British Story Papers as the name suggests is a uniquely British institution.
A Story Paper is a publication aimed at young boys and girls. It features text stories with illustrations. Stories covered a wide range of genres including Adventure, Mystery, Romance, School, Sport and Westerns to name just a few. They also in some cases included articles of interest such as Hobbies, Real Life Adventure and Biographies of famous personalities of the time.
Its popularity ran from the late 19th Century to just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Story Papers continued after the Second Word War but the popularity of Comic Books saw the demise of the Story Paper in the Fifties and Sixties. The last remaining Story Paper, The Rover, ceased publication in 1973.
In its heyday, between 1918 to 1939, there were over fifty magazines vying for the public's attention.
There were however two publishing giants who dominated the scene, The Amalgamated Press of London and D.C. Thomson of Dundee.
The Amalgamated Press published such well known papers as:
The Magnet, The Gem, The Nelson Lee Library, The Triumph, The Champion amongst many others.
The most famous enduring characters who emerged from these publications include Sexton Blake, Billy Bunter, Tom Merry and Nelson Lee.
D.C. Thomson as a direct competition to the huge popularity of The Magnet and The Gem produced 'The Big Five':
Adventure, The Hotspur, The Rover, The Skipper and The Wizard, along with a number of other publications.
D.C. Thomson produced more adventure based serialisations, which didn't have such well known recurring characters, however they did have, The Amazing Wilson (The Man In Black), Alf Tupper and Braddock who turn up on more than one occasion and continued into the comic strip age.
The Story Paper has long been consigned to history, but its legacy continues to delight a modern audience.