A variety of Doctor Who comic stories have appeared from 1964 to the present. The range of releases, since 1963, reflects the range of stories told and makes Doctor Who the longest running comic strip based on a television series in the world.
With the advent of the Third Doctor, the home of the Doctor Who comic strip changed from TV Comic to Countdown. After that publication failed some two years later, the strip returned to TV Comic, where it remained until Polystyle lost the license to Marvel UK. The Fourth Doctor was the final incarnation to debut in a Polystyle publication. While there were some Polystyle Fourth Doctor stories that were original, in fact the majority of Polystyle stories involving the Fourth Doctor were merely reprints of earlier Second and Third Doctor stories, with Tom Baker's likeness superimposed on top of the Doctor who had originally appeared in the adventure. This makes the placement of the very latest Polystyle adventures awkward for anyone who today wants to try to establish a chronology of the Polystyle events. In 1979, with the publication of the first issue of Doctor Who Weekly, the Doctor's adventures passed into the hands of people more influenced by American comic books than British cartoon strips, and thus their style radically altered. By the end of the decade, the only venue left for cartoon — and occasionally even avant garde — strips were the pages of the various World Distributors annuals.
In 2007 the American company IDW was the first American comic-book publisher to produce original Doctor Who comic books in the US, starting in early 2008 with the release of Doctor Who: Agent Provocateur (comic story). The adventures of the Tenth Doctor ran as regular releases (with variant editions), alongside mini-series releases including an Anniversary mini-series featuring each of the former Doctors as well as collected volumes and annuals.
IDW continued into the 2010s with the Eleventh Doctor Doctor comics that also ran as regular releases (with variant editions), alongside mini-series releases including an Anniversary mini-series featuring each of the former Doctors as well as collected volumes and annuals. The license ran to the close of 2013 culminating in the 50th anniversary.
Additionally, IDW brought forth the first-ever Doctor Who crossover in any medium, the 2012 Star Trek: The Next Generation/ Doctor Who event series Assimilation².
In 2014 Titan Publishing Group took over the US license. They released new comic series featuring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors. These were later compiled into a UK edition called Doctor Who Comic. They also published mini-series featuring the Eighth and Ninth Doctors, the latter later extended to an ongoing series. Following the success of these four series, new series featuring the Third and Fourth Doctors were published. In 2016, Titan started a tie-in mini-series for the 2016 TV Christmas special. Comic strips also continued to feature in Doctor Who Magazine and Doctor Who Adventures.
Promotional mini-comics have been given away free with multi-packs of crisps and snacks. A newspaper strip was considered during the early 1990s (and sample work done) for a run in a national newspaper. Other comics have appeared various other merchandising (like collectible cards in ice lollies, and as slide shows for projectors and viewmasters.