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.



Saturday, January 19, 2019

FUDGE AND THE MAGIC BOOK BY KEN REID - PART ONE




Patrick sent me a few more adventures of Fudge that he found in his attic. I was particularly fascinated by the latest one I have seen so far – Fudge and the Magic Book. Adventure No. 26 is 678 panels long. It ran in The Manchester Evening News between Jan. 25th 1960 and Oct. 22nd 1960, so Ken drew it at the same time as Jonah for the Beano, and his style differs considerably from that of the early Fudge tales. The plot is also quite surreal and very Reid. I will try to cover it in this blogpost.

I’ll start with a few opening strips to give you an idea of the general premise, and to illustrate my point about Ken’s style:











The crowd of dreadful creatures made Hoppity’s house uninhabitable, so he confronted his Aunt demanding that she undid her spell. Being a blundering humbug, she said the wrong words, and instead of making the weirdies return into the book where they belonged, she turned herself and her nephew into illustrations. Moreover, her spell transformed Speck into an enormous egg!  Fudge was faced with a challenge of turning his friend back into a tree elf. A whisper coming from Aunt Wilhelmina’s magic cupboard prompted him to try incubation. This involved traveling to a place called Imaginatia.  

Check out this panel:


My readers probably know where I live, and we who come from small nations often get quite excited when we see our countries mentioned in an unexpected context, so I was chuffed by that in Ken’s tale!

A bookworm by the name of Wilberforce Wizdom explained to Fudge and Speck that Imaginatia existed only in the mind, and in order to get there, they simply had to imagine they were there. This did the trick… 


Their first quest in Imaginatia was to find a creature known as H.B.E.E. (Hard Boiled Egg Eater), use his incubator to hatch the egg and free Speck. Searching for H.B.E.E., they met a few inhabitants of Imaginatia, some of them helpful, others not so much, including an Imaginatian:


trees of the Nonsense Wood:


Brolly Bird: 


and H.B.E.E.’s manservant:


… until they finally made the acquaintance of H.B.E.E. himself:


There was a reason why Hard Boiled Egg Eater carried this name – his diet consisted solely of eggs. He had eaten all the eggs in the Nonsense Wood and was starving because there were no more birds left there. A servant named H.B.E.B. – Hard Boiled Egg Boiler, was about to boil Speck…


…but Fudge outsmarted the silly creatures:


When the egg hatched, H.B.E.E. realised that Speck was nothing like H.B.E.L. (Hard Boiled Egg Layer) and threatened to have the two elves steam-roasted and thrown to his cousin – the Bugle Nosed Beef-Eater who lived in Poppycock Canyon. The two ran for freedom into the Nonsense Wood and continued their journey in search for a Two-toed Twale. They needed to acquire his toenail to undo Aunt Wilhelmina’s spell. 


Following the directions given to them by Hippopotapuffer, another weird inhabitant of Imaginatia, they soon arrived at the house of the Two-toed Twale and were stopped by Twale’s personal bodyguard:


Private Pykan wasn’t much of a guard, and the elves quickly smoked the Two-toed Twale out of his bunker: 


The creature was mean and uncooperative. He refused to let them clip his toenail, turned himself invisible and ran off.


Fudge and Speck got some help from Bartholomew Blusterblast who lent Fudge his magical spectacles which allowed to see invisible things, such as wind or the two-toed Twale turned invisible. 

Following in the creature’s footsteps, they ran into Manx Pussypillar, another crazy Imaginatian, who was in the process of growing a Grow-fasticus Lofticus – a Cream and Kipper Tree for his lunch: 


Fudge saw Twale from the top of the freshly grown giant tree and the elves finally got what they wanted from the daft creature who though he was being smart. They clipped his golden toe nail without him even realising:


The mission was completed, and it was time for the elves to leave Imaginatia. After running into trouble with a nasty wind:


…they made a brief stop at Bartholomew Blusterblast’s Wind Observatory to return his magic spectacles. Finally they were ready to go home, but finding their way back to the World of Reality turned out to be very challenging indeed.

This is where Ken’s story turns even more surreal and absurd but I will take a break here because this post is far too long as it is... Part two will follow soon.

And if you are a fan of Ken Reid, click on the POWER PACK banner in the right-hand column and get your copy of the POWER PACK OF KEN REID - the deluxe two-volume set of Ken’s strips in WHAM!, SMASH! and POW! comics of the ‘60s.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

MORE UNPUBLISHED CREEPY CREATIONS BY KEN REID


As promised, here are a few more of those unpublished drawings that Ken Reid made for the American chewing gum card manufacturer when he hoped to publish his series of monsters created from familiar objects in 1969 (see my intro for the Creepy Creations book by Rebellion). Scary, aren’t they?..




I have a few more of those but will save them for the complete biography of Ken Reid that I mentioned in my interviews last summer when I promoted my crowdfunding campaign for the Power Pack of Ken Reid. I still hope the bio will materialize at some point in the future.

Ken later used a few of those ideas in his series in Whoopee!:

© Rebellion Publishing IP Ltd

© Rebellion Publishing IP Ltd

Click on the POWER PACK banner in the right-hand column and get your copy of the POWER PACK OF KEN REID - the deluxe two-volume set of Ken’s strips in WHAM!, SMASH! and POW! comics of the ‘60s.