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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Scatha

The News on Sunday was a newcomer to the sunday newspaper market launched on 26 April 1987 by a left-wing political collective linked to the Big Flame group who were now members of the Labour Party. The paper was launched with good intentions, financed by a share issue that raised money from trades unions and owned, via a controlling interest of shares, by the workers on the paper.

It also started out with some excellent comic strips--another of which I'll run shortly. For today we have 'Scatha', a spin-off from Pat Mills' 'Slaine' strip in 2000AD. Unfortunately, I don't have the first three episodes so if anyone can fill the gap, please do. Equally unfortunately, the paper was a bust. It needed to sell 800,000 a week to break even but the first issue sold only 500,000 and, by issue 8 (14 June 1987), the circulation was down to 200,000. The paper was kept afloat by the TGWU so as not to embarrass the Labour Party during the General Elections that were being held in 1987. However, as soon as the election was out of the way, the paper went into bankruptcy. The comic strip content had an equally rocky ride: no strips appeared in issue 7 and issue 8 proved to be the end of them, with the storylines incomplete. As far as I'm aware, they have never reappeared anywhere.

(* Scatha © Pat Mills & Glen Fabry)

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