Great News, Pals! That was always the tag-line when British comics merged and they usually trumpeted the event in the departing paper. Sometimes it was a small toot, tucked away in a corner but when Knockout was folded into Valiant in February 1963 it was heralded with a 4-page supplement, the centre pages in colour. The merger was a big success -- Valiant's launch in 1962 had not been as spectacular as Fleetway had hoped, but the circulation of the merged paper soared. I don't have precise figures, but certainly over 300,000 copies a week and maybe approaching 400,000. Valiant continued to sell well until around 1970/71 when it many Fleetway comics slumped; it was around that time that the comics were hit by industrial action and disappeared from the newsstands for often weeks at a time. By 1974, sales had dropped by a third.
I don't have comparative figures for D. C. Thomson's boys' titles but I wonder if they suffered nearly as badly? It may be that the comparatively steady sales of Thomson titles is what inspired Fleetway to adopt more of a Thomson look and feel to many of their future launches; or maybe it was simply because Fleetway were attracting a lot of ex-Thomson staff.
But that was a decade away... back in 1963, here's how Knockout announced that it was merging with Valiant...
(artwork © IPC Media)