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, July 31, 2015

AGHHH-IT'S-'IM-JONAH: ORIGINALS VS. REPRINTS


Jonah by Ken Reid is a classic and one of the highlights of Ken’s career.

When I first set out to collect the complete run of Jonah some 7 yrs. ago, I realised it was going to be quite a challenge and thought I’d be better off collecting reprints instead (in parallel…).

In case you didn’t know, Ken’s original Jonah series started in The Beano No. 817 (March 15th, 1958) and concluded in No. 1090 (August 8th, 1963); b/w reprints can be found in Hornet Nos. 395 – 623 (3rd April, 1971 - 16th August, 1975), and then in Buddy, in full colour/ part colour, in all 130 issues of the comic (Feb. 14th, 1981 – Aug. 6th, 1983).

Unless one has access to complete sets of the comics concerned, there's no way to be sure how much of the original run was reprinted and in what order, or how much of the artwork/text remained as it was in the reprints. I have the complete original run in the Beano and the full 130-issue set of Buddy with Jonah reprints in every issue, also a large pile of Hornets from the period in question. For what I’ve seen – and I haven’t got the complete run, the reprints in Hornet are faithful reproductions of the strip as it appeared in The Beano, minus colour. Therefore, comparing the Beano and the Hornet versions of Jonah wouldn’t be very interesting because they are essentially identical. I can show one or two examples in the future, if anyone is curious.

The reprints in the 80s Buddy are in colour/part-colour, with a different lettering but without major text alterations. To illustrate the difference, I’ll show two consecutive original episodes from The Beano alongside with reprints in Buddy more than 20 years later. Here’s the first part, with matching rows of the two versions side-by side.  

Be sure to come back for part two because I will show a few panels of Ken’s original Jonah artwork from the next episode. 

(click to enlarge!)






Saturday, July 25, 2015

KEN REID IN SUNDAY EXPRESS



In addition to his comics work for Britain’s major publishers of children’s funnies and Fudge the Elf strip in Manchester Evening News, Ken Reid illustrated weekly competitions for the Irish Edition of Sunday Express

He did four series between 1956 and 1970. They were Horse Pics, Horse Clues, Inn Signs and Titles (in order of appearance), a total of nearly 700 drawings. The printed version was only 2 ½ x 2 ½ inches, original drawings were 4 times larger. 

Here are some cut-outs of Inn Signs (the rusty staple mark shows how small they were in the paper):




The competitions were quite challenging – readers had to select five names out of eight provided (eleven in the case of the earlier competitions) and list them in correct order in the entry coupon. Ken had a completely free hand devising illustrations and thinking up names, sometimes as many as a couple of dozen of them, for the editor to choose from.

Here are some examples of Titles. I have quite a few more of those and can show them in another blogpost, if there’s enough interest, so do let me know :) The challenge was to select the most suitable titles for a book based on cover illustration:


There is something about the competitions that I don’t quite understand, perhaps some of my learned readers would be able to help me. Horse Pics and Horse Clues were usually humorous drawings with no horses. Why were they called Horse Pics and Horse Clues then? Does the word “horse” refer to something else other than the familiar domesticated mammal in this case?

Monday, July 20, 2015

SEE HOW COMICS WERE MADE



Here is an educational piece explaining to the young reader how comics are made. I found it in Whoopee! Annual 1982. I wonder how technological progress has changed the production process and what is it like nowadays? Surely they no longer use those monster photographing machines? 

Remember to click on the images to make them even larger!





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


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ANOTHER HELPING OF LAWSON WOOD ART



I am a bit of a WWII buff and since it is exactly 71 years ago since the jolly Red Army seized my city from the Nazis and had a three-day orgy burning it down, drinking themselves silly, etc., here are two nice WWII-themed covers by Lawson Wood. They are quite interesting in the sense that to the best of my knowledge he didn’t do a lot of political cartooning.