Tag Archives: Anthony Williams


I’ve really been looking forward to this after enjoying the premiere issue so much. A licenced comic which came across as a spiritual successor to Scream!, Super Naturals had a great start but can that momentum be maintained, even built upon? We kick off with another Sandy James cover which is as colourful as that memorable logo and I initially thought it contained a glaring mistake, but it was I who made the error.

The evil Ghostlings are the star of this front page and in the background we can see their human forms as they lift the cover and reveal the horrors they transform into. Except for Scary Cat, whose hissing cat and witch forms seem to be the wrong way around. But inside, during one of the stories she calls her cat persona her “true form”. While it’s not elaborated on, could it be she was a stray cat who wondered into the Tomb of Doom? It’s an interesting idea. She was the only toy I owned at the time but I can’t remember what it said about her background on the packaging.

The issue opens straight into the second part of The Legend of the Super Naturals and unfortunately it appears John Gillatt has already moved on. Perhaps as a high profile artist he was brought in for the first chapter to either draw readers in or to define the tone and style. Something similar would happen two years later in editor Barrie Tomlinson‘s Wildcat, when Ian Kennedy drew the preview issue and the first chapter to the Turbo Jones strip but then handed it over to Vanyo from #2 onwards. In the case of Super Naturals they’re now in the capable hands of Dave D’Antiquis (2000AD, Eagle and co-creator of Brigand Doom).

There’s no rush to get everyone properly introduced, so it doesn’t feel forced and I like this approach.

While John brought a horror comic feel to the origin story, especially in his depiction of Skull and his cronies, Dave’s is more of a traditional adventure strip. The story is action-packed but I do miss the more horrific interpretations of the characters. The story basically continues the fight from last time, playing out over four of the five pages and it’s highly entertaining, right down to their medieval-style speech patterns. These may feel forced to some but they make perfect sense when you take their origin story into account.

Fighting it out amongst modern 80s technology, Skull and Lionheart are impressed with the vehicles and the story ends with them entering separate junk businesses to build their chariots. More on these later. The Legend of the Super Naturals would run for the length of the comic and perhaps the original idea was for it be an ongoing tale of the first months after the characters first entered our world; a way to introduce new toys and features into the stories. We’ll unfortunately never know. I like how it’s taking its time in setting up the world within which our comic will tell its tales. There’s no rush to get everyone properly introduced, to get every single toy front and centre, so it doesn’t feel forced and I like this approach so far.

While the first issue was very much a children’s horror comic with the more light-hearted Ghostlings strip in the middle, this time we’ve started with more of an adventure feel before the comedy, so with only its second issue the comic feels very different. In the Anthony Williams strip the evil Ghostlings bicker and fight about the best way to cause mayhem at a punk rock concert while Spooks, See-Thru, Hooter and Mr. Lucky take centre stage in a completely different era. Accidentally travelling through a different Ghostworld exit they came out in the time of Henry VIII.  Right in front of him as a matter of fact.

There are plenty of jokes and sight gags, as well as funny banter between the characters. It really does give the impression they’ve known each other for a very long time before we the readers came along. What was interesting is how it’s forbidden for the good Ghostlings to frighten a human, so when they find themselves trapped Mr Lucky turns into his giant bunny form and burrows their way out of trouble instead of simply scaring the people away. Enjoyable silliness but now it’s finally time to get back to some frights.

It’s time to return to the foster home where brothers Simon and David Wickham are spending their first night. With his little brother sound asleep, Simon worries about earlier events and the anger he saw in David’s face over a toy. He begins to hear creaking and shuffling noises and The Doll leaps at him in the dark! But he jolts upright and realises it was just a dream. Or at least he thinks it was, it was so real. Thirsty, he heads downstairs, unaware his brother isn’t asleep at all. The panel showing this is really rather creepy. Oh I love this strip!

It’s such a shame we don’t yet know who wrote it, because whoever did clearly worked incredibly well with artist Francesc Masi to create a truly unnerving atmosphere for the young readers. We knew the doll was alive, knew it was probably in the house but we didn’t know if Simon really saw it and we certainly didn’t know where or when it could pop up next. Looking out the window Simon sees the dustbin and breathes a sign of relief, unaware of what happened at the end of the last chapter, and as he enters the kitchen in the dark we young readers were checking every inch of the panels.

The caption here echoes that of the one when David opened his eyes. The two events are linked. Reading this now I can clearly remember this issue from 1987. Well, this strip anyway and the feeling of what I now know was suspense, but which at the time was a new experience for me.

We get a little light relief when Aunt Louise comes downstairs thinking Simon was looking for a midnight snack. It’s a tender moment between the foster parent and the teenager on their first night living together, while it also teases us with hints about the past and their previous foster child Alan, who also had a fascination with the ventriloquist dummy. For a children’s comic it’s certainly doing its best to tell a story like a classic 80s horror movie.

After Louise leaves the cat startles Simon when she enters through the cat flap. She begins to hiss, apparently at him, before running back outside again. Cats normally like Simon and there’s nothing else there that could’ve scared her. Confused, he heads to bed, unaware of the shadowy presence watching his every move from the cupboard behind him, which the cat obviously sensed.

“But it isn’t in the dustbin!”

The Doll

We don’t actually see the doll until the final panel of the five pages, but we somehow feel it throughout. It’s still compelling 34 years later. Even though I wouldn’t buy the next issue as a kid (something else must’ve grabbed my fickle attention) I can remember reading this instalment in bed late at night with only my bedside lamp on and the feeling it produced. The pacing is perfect and it suits being read one chapter at a time much more than binge-reading it, which for me would ruin that pacing and suspense if rushed through. It was designed to be read this way after all.

What an experience it was and for the life of me I don’t understand why I didn’t have a regular order. I was only allowed a certain amount reserved at once but at this early stage of my comics reading I only had two orders (OiNK and Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends). Perhaps that’s all I was allowed at the time, later I could have up to four at once. Whatever the reason, I missed out on all but the final issue. Remembering how this creeped me out I regret not experiencing the rest of it as part of the target audience.

Sandy James brings heroic leader Lionheart to life for a centre page poster and it’s classic Sandy. I especially like how the faces of the lion on the shield, Super Natural and complete lion forms all have similar characteristics. They’re not just generic lion faces, you can tell they’re the same character.

Next up is another complete story in this issue’s Scary Cat Challenge.  It’s still too early for any reader suggestions due to deadlines so another unknown writer takes the helm, as does an unknown artist. I’m making it my mission to find out more about the making of this comic but information (even from those that worked on it) is hard to come by. It really does seem to be a forgotten comic in every way, which is heartbreaking. But for now these two creators, whoever they may have been, bring us Spider.

It’s a rather basic tale of an unlikeable guy bullying his younger step-brother and then getting his comeuppance. Darren Benson sees young Clive as unmanly by his own so-called standards because he doesn’t like sport, relaxes in hot baths and helps people. From the very start we know Darren is the bad guy here. He buys a toy spider to scare Clive while a spate of deadly spider attacks are reported on the news. We know where this is headed.

The final two pages are above and I will admit the furry arachnid in the final frames is superbly drawn, highly realistic and for anyone with a fear of spiders I’m sure it would’ve made their skin crawl. It’s just a shame it’s all rather predictable and seems to end just as it gets interesting. It’s a six-page story and really could’ve used those pages better. It could’ve got to this stage quicker, using the remaining space to really terrify Darren and maybe have his step-brother save him or, to really scare the young readers, maybe he wouldn’t have. When you see what happens to some of the kids in later stories you’ll understand how this wouldn’t have been too much for this comic!

Mount of Athos is once again our final strip and I’m so glad Alan Langford hasn’t been replaced by another artist. He brings a truly epic scope to this Super Naturals tale. They feel bigger than life, which suits them perfectly of course since they’re not alive and even the toys were huge compared to their contemporaries. In Alan’s hand their other forms can be horrific (see Snakebite in #1 for the perfect example) and their battles Earth-shaking. The opening page looks superb but then you turn it over and this image of Skull just grabs you! I mean come on, look at him!

Skeletor never looked that good. A truly terrifying leader and a world away from the depiction in the first strip this issue. I particularly like Alan’s choice of not giving Skull eyeballs, deviating from the toy and the original comic designs by Sandy James. While the version of him in The Legend of the Super Naturals is a crazed skeleton bent on conquering via endless battling, in Mount of Athos he’s a calculating, cunning foe and has a genuinely frightening presence.

This takes place in an unspecified time after the origin story so perhaps this is the character he was to evolve into, but I think it’s more likely the unknown writer and Alan simply decided on a more serious villain for their story. It certainly raises the stakes. This is also when Scary Cat reveals the hissing cat is her true form as I mentioned earlier. The evil Ghostlings finally show their fangs too, proving they’re more than comic relief and both Eagle Eye and Skull get to show off their supernatural powers. Athos and The Doll are worth the price of admission on their own. Both are compelling reads.

Time to wrap things up for now.

On page 31 there’s a quick preview of the next issue which focuses on those so-called chariots the two sides are determined to build in their respective junk yards. The Ghost Finder and the Bat-Bopper were the two big Tonka Trucks available that Christmas and readers had already been able to check out photographs of them in the preview issue. They looked great so I’m looking forward to their inclusion in the action story next time.

Below that you’ll see the instructions for the free Lionheart mask and I can remember they actually came with little elastic bands for our ears. Funny the things classic comics dig up from our ageing memories, isn’t it? On the back page is the third Tonka competition and it’s a chance for readers to design their own Super Naturals. I’m a bit disappointed Tonka assume they’ll all be male though, but unfortunately this was par for the course back then. (What about Scary Cat?)

Just to finish, when I mentioned “the price of admission” it got me thinking about that price of 40p. It’s easy to dismiss it now, but in 1987 that placed it a little above most similar comics. Marvel‘s Transformers was 30p at the same time, albeit it on smaller paper, with 24 pages instead of 32 and less original material was needed. OiNK itself was a good bit more expensive than Fleetway‘s (publisher of Super Naturals) other humour comics due to its glossy paper and being an independently created comic yet it was 35p. Even MASK, also a licenced comic by the same publisher was 35p in November 1987. Could the price have put some parents off buying it? At the end of the day the toys weren’t a success anyway so it probably wouldn’t have mattered.

Nothing will put me off returning in two week’s time for #3 so join me back here on Sunday 28th November 2021 for more chills, thrills, action and laughs from the comic that had all of that.


I’ve never really been into Hallowe’en and could count on one hand the amount of times I’ve really celebrated it. The first time I did anything remotely tied to the season was in 1987 when I sat down on the evening of Saturday 31st October with this Sandy James cover, wearing a mask of a rotting face and read the comic it had come with. That comic was the first issue of Super Naturals from Fleetway and surely its release date was the perfect bit of marketing in itself!

I ended up only buying the second issue before being distracted by something else (easily and often done back then) and I’ve gone into more depth on how my fascination with these returned too late in the introductory post. Right here, right now, I’m ready to read this complete series in real time and enjoy every page along the way I’m sure. As mentioned last time the first story is a reprint of the preview comic’s origin story. Of course, I didn’t originally know this and I’ve a vivid memory of pouring over this particular page from editor Barrie Tomlinson‘s The Legend of the Super Naturals for a long time.

I think it was because of the panel on the top-right. John Gillatt‘s depiction of terrified church goers, fleeing their place of sanctity on the same night I was reading the comic was a powerful image to someone who was only approaching their tenth birthday in a couple of months. The way their faces are cloaked in shadows makes their eyes almost blank with fear, the fact the comic chose a church of all places to have these supernatural entities explode into our world, the date giving it an immediacy when read; these all combined into something that seared itself into my memory.

This is coming from someone whose Reminders app on his iPhone is always full nowadays because he has a head like a sieve, so the fact this memory has stuck with me should say a lot. I won’t go into detail on the story here because I’ve covered it already in the preview issue’s review, but I felt I had to hold back on describing reading this page until now. This was how I first read it so it seemed more fitting for this review. After that heart-pounding beginning it was on to something a lot lighter.

Moving into more comedic territory, Ghostlings was very appropriately illustrated by Anthony Williams (Sinister Dexter, The VCs, Batman) who I knew from the ghostly goings on of an equally comedic variety in The Real Ghostbusters. So who were the Ghostlings? These little helper spirits were Spooks, who in a previous life had been a court jester and can now switch between that form and a traditional ghost, Mr. Lucky the magician who could transform into a giant rabbit, Hooter the wise old wizard whose spells were hit and miss had an owl form and See-Thru, who was a take on The Invisible Man and whose holographic toy could lose its bandages.

There’s such potential within this comic

The evil Super Naturals had their own Ghostlings. Scary Cat the witch could change into a hissing cat (although I assume in the comic she wouldn’t be constantly hissing), Rags was an Egyptian Pharaoh and mummy, Weird-Wolf was a very 80s villain in his punk teen and teen wolf variations and finally Vamp-Pa wasn’t a fatherly old gentleman bloodsucker, he was a vicious vampire and a bat, obviously. In their own story they want to be seen as more than assistants assigned by Specter, who we actually see take form which I don’t remember happening.

Weird-Wolf decides to crash into our world at a rock concert to cause a bit of havoc. It’s not exactly a grand evil scheme, but that’s the whole point of these characters, they wish to play with the bigger kids and impress them by causing a little chaos and showing their potential. It’s a fun set up but as Spooks and his pals give chase the doorway inside Ghostworld changes randomly and they end up in a setting more befitting his previous life, in the court of Henry VIII! Well, I didn’t see that coming. A fun, light-hearted strip to ease the tension for the young readers, giving them a false sense of security before the next story.

The Doll appears to be the most memorable of all the strips in the comic if social media responses are anything to go by, and it’ll soon become clear why. David Wickham and his older brother Simon move in with a temporary foster family after their dad’s accident, their mum having died when they were very young. They’re soon settling in and making friends and it’s all so idyllic to begin with. Illustrated by Francesc Masi (Jackie, Warlord, Bonanza) like a traditional, wholesome comic story it puts the reader at ease. A classic bit of misdirection.

I think it’s worth mentioning this was a year before Child’s Play hit cinemas

David soon finds an old ventriloquist’s dummy hidden away in the back of a closet and immediately takes a shine to it. Simon just thinks it’s ugly. He’s more concerned with his baby brother playing with what he considers a girl’s doll. David wants to show off his discovery of what he thinks is just a forgotten toy and goes to ask Frank and Louise if he can play with it. Frank’s reaction is one of outright anger and he snaps the doll out of David’s hands. Louise tries to explain that it belonged to a previous foster child who had an accident while under their care, and the doll just brought back painful memories. When the kids are in bed though, Frank tells Louise he doesn’t understand how it was still in the house, he thought he’d gotten rid of it years ago, and he throws it in the bin outside.

David isn’t happy one bit. He gets angry when talking about it in bed with his brother, a side to him that Simon has never seen before. He doesn’t understand why his brother is acting this way just because of a doll he found only moments before. Of course, we know by now it’s not just a doll. Aside from the title page, when you look closely at some panels of the strip you can see the doll giving a little side-eye here and there. It’s subtle but it’s clear it’s not being done by the person holding it.

The strip ends with a noise outside as the bin lid clatters onto the ground. Thinking it’s just cats digging about the trash again, Frank goes to have a look. While he’s on his way we get that lovely creepy image above of a hand slowly rising up under its own power. Two staring eyes lear over the rim and this is where the story ends for now. I think it’s worth mentioning this was a year before Child’s Play hit cinemas.

Kids love being scared by their chosen entertainment. Whether it’s Doctor Who, Hallowe’en games or storybooks etc. Tabloids try to rile parents up with fake outrage about such things but kids love this sort of thing. It’s a safe scare. The Doctor will arrive and she’ll save the day for example. Or we’d know it was just our friends jumping out at us from the dark. Or we could always put down the book, but we never did. The Doll did frighten me back then but I lapped it up. I’d never known a comic could do that and the strip was a hot topic amongst friends at school, copies being passed back and forth with those children whose parents didn’t allow them to read it.

Just to clear up some online misinformation, some people think The Doll was written for another comic aimed at older kids and was simply printed here to fill space. This is rather insulting to the team behind the comic. Just because it’s a toy licence it can’t possibly be scary? The fact The Doll did scare us shows these people are wrong. Francesc Masi even drew the cover to the final issue and inside that edition the story was given a proper conclusion. This was written for Super Naturals and is another reason why this comic deserves more attention and recognition.

Sandy James returns for the double-page poster above, showcasing The Tomb of Doom, the gateway to Ghostworld and he does a superb job of turning the plastic toy into a creepy monstrosity. We then move on to The Scary Cat Challenge. Hosted by the Ghostling, she’d ask readers to send in their ideas for a scary story and, if chosen, the team would turn that idea into a fully fledged comic strip. There was even a tenner for each one used! That was big bucks to us back then. But the real thrill must surely have been seeing your idea brought to life on the page.

Of course the first few stories couldn’t be based on these yet so instead the comic’s writers (as yet unknown to me) came up with some of their own. In The Hunchback of Hinkley Rest a typical teenage game of Dare goes horribly wrong when Ian agrees to spend a night in the local cemetery and accidentally wakes someone up. That someone is the late Cornelius Grudge, a gentle, lonely hunchback who just wants to make friends, but who was bullied by children when he was alive because of his looks. He never gave up on people though and here he comes out to keep Ian company.

Despite opening up to the boy, Ian and his friends do exactly the same thing as people had done throughout Cornelius’ life. They fear him because of his looks, they think he’s a monster and call the police in, who in turn instantly think he’s a criminal or monster of some kind, all based on how they perceive him with their eyes. In the end he’s forced to return to his grave, the police thinking he’s run off, leaving only Ian to know the truth. It’s actually a sad tale in the end, if rather simplistic. But the downbeat ending adds another layer to the comic and the atmosphere is thick, thanks to artist Jim Watson (Scream, Commando, Battle Action Force).

We’re back into Super Naturals territory with a two-page introduction to all the characters which builds upon the card given away with the preview issue. Sandy James is once again on hand and his character models add so much personality to the toys, really bringing those little green holograms to life. In fact it was Sandy who designed the comic’s take on the toys, a process we’d be let in on in a future special feature.

It’s these characters we return to for the final strip of the issue in part one of Mount of Athos. While at this stage readers would be unaware of how long each of the individual stories were to last, the opening page of this gives the impression of a real epic. I just love the grand scale of Lionheart and Skull in battle. The scenario for these characters is such a huge idea, it really is capable of having scope and this page sums it up perfectly for me. There’s such potential within this comic.

In reality, Athos would last a handful of issues before another Super Naturals tale would begin in its place, but that epic feel remains. This is testament to the art of Alan Langford (Eagle, Judge Dredd Megazine, 2000AD), who brings a mature feel to this toy licence tale. The story involves the Monastery of Athos and the Sacred Coffer relic which contains the remains of Saint Servius, known as The Essence of Perfection. As a symbol of all that is good it’s the perfect target for Skull and his group.

All the players are here and more of their abilities are shown off in the heat of battle. Best of all we see Snakebite transform himself into his giant snake form. Snakebite does this to terrify the monks into revealing the location of the coffer in order to save their own lives. I think this image is incredible. This is the kind of horror-action our imaginations would’ve been full of when playing with the toys, but we’d never have been able to imagine it brought to life as such.

For fans of the toys everything they could possibly wish for is here in #1 of Super Naturals. All the characters are introduced, their abilities have been established, toy likenesses elaborated on and more importantly they’re well developed for a first issue. For young fans of children’s horror comics the licenced strips offer spooky adventures (alongside some comedy) and the extra content brings an anthology feel and the promise of real chills to come. It really is the best of both worlds.

It’s a great start. I really hope this read through can bring some overdue attention to this forgotten comic, it’s a truly unique title and deserves a place in the history of UK comics alongside Scream! For now we close off issue one with another competition on the back page from Tonka. This time the two vehicles are up for grabs but strangely aren’t shown.

Next week on Sunday 7th November 2021 I’ll take a look at the four-page Blockbuster Advert found in some of Fleetway‘s other comics as part of the marketing for Super Naturals, followed closely on the 14th with #2’s review. With all three of editor Barrie Tomlinson‘s comics now being read side-by-side, this could be a great winter on the blog!


I admit that back in 1988 when I finally got to open my copy of The Real Ghostbusters‘ premiere issue I was a little confused. I’d been looking forward to something more along the lines of Marvel UK‘s Transformers comic, with a lengthy multi-part story and certainly no text stories which I associated with comics aimed at much younger kids. However, any confusion, or indeed initial disappointment, evaporated as soon as I started to read.

By the end of its 24 pages I was hooked and didn’t regret placing the order with my newsagent before even reading it. In fact, I stayed with the comic for the majority of its run. Now, 33 years later I’ve just finished reading issue one for the first time in decades. So how does it hold up to reading today?

That front cover is nothing short of iconic, often copied by my young self back in the day on several school exercise books. Andy Lanning (The Sleeze Brothers, Superman, Majestic) and Dave Harwood‘s (Action Force, Swift Sure, Conqueror) introduction to this new title perfectly captures the light-hearted tone of the comic. Unlike the aforementioned Transformers I’d enjoyed reading at my friend’s house, The Real Ghostbusters would focus on smaller, complete tales aimed at getting a chuckle out of its readers. A unique approach, brave even, but they pulled it off and created a comic like no other.

The first issue has no less than three strips and a text story, fact-file, activity page, ghost guide, request for readers’ letters and of course a Lew Stringer strip. (What Marvel comic was complete without Lew?) It’s all introduced on the HQ page which starts off the whole shebang by reciting the movie, setting the tone perfectly for this comedy comic (a term I’ll clarify later). The overall design wouldn’t change, there’d be no ‘new look’ every 50 or so issues, instead the cover and feature pages remained the same almost until the very end.

There’s certainly a confidence about it from the very start.

All of the strips here are written by John Freeman (of Down the Tubes). Editor of Doctor Who Magazine at the time, he was asked by the comic’s launch editor Richard Starkings to supply stories for the first issue. John told me this was literally his first regular writing gig, which is incredible since this was the launch of a brand new comic based on such a hot property. Needless to say, John knocks it out of the park.

As with the other stories, “There’s a Ghost in my House!” takes place with the team already on the job and gives us an idea of the pacing we can expect, as well as acting as an introduction to the Ghostbusters’ equipment, interactions and most importantly their humour. That’s all it really needs to do, but there’s still a twist. The ghost itself is a buggane, a house ghost and harmless if treated right. The homeowner ends up feeling sorry for it and in the end keeps it as a pet!

Dave’s inking added ample shadow work to gloomy, haunted scenes in the annuals

The strip is drawn by Anthony Williams (Judge Dredd, Fate, Sinister Dexter) with Dave Harwood on inking, lettering by future Slimer! artist Bambos Georgiou (Knights of Pendragon, Spectacular Spider-Man, James Bond Jr.) and coloured by Steve White (Transformers, Xenozoic Tales in Jurassic Park, editor of Visionaries). One of the other stories, The Ghost Under the Hood is also drawn by Williams but with Dave Hine (Detective Comics, X-Men, Night of the Living Dead) inking and there’s quite the difference. For the previous blog site I’d read a couple of the annuals and Dave’s inking added ample shadow work to gloomy, haunted scenes and made for some atmospheric illustrations. Finally, this strip is coloured by Paul Jacques (Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers).

Again, it’s full of action and humour and plays out like one scene has been plucked from an episode of the cartoon. This was Richard’s intention, he wanted each story to take place right in the midst of the action whenever possible. Here, Ecto-1 is out of control, Egon unable to steer or brake. You can see from the page above the plan isn’t to Peter‘s liking and in the end the car suddenly stops, sending him flying. Now parked outside a Chinese takeaway, their perpetually hungry pet ghost Slimer appears from under the hood.

To establish a scene and scenario, pack in some action, wit, character and a funny conclusion in just three pages is quite the achievement. Indeed, by the time I finished reading the comic I was a little breathless (metaphorically speaking) with the fast-paced nature of the stories and gags.

The humour in their interactions was always well developed and genuinely very funny.

The covers were mainly used to illustrate the text stories, doubling up as their title pages. So yes, basically we’d be getting two identical pages in our comic but we didn’t care, some of the front covers would have us frantically flicking straight to that story. This was especially true later in the run with some simply stunning artwork on the covers.

I’ll admit it took me a handful of issues before I read one of the prose stories as a kid because of a false perception they were aimed at younger children than me. But I remember discovering just how good they were and reading all the ones I’d glossed over one very enjoyable afternoon. From then on they often became the first thing I would read.

Space constraints might have been a factor here, but they would often focus on just a couple of members of the team per story. This would give each individual character time to shine, and in doing so the humour in their interactions was always well developed and genuinely very funny.

None were funnier than the Winston’s Diary series which ran in alternate issues, with Brian Williamson‘s (Doctor Who, Totally Primeval, Batman) panels repeated each time. In this issue, my favourite character takes us through a typical day in the life of the team. In this issue’s story, over the course of a few busts Winston’s cool head provides a hilarious contrast to the others. Here’s just one example, where a rock star is hearing strange noises in his apartment:

“The apartment was newly decorated and equipped. Egon took PKE readings in all the rooms. Ray spectra-scoped the walls and balcony. Peter explained that he must carefully examine the rock star’s expensive Hi-Fi and video in case the ghost was lurking there. We all heard weird noises, groans and whines. I bled the air bubbles from the newly-installed radiators and the noises stopped.”

Winston Zeddmore (Dan Abnett)

This repeats throughout the day, Egon and Ray going to ever more extreme methods of ghost hunting, Peter finding something to distract himself and Winston solving the problem with common sense. It’s deadpan humour at its best.

Another text feature would also be a highlight every issue.

Spengler’s Spirit Guide appeared in every issue until just before the end. In the film and cartoon Egon would make reference to ‘Tobin’s Spirit Guide’ and this ongoing series was his own version of said tome. These were all written by Dan Abnett (Knights of Pendragon, Death’s Head II, Sinister Dexter), which is no small feat when you think about how the comic went weekly from issue 14 onwards and he created well over 150+ altogether! In an issue which featured The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse the Guide detailed the other half dozen or so Horsemen that don’t get talked about. I can remember laughing hard at that one in particular.

I’ve found out recently that little illustration of Egon was drawn by none other than future Marvel US, DC Comics and 2000AD artist Cam Smith (Supergirl, The Incredible Hulk, Gen13). This means Cam’s work appeared in more issues than anyone else’s of course, technically speaking.

With Lew Stringer at the helm Slimer made his way to Britain for a slap up feed

This issue also contains the first fact-file. As a child I drew a combined figure of the Ghostbusters based on that final sentence. From what I remember Egon was the brain, Winston the heart, Slimer the stomach (obviously) etc. It was a real Frankenstein’s monster which I decided not to send in to the letters page because, well, some things just aren’t meant to be seen.

Once in a while the comic would include what it called Ectoplasmic Activity, such as this membership card and masks in a couple of future issues but it didn’t appear much, unlike Blimey! It’s Slimer. While it wouldn’t be too long until Bambos (letterer on our first strip) took over, at the beginning the little green blob was in the hands of OiNK‘s very own Lew Stringer. Of course, with Lew at the helm Slimer is going to make his way to Britain for a slap up feed.

Lew has written a blog post about his time on the comic, which you can read here.

A look at a classic comic wouldn’t be complete without a look at the advertisements within, especially when they’re connected to the subject matter. I welcomed these action figures into my toy collection during Christmas 1988, along with Ecto-1, Slimer, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and a few other ghoulish monstrosities, and I recall I ate far too many packets of these crisps that summer too. They were surprisingly nice for a tie-in.

So how did this 33-year-old comic hold up for this 43-year-old? One word: brilliantly. I was surprised at how many times I chuckled while reading it, even though I’m not exactly the original target audience anymore.

I called it a “comedy comic” earlier, a term I’ve never used before. The definition of “funny comics” conjures up images of OiNK, Beano, Buster etc. But while this is indeed a comic which sets out to be as funny as it can be (something it succeeds at very well) it’s more the sitcom to OiNK’s sketch show. I also think calling it some combination action/adventure/funny comic would sell it short. The Real Ghostbusters was a unique comic and remains so to this day.


Just as it happened 33 years ago today I have an urge to collect this comic all over again. This issue has been immense fun and it just kept getting better and better. In fact, as brilliantly as it began my favourite time with the comic wouldn’t be until around issue 80 onwards.

It’s just such a fun comic there’s only one thing for it.

Now of course this will take a while, it was Marvel UK’s most popular comic at one stage and lasted a whopping 193 issues, alongside four annuals, specials, poster magazines and more, even a puzzle spin-off. It’s going to be quite the task so don’t expect any more real time reviews for quite some time, but I am officially announcing they’ll be joining the OiNK Blog as soon as possible. The daunting thought of covering a series of its size on a weekly basis has put me off in the past, but after reading an actual issue there’s no way I could do anything less.

Finally, just look at this little Easter egg I found while doing some research, from the pages of IDW‘s Ghostbusters Crossing Over comic from 2006!

UPDATE: Two years later (this update coming to you in May 2023) I’ve been able to collect 142 of the 193 regular issues and three of the four annuals. I’m getting there…