In March 1988, Marvel Comics UK published issue #1 of The Real Ghostbusters. The comic – based on the 1986 cartoon series of the same name – was priced at 38p, included four stories, and came with a free badge.
That first issue was a hit with readers and the comic continued, with issue #2 hitting newsagents two weeks later, and issue #3 arriving two weeks after that. With each issue, The Real Ghostbusters served up a wealth of new content, from comic strips and text-based stories, to competitions and more, and with each new edition the book continued to delight readers.
The Real Ghostbusters comic continued its bi-weekly publishing schedule until issue #14, when its popularity saw it move to a weekly release. By now it had become a staple of UK newsagent shelves, and readers fell in love with its ghostly tales.
Unlike a number of UK Marvel comics, The Real Ghostbusters included mostly original content. Rather than just reprint US material, the comic focused predominantly on UK-created stories, with some US content thrown into the mix.
Regular features included a comic strip, a text story, a spook biography, competitions (often to win Ghostbusters merchandise), and a letters page. Ghostbuster Egon Spengler received his own column in the shape of Spengler’s Spirit Guide, while a text feature called Dead True offered up more spooky stories.
But it wasn’t just the Ghostbusters who were featured in the comic – Slimer was also given a chance to shine. The green ghost regularly featured in the comic via a small strip, as well as a joke section called Slime Time.
As the weeks rolled on the comic maintained its popularity and was occasionally accompanied by around 30 specials (poster magazines, puzzle magazines etc). Four annuals were also released, and Slimer became the star of his own short-lived comic.
From 1988 through to December 1991, The Real Ghostbusters maintained a weekly schedule. There was a slight price increase here and there, but on the whole it was business as usual.
But the popularity of the brand couldn’t last forever, and shortly after The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series was cancelled the comic was on a path towards the end. Beginning with the February 1992 edition, The Real Ghostbusters switched to a monthly release, effectively putting the title on notice and on life support.
When the comic switched to a monthly edition it was clear The Real Ghostbusters was not doing as well as it once was. From the March issue onward the comic began to reuse old cover art to cut costs and by September it was all over – the book was cancelled.
For fans of The Real Ghostbusters comic it was sad to see it all come to an end, but it would be wrong to say it didn’t leave a legacy behind. For many young readers, the comic enhanced their interest in Ghostbusters and gave them a way to connect with new stories not available on television.
During its five-year run, the comic clocked up an incredible 193 issues, in addition to all of the specials and spin-offs. The majority of the content was homegrown, with some of the stories even crossing over the pond to be reprinted in the US.
All these years on and The Real Ghostbusters comic is still fondly remembered by fans. It served up fun content which expanded the mythology, and provided hours of entertainment to young readers.
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about The Real Ghostbusters comic. If you remember the comic, head to the comments section and share your happiest memories, and for more Ghostbusters content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
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