Launched in 1961, Commando was a product of the Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson & Co, a company that already had a strong presence in the British comics market having created such evergreen classics as The Beano, The Dandy and The Beezer.
The new comic proved an instant hit with its unashamedly patriotic stories featuring the heroic exploits of British and Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen as they battled dastardly Nazis and the fiendish Japanese. The comic was eagerly devoured by its target audience of pre-teen schoolboys.
Each pocket-sized (7 × 5½ inch) issue featured a single self-contained 63-page story of around 135 frames, illustrated in crisp black and white, with a full-colour cover.
While many of its ‘boys own’ contemporaries ceased publication over the years, Commando is still going strong. More than 5,000 issues have been produced at the rate of eight to 12 per month, although in recent years around half are reprints of classic stories selected from the Commando archives.
Its success is thanks to a winning formula of fast-paced, action-packed stories and high-quality artwork. It’s a formula that has changed little over the last six decades. Since June 2013, production has been moved to – of all places – Germany.