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.



Friday, November 21, 2014

ONE-OFF FEATURES IN MONSTER FUN COMIC

One-off features probably served the same purpose as reprints and were used to fill the space which was originally reserved for something else.

Brain Benders in issue No. 21 was a weak prelude to Ticklish Allsorts:




Film Funny in issues 23 and 32 were collages consisting of classic horror movie screenshots with added speech balloons. One or two can also be found in the early Shiver and Shake Holiday specials. Here’s an example from MFC No. 32:



All Images 2014 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

REPRINTS IN MONSTER FUN COMIC



MONSTER FUN COMIC wasn’t big on reprints but it still included a few that probably served as space fillers when artists failed to deliver their weekly strips on time.

The Robot Maker was a short-lived strip in the early issues of COR!! illustrated by Frank McDiarmid in his version of Ken Reid’s style. Only one episode was reprinted in MFC No. 47 where it substituted Teddy Scare which failed to appear that week.



Stoneage Brit Ancient Nit was another reprint from COR!! It made a surprise one-off appearance in MFC No. 40 where it was introduced as a Fave Funster from the Holiday Special:


The same goes for Sam’s Spook: the caption above the first episode of the strip in MFC suggests that many readers wrote in asking to see more of the strip after it was (re)printed in the first MFC Holiday Special. The original run of Sam’s Spook appeared in SMASH! in 1970 - 1971 where it was illustrated by Leo Baxendale. Reprints of Sam’s Spook can be found in MFC issues 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 38 and 46. Originally it was a b/w strip but two episodes in MFC Nos. 24 and 34 were couloured in:


Hairy only made one appearance in MFC No. 7. I am unsure if it was a reprint and if it was one, I don’t know where from. Can anyone help?


All Images 2014 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A LOOK AT MONSTER FUN COMIC FEATURES: MONSTER HITS





Monster Hits (Top 10 Gags) was a regular reader participation feature in MONSTER FUN COMIC in which readers were offered cash prizes for sending in their jokes. Every week contributors of the gags ranked 10 to 2 in the “chuckle charts” received a pound each, while the sender of that week’s chart-topper (printed at the bottom of the page) collected 2 quid. Production process took approx. two months, so the names of the first participants appeared in MFC No. 8.  We may not know who sat on the “panel of experts” that compiled the charts and ranked the jokes at MFC offices but we know who the illustrators were – and this is what matters. 

A few of the weekly sets were by Artie Jackson who drew the jokes in MFC Nos. 1, 4 (together with Mike Lacey), 49, 50, 52, 61 and 70. Mike Lacey illustrated the chart in MFC No. 2 and drew some of the jokes in No. 4 (others were by Artie Jackson). Here is the page from MFC No. 4 with Artie Jackson’s and Mike Lacey’s work side-by-side:


Leslie Harding drew three sets in MFC issues 5, 6 and 7:


Starting from MFC issue No. 8 the vast majority of the sets were by Tom Paterson whose style was still shaping itself at the time. It looks like at that stage he was studying and trying to imitate Graham Allen – his other strong influence besides Leo Baxendale. Here are two early examples from MFC No. 8 and 14:


Monster Hits continued throughout the entire run of the comic, missing only one issue (No. 3). All were in b/w except in issues 11, 24 and 26 were they were printed in full colour. This one is from No. 24:



All Images 2014 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Monday, November 3, 2014

FIREWORK COVERS


With Guy Fawke’s night just a few days away, let’s take a look at some of those bright Fireworks covers. The one below is that of a very early issue of THE BEANO. It was offered in one of phil-comics auctions which ended yesterday. With 60+ watchers, more than 10 bidders and 36 bids, it went for an impressive £677. Phil-comics never fail to attract top prices for their excellent items!


As many of you may know, in addition to being a highly-reputable eBay auctioneer of UK comics, Phil is also a publisher who has produced the beautiful collection of Christmas covers of the Beano and the Dandy 1937 - 1969, so if you need a X-mas gift for someone who is into this kind of thing, why not buy a copy from phil-comics on eBay? I hope sales are going well enough to make it worth Phil’s while to publish a similar volume of Fireworks covers sometime in the future! Before this happens (if ever), here are some festive covers of the Dandy from the 50s. All but one are from my collection. 






Friday, October 31, 2014

HALLOWEEN IN SCOTLAND



With Halloween spirit in the air, let’s see how PLAYHOUR's Gulliver Guinea-Pig celebrated it in the company of some Scottish mice back in 1958. The story seems to suggest that in those days the English weren’t familiar with Hallowe’en quite as well as the folks up North, or at least didn’t celebrate it with the same eagerness as the Scots(mice)...  



Friday, October 24, 2014

BASH STREET KIDS: ANOTHER DISASTER AT THE PRINTING WORKS


The other day I received a copy the Beano No. 1257 dated 20th August, 1966 with another story of The Bash Street Kids visiting the Beano printing works. I like strips in which characters are self-conscious of their fictitious nature and especially the ones involving play with colours (you can read another one like this HERE).