welcome and enjoy!

Hi and welcome to my blog about comics from other people’s childhood! It is dedicated primarily to British humour comics of the 60s and 70s. The reason they are not from my childhood is simply because I didn’t live in the UK back then (nor do I live there now). I knew next to nothing about them until fairly recently but since then I’ve developed a strong liking for the medium and amassed a large collection, including a number of complete or near complete sets. My intention is to use this blog as a channel for sharing my humble knowledge about different titles, favourite characters and creators as I slowly research my collection.

QUICK TIP: this blog is a sequence of posts covering one particular comic at a time. The sequence follows a certain logic, so for maximum results it is recommended that the blog is read from the oldest post up.

Copyright of all images and quotations used here is with their respective owners. Any such copyrighted material is used exclusively for educational purposes and will be removed at first notice. All other text copyright Irmantas P.



Sunday, August 30, 2015

WHO WAS THE ORIGINAL FRANKIE STEIN?



In his interview for Golden Fun magazine Ken Reid said he developed the character of Frankie Stein from an idea suggested by Wham! Editor Alf Wallace.

Initially Ken didn’t name the friendly monster Frankie Stein, and the reasons are quite clear: in the classic story Victor Frankenstein was the creator while the result of his experiment was the Frankenstein monster. Following the scenario, Frankie Stein should have been the inventor, not the monster, and Ken’s original plan was to keep it that way: this early pencil sketch tells us that he considered the name of Frankie Stein for another character:


Had he stuck to the original idea, one of the long running characters in British comics would have been known by another name (Ken had a shortlist of four), likewise his neurotic parent, but that’s another story that I will save for later.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

NAUTICAL HILARITY FROM THE HAND OF JOE COLQUHOUN


Joe Colquhoun is best known as illustrator of Charlie’s War and Roy of the Rovers. The artist has received quite a bit of attention on Kazoop!, in particular in the series of articles covering Kid Chameleon – an adventure story presented in full colour in COR!! comic. You can refresh your memory of this beautiful strip by clicking here.


Joe Colquhoun is also one of my favourite British humour artists in comics. His weekly episodes of The Goodies that appeared in COR!! weeklies throughout 1973 are a treat to the eye; I covered the strip in a dedicated post in my COR!! series a few years ago, you can revisit the article by clicking here. A few more humorous one-offs can be found by typing the name of Joe Colquhoun in the search box of this blog.


Today’s post is dedicated to Cap’n Codsmouth – yet another comedy strip from the hand of the master. It belongs to the category of nautical humour featuring an inept skipper and his clueless crew. Few people remember the feature, probably because it only enjoyed a brief 5-month run in the short-lived JAG comic in 1968/1969, and only the first of the two serialised stories was illustrated by Mr. Colquhoun (The Calcutta Voyage, May 4th – July 20th, 1968). Here is the opening episode of the story from the first issue of the tabloid-size comic:




Mr. Colquhoun’s Cap’n Codsmouth made a comeback in the early seventies and featured in JAG Annuals 1971 – 1973 (probably also in JAG Football Special 1968 but I don’t have a copy to check). Curiously, the Annuals contain an impressive amount of Joe Colquhoun’s art – both original strips and reprints, so I strongly recommend them for JC’s fans. Below is the complete story from JAG Annual 1971. I plan to show the other two in my later posts. Enjoy! 





All Images 2015 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ACCIDENTAL RUDENESS



I recently received a small joblot of the Beano from the mid-fifties and found this early episode of When The Bell Rings in issue No. 630:




I decided to show it because of something I spotted in the first panel:




I remember reading somewhere that publishers had an internal directive warning against the use of certain innocent words in comics because they tended to look rude when printed, and ‘flick’ appears to have been one of them. It seems that in this case DCT realised it before it was too late but they were more careful when reprinting the episode in the Dandy Beano Magic Moments book nearly 40 years later:



All Images 2015 © DC Thomson, Ltd.  All rights reserved.




Saturday, August 15, 2015

ATTENTION, SPARKY PEOPLE!



As a special treat, today I offer you a look at Bill Ritchie’s first drafts of what later became front covers of the first two Sparky annuals. I photographed them during a recent visit to my mate Peter whose collection of UK comics, free gifts, original artwork, etc. is by far the biggest in the World.

I’ve placed the paintings side-by-side with the actual covers, spot-the-difference puzzle style. In reality, they are approx. twice the size of the printed versions. Enjoy!