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, 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). 




Monday, October 20, 2014

A LOOK AT MONSTER FUN FEATURES – BADTIME BEDTIME BOOKS – Part FOUR




With Mike Brown on board, Bob Paynter’s headaches over Badtime Bedtime Books were over because the artist was an excellent imitator of Leo Baxendale’s drawing style. IPC script writer(s?) also did a decent job.

The Mike Brown period proper started with Doctor Poo. It was the BBB No. 28 and appeared in MFC No. 39 (6th March, 1976). In the previous post I speculated that it may have been drawn by someone else because it had no signature of Mr. Brown, but having taken a closer look, I am now convinced it was his work. Here is the front cover once again, and you can see the complete book in the last week's post HERE:


A Fistful of Chips (BBB No. 29 in MFC No. 41 cover-dated March 20th, 1976) was the first one to have Mike Brown’s initials in tiny letters in the bottom right corner of the front cover:


You may have noted the word “proper” in first paragraph of this post. That’s because I’m now inclined to believe that Dick Twerpin was the first BBB which Mr. Brown had contributed back in 1975 during the Leo Baxendale period. Just take a look at the horse in the two panels below. The one on the left is from Dick Twerpin and the one next to it is from A Fistful of Chips:


30) Planet of the Japes (MFC No. 43, 3rd April, 1976) was about a weird planet on which kids were persecuted by practical jokester school teachers. Initialled by Mike Brown in the last panel. Here is the front page:


31) Cooljock (MFC No. 47, 1st May, 1976). After Planet of the Japes, BBBs took a month’s break to return in May in the shape of the only BBB by Artie Jackson who signed it with his first name in one of the panels.


They compensated for the break with as many as three BBBs during the rest of May:

32) Ten Little Renegades (MFC No. 48, 8th May, 1976) – in black and white only. Initialled by Mike Brown on front cover.


33) The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimply Neddy (MFC No. 50, 22nd May, 1976). This one is unsigned but artwork leaves little space for guesswork as to who the illustrator was, don’t you think?


34) Mummy's the Word (MFC No. 53, 29th May, 1976). In black and white only. Mike Brown initialled this one on the last page.


BBBs then disappeared once again: not a single one came out in June.

35) The Greatest Escape (MFC No. 56, 3rd July, 1976) was illustrated by Mike Brown:


36) Rumpimpleskin (MFC No. 58, 17th July, 1976). Illustrated by Mike Brown:


After another short break there were two consecutive issues with BBBs, but only one was drawn by Mike Brown. Leslie Harding made a surprise comeback with BBB No. 37 - The Hound of the Backstreet Villa (MFC No. 61, 7th August, 1976):



38) Space 999 (MFC No. 62, 14th August, 1976). Things were back to business as usual, with Mike Brown prominently signing his name on the front cover. Here is the sory in full:




30)  The Wonderful World of Hannibal (MFC No. 64, 28th August, 1976):


Mike Brown concluded the run of Badtime Bedtime Books in MONSTER FUN COMIC weeklies with a sequence of 4 stories in MFC issues 69 – 72:

40) The McCurse o' Red Hairy McLegs, or The McPhantom o’ the McGlen! or The McRebellion O’ ‘45 R.P.M. (Rebellions Per Minute) (MFC No. 69, 2nd October, 1976) – this one had quite a title, don’t you think? Signed by a Mike McBroon…


41) The Ghoulies (MFC No. 70, 9th October, 1976) – the text in the bottom left corner of the front cover suggests that Mike Brown not only illustrated but also wrote the story! This makes me wonder if he also wrote scripts of other BBBs that he drew and signed?


42) Supa Spyderbat (MFC No. 71, 16th October, 1976). If it wasn’t for Mr.Brown’s signature, some panels could be easily confused for Leo Baxendale’s work. Mike Brown must have studied Leo’s style very carefully. Here is the front page:


43) At the Apple's Core (MFC No. 72, 23rd October, 1976). The credits say “Directed by Mike Brown” – is this another hint that he had something to do with the script, not just the artwork?


That’s a total of 14 Badtime Bedtime Story Books by Mike Brown, 16 if we agree to include Dick Twerpin and Gong of Kong. This makes Mike Brown the runner-up to Leo Baxendale whose stats amount to 19 confirmed books, plus one that was drawn by him but not as a Badtime Bedtime Book (I Spy With My Little Guy (BBB No. 10) was stitched-together by IPC from Mervyn’s Monsters artwork of Mr. Baxendale), plus Ghoul Dilocks and the Three Scares which I’m also inclined to attribute to Mr. Baxendale. Leslie Harding illustrated three books while Terry Bave, Artie Jackson and Tom Paterson contributed one BBB each.

So much for the Badtime Bedtime Books in the weeklies. BUT, there were a few more in the Annuals and I’ll be looking at them here in due course.


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

Monday, October 13, 2014

A LOOK AT MONSTER FUN FEATURES – BADTIME BEDTIME BOOKS – Part THREE



In my first blogpost on Badtime Bedtime Books I suggested that the BBBs can be classified into three periods –the Leo Baxendale period, the ‘grey’ period and the Mike Brown period. 

I’ve already dealt with the work of Leo Baxendale and made a few inroads into the second period because the periods don’t have clear-cut time lines and occasionally overlap, e.g. during the LB period Sherlock Bones in MFC No. 15 was drawn by Tom Paterson, while Ghoul Dilocks and the Three Scares in MFC No. 16 and Dick Twerpin in MFC No. 24 may have very well been the work of Bob Dewar. See the comments to my previous post.

The ‘grey’ period was the time when, trying to cope with Leo Baxendale’s departure from comics, Bob Paynter experimented with other artists. Mr. Baxendale’s last BBB (William the Conk) was in MFC No. 28 (20th December, 1975) so theoretically, the beginning of the ‘grey’ period coincided with the start of the New Year. In his book A VERY FUNNY BUSINESS Mr. Baxendale recalled how Bob Paynter complained to him that other artists were reluctant to take the job because of the amount of work the BBBs involved.

24) The first BBB of 1976 was Dick Twittington by Terry Bave. It appeared in the first issue of the year (MFC No. 30, 3rd January, 1976):



25) The Ghoul and the Pussycat in MFC No. 32 (17th January, 1976) was by Leslie Harding:



26) Gong of Kong in MFC No. 34 (31st January, 1976) looks like the work of Mike Brown but initials ‘RG’ in the last panel suggest differently. Any ideas as to who may have drawn this one? Perhaps the whole story was illustrated by Mike but someone else was asked to draw the last frame and sneaked in the initials? 



MFC issue No. 36 (14th February, 1976) had a BBB pull-out poster, presumably from the hand of Leo Baxendale. You can see the image in the first post of the series HERE.

27) Half-A-Dollar Boy in MFC No. 37 (21st February, 1976) was another quick job by Leslie Harding:



28) Doctor Poo in MFC No. 39 (6th March, 1976). This one has no signature and/or initials, and my two candidates for art credits are Mike Brown and Tom Paterson. I think it looks more like Mike’s work:




From this point all but two of the BBBs were by Mike Brown as confirmed by his signature/initials or the general look and feel of the artwork. Come back soon for the gallery of covers.



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