In case you didn’t know, in the mid-70s Frankie Stein was the big star in WHOOPEE! - another IPC comic of the time. Originally from WHAM! comic of the mid-60s, the character was revived in the short-lived but excellent SHIVER AND SHAKE and found himself in WHOOPEE! when the two titles were merged in 1974. I wrote a couple of detailed blogposts on Frankie Stein in my SHIVER AND SHAKE series, you can revisit them HERE and HERE.
Frankie Stein made his editorial debut on page two of the first issue of MFC, welcoming his fans with a special message. The drawing was by Robert Nixon, who was in charge of the character in Whoopee! A cropped version of this drawing was later reused a few times in Frankie Stein’s editorials and elsewhere, as you will see later on in this post. Speaking of Frankie Stein’s messages, they were a regular feature throughout 1975 and ran nearly every week until issue 22 (8th November, 1975). After that they disappeared until the Holiday Season of 1975 and can be found in issues 28 and 29 (20th and 27th December, 1975). The last one ever was in the second issue of 1976 (No. 31). The messages were Frankie Stein’s rostrum for promoting various fun features in the current or the next week’s issue. Starting from issue 4 they usually appeared on Frankie’s Diary page and sometimes included a ‘Frankie-type joke’. Here are some examples:
In a few early episodes Frankie’s week consisted of seven days:
The other one went by the headline Ticklish Allsorts and had little to do with Frankie Stein, except that he was the presenter and the feature always carried his portrait in the corner (in fact, the portrait was a cropped version of the same old drawing by Rob Nixon first used in Frankie’s editorial in MFC No. 1). Readers were invited to contribute “something amusing” and collect the award of a pound for every entry printed. Each week editorial staff would deliver an assortment of those amusing reader contributions to Les Barton who’d produce detailed sets that IMHO are a treat to the eye. They were usually half-a-page long but sometimes Les Barton did a full page. Here are some examples. Aren’t they brilliant!