When I was building up to OiNK‘s own read through I wrote about how IPC Magazines promoted its release in new ways compared to previous comics. These included a four-page ‘Blockbuster Advert’. Rather than a regular advertisement these actually added four pages to those comics and acted as a large pull-out promo which could be enjoyed separately, just one week after the preview issue had also been given away. By 1987 Fleetway had taken over IPC’s comics and decided to employ this tactic for Barrie Tomlinson‘s Super Naturals tie-in.
So, one week after the free preview comic and on the same day as the premiere issue went on sale (Hallowe’en 1987) came the Super Naturals’ own Blockbuster Ad. At the same bigger-than-A4 size of the comic itself it surely must’ve made an impact when Sandy James‘ Skull fell out of readers’ regular comics. Unfortunately just like the preview issue this wasn’t given away with OiNK so I didn’t discover it until decades later. The exact range of comics that included this is unknown but I think it’s a given the likes of Eagle and the licenced Mask would have.
So it was included in the issues released on 31st October, the perfect day for some added spookiness to tempt new readers over. Inside, the layout shows off all the main highlights of the issue that was in stores that very day, including that bloody doll as drawn by Francesc Masi. (I mean this endearingly because I loved being scared by that thing.) A few of the toy characters are shown in their new comic form and there’s a preview of three of the strips, perfectly highlighting the creepy artwork to be found in this very different publication. I must admit though, I’m not entirely sure what the “Be Patient” is all about.
The back page highlights the free gift and the physical details of the comic. I always did love the way Fleetway would draw pages behind the cover, something they did with adverts for their annuals. It gives the impression of a thick, meaty read and that was no word of a lie with Super Naturals!
Back on Hallowe’en 1987 I discovered the comic by accident in the shop, but if this had fallen out of one of my OiNK’s I’d have been right back down to the newsagent straight away anyway!
There was definitely a big promotional push behind Super Naturals both in terms of the toys and the comic. It was all set to be a hit for Tonka and Fleetway, but alas it was not to be. But let’s not get hung up on that, Instead let’s enjoy the journey through all the regular issues and specials to come, with the review of #2 coming on Sunday 14th November 2021.