Massacre for Boys was launched in 1949 as a children's newspaper. The publisher soon noticed that the readers weren't even remotely interested in the text articles but were instead buying Massacre mainly for the backpage cartoon - Jimmy Baker, Animal Hatmaker. So, in 1951 the newspaper became a full-blown comic and thus was born a legend.
Cashing in on the popularity at the time of death and destruction, Massacre introduced what is probably its most famous strip. "The Walking Wounded" depicts the adventures of a small group of elite British commandos. Eternally set in 1942, the Wounded was at times highly controversial, in particular provoking the ire of anti-disabled campaigners for its positive depiction of the physically impaired.
(Later in the run the advent of "political correctness gone mad" was to prove just as serious a challenge, with well-meaning attempts to paint German soldiers in a good light leading some children to believe that the Nazis were actually really nice blokes.)
Other strips were numerous if not always quite so successful. The fictional footballer Bosher Le Fizz proved enduring as the mercurial hero of "Bosher's Goals", but when a similar formula was applied to Andrew Culle, World Indoor Lawn Bowls champion in the series "Mine's Closest!" sales immediately halved.
The popularity of American superhero comics persuaded Massacre to launch "SuperBatSpiderGuy" in 1971, but various successful court cases put an end to his adventures some 4 days later. Undeterred, Massacre came back with "The Crusader" and they had another hit on their hands.
Mystery surrounds the "Holt Bros", characters who were apparently featured in the pages of Massacre many times, but no trace of their adventures currently exists.
There has been much speculation that all the issues featuring the Holts were tracked down and obtained by a single collector, but the real explanation could be simply that they are a hoax and never existed at all except in the imagination of a Hustle-style confidence trickster.
All good things come to an end and eventually Massacre for Boys was so unpopular they couldn't even give it away. The comic closed in 1983, its leading writers and artists confident that upstart rival 2001AD would snap them up. 23 years later they're still waiting...