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Is the Post-Ban Action Underrated? 
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ACTION is most definitely an important part of 70s comics, Adam: it's more brutal approach was sorely needed in a market overflowing with sanitized jingoism and Boys' Own Adventure formulae. I guess the Establishment just wasn't ready for it: interesting that it came along around the same time as punk : this comic was the reading-matter equivalent of rebellious music!


I reckon a lot of the early artwork depicts situations and scenarios that are best described as 'lurid', and bordering on the sensational: but todays' video games show violent imagery that is a lot more unhealthy for impressionable young people in my estimation.

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Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:25 pm
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Thanks for all those, ISpy, very good of you.

The artwork samples in your first selection look much more like they're from a D. C. Thomson comic of the time; they don't seem to reflect IPC's usual contemporary standards or styles for adventure. Curious.

Do you recall if School for Survivors had an interesting theme?

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:
ACTION is most definitely an important part of 70s comics, Adam: it's more brutal approach was sorely needed in a market overflowing with sanitized jingoism and Boys' Own Adventure formulae...

I reckon a lot of the early artwork depicts situations and scenarios that are best described as 'lurid', and bordering on the sensational: but todays' video games show violent imagery that is a lot more unhealthy for impressionable young people in my estimation.


But don't forget, although Action was intended to be a different kind of comic: a bang up to date, realistic comic full of anti-heroes for the streetwise kids of '76, the later excess violence was not originally part of the equation. Pat Mills blamed that on an inexperienced editor who'd taken over, who didn't understand the need for restraint.

Isn't it interesting that while such fare was aimed at the nine-to-ten year olds of 1976, forty years on it would be considered unthinkable for such a readership!


Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:41 pm
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Yes Raven , there is a lot of anti-hero material in the very early issues, and I definitely noticed a frame of cops being pelted by empty bottles as they try to apprehend a vagrant: D C T would never have sanctioned that one! Later on of course, this approach was whitewashed out of ACTION.


Here's SCHOOL FOR SURVIVORS, it's probably one of the better later additions, on reflection. It's quite similar to the Lord of the Flies early 60s British film in some respects.


I've also added a colour page from the later Hookjaw---which still has fine artwork, minus the excessive gore of yore........and also finally the Ron Turner version of Spinball: Turner looked out of his depth when drawing Judge Dredd in '77 I thought, yet somehow his material looks OK on this very similar future-society strip:


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Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:41 am
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Thanks for those, ISpy. School For Survivors doesn't look that much different from the pre-ban fare, really. Is this a post-apocalyptic tale or an abandoned in the wilderness tale, or something similar?


Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:55 am
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they are shipwrecked on a desert island.

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Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:04 am
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Ah, so it's literally quite similar to Lord of the Flies!


Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:18 am
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yes, the very creepy, effective black and white British film.

I liked it, anyway.

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Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:56 am
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I got Action during 1977 (post ban) and found it a good read. Now that I got the entire collection I notice the difference. Maybe the violence got a little out of hand but I still loved it.

Now if pre-ban version of Action was launched again today, do you think it would have been more readily accepted by the public?

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Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:50 pm
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Society has definitely got coarser since the time of ACTION [the recent Halloween make up is far more grotesque and nasty than in my day, for example] so I expect ACTION would still have an audience of sorts.

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Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:05 am
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