were rerived in this short lived spin off.
BVC launched in April 1995 and ended in November 1995 literally without warning. I remember my Dad having a meeting with Mr Gee our local newsagent about why they’d stopped saving BVC, and he said it had just finished.
It was another Best of comic, but the emphasis was now on Best of Fleetway as opposed to one comic in particular. Again most of the strips came from the late 70s and 80s, with very few strips from way way back.
BVC was the first of the Best Of… comics to feature a letters page. In the early editions the prize was a mystery. However by Issue number 7 in May 1995, they were giving away a Super Soaker 10, with a Super Soaker XP75 for the star letter each month.
The final addition to the Buster family was Buster Classics. Despite the loss of The Best of Buster and BVC, Fleetway persevered with a final comic. Buster Classics was a monthly comic launched in February 1996. Once again it featured strips from the late 70s and 80s.
It could well have been a great chance to go right back into the archives of the 1960s & early 70s, but the opportunity was never siezed. Sadly, by September 1996 it had disappeared and became part of comic history. I say sadly because it was actually quite good. The final annuals from Fleetway were back in 1994 and the likes of Young Arfur, Walt Teaser, Gums etc had only made brief appearances in BVC or Best of Buster. It was good to relive some of the golden oldies.
Each month there would be a guest star normally from Whizzer and Chips. These included the likes of Lolly Pop and Sammy Shrink to name just two.
The Buster Classics letters page looks familiar. It was exactly the same format as BVC, with a Super Soaker prize. In fact in issue 1, the letters printed were left over from BVC.
Buster Classics was the last of the spinoffs. After eight months and a small price increase, it left us and with it a good chunk of history went too. Those old Buster favourites were lost, many of them never to be seen again.
(Information thanks to Jack)