Buster didn't just rely upon it's comics
and Annuals to entertain its readers. Over the course of 40 years there were several
additions to the empire. Some would be comics (more on them later) other would be
separate books that were more self contained.
In 1962, Buster published The Book of Thrills, expanding upon the adventure side of
the comic. It was full of exciting adventure stories like Moby Dick, Tiger Patrol,
Challenge to Combat and Moonrocket. Many of these were based in wartime and some were
even about real life people in real battles.
Buster himself had very little to do with the publication, use of the logo and an
advert for Buster in the back was enough to make this more of a solo publication then
a Buster special. Indeed, the strips include in this book were not even used in the
main comic, it truly was an independent production.
The next Buster Special was produced in
1970. The Buster Book of Gags was the first of two joke books (the second released in
1971). I've yet to see inside a 1971 copy, but the edition from 1970 is great and
includes an A to Z of gags, listing of jobs/objects and jokes to go with them. Buster
stars in his own Just Joking strips as well making this a good spin off production
from the comic.
Despite being just a two year production, the specials didn't stop there. In 1975,
Buster produced a book of spooky stories which was followed up by a second in 1976.
Sadly, this would be the last of it's kind, with Buster sticking to comics and
Annuals from 1977 onwards.
Onto Buster's Pocket Libraries