British comics as the name suggests are comics that originate from Britain. British comics are usually Anthology Comics
and often have annuals printed once a year in time for Christmas (or at least they used to), likewise summer specials printed in time for the summer holidays. British comics evolved out of story papers
with a number of story papers switching to comics. The earliest British comics, such as Comic Cuts
, began in the 1890s
and these slowly evolved into the modern anthology comic which in the early days would feature humourous, adventurous and text stories the latter owing to their story paper
roots. The oldest British Comic which survives to this day is The Dandy
which began in 1937 although The Beano
(from the same publisher) which began, a year later, in 1938 has now superseded it in issue numbers due to the Dandy's period as a fortnightly publication in the late 2000s and will most likely take the title as the former ceased publication in December 2012.
There are four main genres of British comics. It should be noted that as many British Comics are anthologies different strips in a comic maybe from a different genre but since the 1970s nearly all British Comics are solely one genre.
One of the main genres are British Humour Comics
the most popular comics of this genre are often considered to be The Beano
and The Dandy
. There used to be many more, but sales decreased over the years and many of them merged
or became defunct around The Nineties
: some of the most popular characters from these discontinued comics have migrated to The Beano
or The Dandy
. Both of these comics have existed since the late 1930s. This genre often relies more on tropes common in cartoons. This Humour Comic genre is probably the most popular genre.
There are also adventure comics which are quite different to their American equivalents that instead of focusing on Super Heroes
they use a lot of war, sci-fi or football stories. Good examples of this genre would be 2000 AD
The girls' equivalent of this would often feature sports or ballet themed stories,and school settings, although they would often include an element of fantasy or science fiction. Typical examples would be Girl
, and Princess Tina
. In the 1970's genre aspects became more explicit with the appearance of overtly themed titles such as Misty
(SF), and Spellbound
(fantasy and SF). In the 1980's as newsstand comics declined, girls' titles merged, with surviving titles morphing into teen magazines, dropping comic strips as they did so.
There are also comics aimed at the very young children most of these comics are now based off licensed properties but back in the 70s and earlier this genre did not rely on them. An example of this genre would be the now seemingly oddly titled Bimbo
Notable British comics:
Notable Comic strips from British Comics:
Notable British newspaper comic strips
British Comics publishers
The following creators are notable enough to have articles:
British Comic Tropes: