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.



Monday, August 21, 2017

KEN REID's SOARUS MAGNIFICUS - SECOND VERSION

Here's the second version of  Soarus Magnificus, the crazy birdie drawn by Ken Reid when he hoped to attract the interest of Mad USA in 1969. 

I've saved the third and the best version for later :) 



 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

BIOLOGICAL BLUNDERS SERIES BY KEN REID



  

When Ken Reid lost all his work for Odhams in 1969 and his regular income plummeted, he started looking for new channels to sell his talent.

Ken developed a feature “Extinct Animals” (or “Biological Blunders on the Part of Dame Nature”) that he thought might be of interest to “Mad USA”. He prepared a batch of well-executed colour and b/w drawings with photo tints and type-written captions on front and back and posted them to America. Sadly, “Mad USA” returned Ken’s drawings with a letter saying it was not the type of work they required.

In the series Ken came up with some crazy creatures and even crazier legends of their extinction. Ken’s mad menagerie included Gluttonus Explodum – the two-inch whale with a stomach capacity of 4 drams that blast itself to obscurity as a species through swallowing too much of plankton; Stiltus Loftus – a wader bird that fed on algae and could neither fly nor swim, and became extinct because it developed enormously long legs and could no longer reach its food when water level receded; Jumbosis Minutus – a pygmy mammoth that snuffed it because its oversized curved tusks developed into a wheel causing it to plummet off the mountain; Clunkerdonkus Extermini – a species that solved the problem of over-population by clobbering each other to death, and a few more exotic birds, mammals and fish such as Hornoshnozaurus, Duddus Spondukliz, Wartus Probosics Amora (a.k.a. Warty-Nosed Kassanova), Soarus Magnificus Rex, Twittus Proboscis and Gulpus Introvertus

Ken must have really liked his idea of Soarus Magnificus Rex because he drew as many as three versions of the mad birdie… The one below is a bit text-heavy. I will show the other two in my next post.

 




Friday, May 26, 2017

REJECTED WORLD-WIDE WEIRDIES BY KEN REID



In my previous post I showed a Creepy Creation by Ken Reid that was for some reason rejected by the editor of SHIVER AND SHAKE comic.

When SHIVER AND SHAKE was absorbed by WHOOPEE! in 1974, Ken was put in charge of drawing the World-Wide Weirdies feature.  The complete WWWs series in the weeklies consists of 203 illustrated posters, all drawn and quite a few signed by Ken Reid.

Interestingly, there were three more that were rejected. The School of 'Wails' printed in WHOOPEE! dated 23rd April, 1977 was first submitted as Wales (Miners); the title suggests that Ken chose the mining angle for his original version but it was a sensitive theme in the 70s so IPC preferred to play it safe and instructed him to take a different approach and exploit the wails/whales wordplay instead (my speculation). 

Then there was something about Ken’s Weird/Whacky Whirlpool that the editor didn’t like so readers only saw the second re-drawn version in WHOOPEE! issue dated 17th December, 1977.

Lastly, the Tower of London which Ken drew in November 1977 would have been a welcome addition to the gallery of London attractions but IPC rejected Ken’s take on it without suggesting how to make it acceptable.

I haven’t seen the first two rejects but the original of the last one has survived in Ken’s archive. Again, I can’t quite understand the editor’s reasons for rejecting it. Any thoughts on this?



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

REJECTED CREEPY CREATION BY KEN REID



Ken Reid fans will certainly know that Creepy Creations was a series of single-panel illustrations that he drew for SHIVER AND SHAKE comic. Some were excellent, some less so, but for some reason the Editor rejected the one shown in the picture below. I don’t quite see a reason for rejecting it, but perhaps I am missing something?... 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

BANNED DARE-A-DAY DAVY EPISODE




The text of this post is part of Ken Reid biography that I wrote for a project that now seems to be dead, which I think is very sad...

“Dare-A-Day Davy” in POW!, illustrated by Ken Reid and written (mostly) by Walt Thorburn, featured a boy who couldn’t resist a dare. Dares were supplied by “POW!” fans who were offered a pound for every idea used. In the beginning of each episode Davy was torn between common sense and an irresistible urge to take on the dare, no matter how crazy or dangerous it was.

Vance Gledhill of Blackpool, Lancs., dared Davy to no less than dig up Frankenstein-monster’s remains and bring him back through the kiss of life. Davy had done lots of naughty and nasty things before but until then he’d never desecrated a grave or kissed a worm-infested fungus-covered skull, so Bart and Alf decided to spare the readers of “POW!” of the gory tale. 

Ken, however, wasn’t the only person responsible for its horridness: “Frankenstein” was drawn to Walt Thorburn’s script, so the writer was at least partly culpable

Odhams Press didn’t reject the episode or contact Ken about it. Ken received his check for the artwork and there is no evidence of his knowledge that the page was withheld from print. It was rescued by Steve Moore, then an Odhams Press’ employee, later a comics writer whose work featured in most of the major British comics, and printed in the first issue of “Weird Fantasy” comics fanzine published in the Winter of 1969 by David Britton – a British author and artist, later a co-founder of the publishing house “Savoy Books” that reprinted a couple of Ken's original Fudge books.

Contrary to what some people believe, “Frankenstein” was not the last episode of “Dare-A-Day Davy”. The reason which may have given rise to the belief was the number  “90” hand-written by Ken at the top left corner of the original “Frankenstein” artwork reprinted in “Weird Fantasy”, implying that this may have been the 90th episode of “Dare-A-Day Davy”, whereas only 86 issues of “POW!” had been published. “Frankenstein” was in fact the 64th episode of those drawn by Ken, while the “90” was the result of an error in Ken’s paybook when he turned a new page and started the numbering of his “Dare-A-Day Davy” episodes at 74 instead of 47, and carried on with it until the very end of the run.

Below is the cover of the fanzine that reprinted the Frankenstein episode, followed by the inside pages with the episode itself, the editor’s comment on Ken Reid and an artist’s take on Fudge, drawn in the style of American underground comix of the times (1969 or thereabouts).