Publication Dates: 1975 – 1976
Number of Issues Published: 76 (#1 – #76)
Monster Fun was a British comic for young children (7-12). It ran for 73 issues from 14 June 1975 to 30 October 1976, when it merged with Buster to form Buster and Monster Fun.
The first issue contained a free plate wobbler (a novelty item consisting of an inflatable rubber bladder and a hand-operated pump; the bladder is placed under a plate, and inflating it makes the plate wobble). Its comic strips included Mummy’s Boy, (drawn by Norman Mansbridge), X-Ray Specs, drawn by Mike Lacey, “Arts Gallery (drawn by Mike Lacey)”, “Martha’s Monster Make-up (drawn by Ken Reid)”, March of the Mighty Ones, Brainy and his Monster Maker, Cinders, Creature Teacher (drawn by Thomas Williams), Dough Nut & Rusty (drawn by Trevor Metcalfe), Draculass (drawn by Terry Bave), Grizzly Bearhug, The Invisible Monster, Kid Kong (drawn by Robert Nixon), Major Jump Horror Hunter, Monster Hits Jokes and Tom Thumbscrew.
The second issue had a Freaky Spider Ring.
The Third issue had a Super Shaking Skeleton.
Later in the series the popular Gums, Teddy Scare Terror TV (drawn by Ian Knox), began – all 3 of these merged with Buster.
Other later additional comic strips: Frankie’s Diary, Freaky Farm (drawn by Jim Watson), The Little Monsters, S.O.S. Save Our Stan as well as many pull out posters.
The nominal editor was Frankie Stein, who had previously appeared in Wham!, Shiver and Shake and Whoopee!. Artists included Robert Nixon, Tom Williams and Trevor Metcalfe. The Bad Time Bedtime Books insert was created by Leo Baxendale.
The stories that made it into the merger were: Gums, Kid Kong, X-Ray Specs, Mummy’s Boy, Draculass, Teddy Scare, Terror TV, Martha’s Monster Make-up.
Martha’s Monster Make-up, which finished in 1977, Draculass finished in 1977, Teddy Scare, finished in 1978, Terror TV, finished in 1978. Kid Kong continued until the merger with Jackpot in February 1982, Gums continued until the merger with School Fun in June 1984, Mummy’s Boy continued until 1988 (before the merger with Nipper) the later years were reprint material only, X-Ray Specs had the most longevity continuing until Buster’s end (4 January 2000) though as with the all but one of the last Buster strips as reprints.
The logo ‘Monster Fun’ was printed on Buster’s cover until the summer of 1979, due to the popularity of Monster Fun.
Monster Fun Annuals were printed every year, cover dated from 1977 until 1985, though all contained some reprint material. They were all distributed in the UK from the autumn of the previous cover-dated year.
Monster Fun Specials were printed in 1975 and 1976.
Buster and Monster Fun Specials were printed (with much reprint material) every year from 1977 until 1996, making them one of the most long lived of IPC / Fleetway titles.
Almost all of the other original strips were reprinted in other titles in the 1980s and 1990s.
As well as being printed and distributed throughout the UK, Buster was also exported to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia. Some readers would even receive copies from relatives in the USA, Canada and even Nigeria.
Monster Fun had a total of 9 Annuals from 1977-1985. (Information thanks to Terry Bave)
1,2,11, Annual 1977
Annual 1982, Summer special 1975