Category Archives: the crunch

UK Comics – The Crunch ‘the No.2 for boys’ (1979 – 1980)

The Crunch was a British comic title for boys, from Scottish publishers DC Thompson, that ran for 54 issues from 1979 to 1980, when it was merged with the more popular and well established title ‘The Hotspur’.

The Crunch, one of the many British boys comics of the fertile scene of the 70’s, was released by DC Thompson at the end of the Seventies, and, it could be argued, was their answer to IPC’s 2000AD anthology title. The serials included a formula that was proving to be popular at the time – a mix that included futuresport (‘Arena’), gritty action (‘Mantracker’), sci-fi (‘Starlord’) and thriller (‘The Kyser experiment’). There was even a tribute to Roger Zelaney’s ‘Damnation Alley’ & Dredd’s ‘The Cursed Earth’ in the serial, ‘Plague 2000’ (see the cover of issue 14, below).
But whenever I think of ‘The Crunch’, I always think of the issue 2 cover (below). Although it is announcing that it is the second issue ‘For Boys’, the layout suggests that it is proclaiming it is somehow second-best, that it is not ‘No.1’. An accident of layout that proved prophetic for a title that struggles to reach a year before being consumed by another title with a greater readership – an all too common tactic in UK comics publishing of the time (see also Starlord, Action, Tornado, Eagle)

and then there is my personal favourite, issue 10, where an Alan Partridge lookalike appears to striding purposefully striding away from a giant head wearing a Hitler mask;






The following is taken from http://starhawkcrunch.tripod.com/id3.html

Crunch or to give it it’s full title ‘The Crunch’, crunched it’s way onto newsagent’s shelves dated 20th January 1979 with it’s humble claim, ‘The sensational new paper with the most dynamic bunch of stories ever!’

It’s first issue free gift was ‘The Black Band with 6 Super Crunch Stickers’. The bunch of stories inside included ‘Arena’ (Alcatena), ‘The Mantracker’ (Salinas), ‘The Kyser Experiment’, ‘Here Come The Walking Bombs’, ‘Hitler Lives’ (Pat Wright) and ‘Who Killed Cassidy?’
‘The Crunch’ is famous for introducing ‘Ebony’ (Magallanes), who was not only the first female action heroine in a boys’ comic but was also black, which was groundbreaking stuff at the time. Ebony, agent in the ‘British Special Mission Squad’, used her expert karate skills to free her partner, Bleak, from Merando in Italy where he was being held by Nazi war criminals.
‘The Crunch’ which many believe to be DC Thomson’s answer to 2000AD didn’t capture the readers’ imagination in the same way and more importantly the sales to compete with it’s IPC rival.. ‘The Crunch’ managed only 54 issues before merging, with a dull thud, to it’s much more conservative and older stable-mate ‘The Hotspur’.
‘The Crunch’ which many believe to be DC Thomson’s answer to 2000AD didn’t capture the readers’ imagination in the same way and more importantly the sales to compete with it’s IPC rival.. ‘The Crunch’ managed only 54 issues before merging, with a dull thud, to it’s much more conservative and older stable-mate ‘The Hotspur’.

                              Final issue (#54) cover;

                                               



links!!!


all the covers for The Crunch, here;
http://www.comicvine.com/the-crunch/49-37788/

26pigs covers the title;
http://www.26pigs.com/crunch/index.html

Someone has posted some pictures of the free gifts that were given away with issue 4;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28773898@N04/tags/crunch/