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.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


52 issues of the comic were published in 1973 (Nos. 136 – 187)

Important issues in 1973:
6th January 1973 (No. 136) – New Year + first new look cover
10th March, 1973 (No. 145) – bumper issue, 40 pages, SHIVER and SHAKE adverts
21st April, 1973 (No. 151) – Easter issue + permanent change of cover layout
15th September, 1973 (No. 172) – bumper issue, 40 pages, Football Star No. 1 adverts
6th October 1973 (No. 175) – free gift issue
13th October, 1973 (No. 176) – free gift double treat issue
20th October (No. 177) – pull-out comic No. 2
27th October, 1973 (No. 178) – Pull-out Cor-mic No. 3
3rd November, 1973 (No. 179) – Pull-out Cor-mic No. 4
8th December, 1973 (No. 184) – price increases to 4 p.
29th December 1973 (No. 187)– Christmas issue

Line-up of the first issue of 1973 (6th January, 1973 (No. 136)):
The Goodies cover
Football Madd
The Goodies – 2 pages
Andy’s Ants
Shiver and Shake
Teacher’s Pet (in full colour)
Rat-Trap – 3 pages
Jelly Baby
Star Guest feature
Jack Pott
Ivor Lott and Tony Broke – 2 centre pages
The Slimms
Cor!! News Sheet feature
Wonder Worm
5 Minute Wanda
Jasper the Grasper – 1 ½ pages
Hire a Horror (in full colour)
Donovan’s Dad
The Gasworks Gang
Tricky Dicky
Swopper Stan
Gus Gorilla in full colour on back page

1973 New Year issue - the first one with a
new cover layout since the
premiere issue in 1970
To give COR!! a New Year boost, the Editor introduced two new fun features: The Goodies and Five Minute Wanda. Zoo Sue and Helpful Hettie were axed to make room for the new arrivals. The television fame of the Goodies was a good enough reason to change the layout of the front cover for the first time since issue one, with the three comedians proudly pedalling their three-man bicycle on the front cover. Gus Gorilla had to content himself with the back page that week. A week later things came back to normal.

Nothing much happened in terms of new developments for a few months – Whacky was receiving his regular thrashings, the Goodies kept doing anything anytime, Patsy kept trying (and failing) to become her teacher’s pet, Micky Madd kept doing keepie-up, Jack Lott never missed an opportunity to gamble, Dr. Rat kept rasping at readers who never got tired of designing ingenious traps to round him up, Ma and Pa Slimms kept trying to stuff themselves silly with grub, Ivor Lott kept getting himself into trouble because he was such a mean rotter, Chalky kept drawing, miserly meanie Jasper the Grasper kept penny-pinching and hoarding, horrors from Hire a Horror kept scaring, Donovan’s Dad still couldn’t control his strength, Tomboy kept upsetting her Mum, Jelly Baby kept stretching her limbs, the Gasworks Gang was as dangerous as ever, Swopper Stan kept swopping stuff and of course you still couldn’t make a monkey out of Gus.

The smooth pace was upset slightly in the issue dated 10th March, 1973 (No. 145) when the comic received 8 extra pages, 4 of which trumpeted about the arrival of the new super two-in-one fun comic Shiver and Shake. This also meant that now there was one more source of guests for the Star Guest feature in addition to Knockout and Whizzer and Chips.

1973 Easter issue - the first one with the
permanent change of the cover design
and a number of surprises inside
The next overhaul took place in Easter Fun edition dated 21st April, 1973 (No. 151). Firstly and perhaps most importantly, there was a change of the cover layout. Gus Gorilla feature disappeared from the front page, or to be more precise, it was re-packaged as Gus Giggles – a three-panel gag cartoon. It appeared beside a splash panel that was part of one of that week’s stories inside the paper. That said, it was common knowledge that you couldn’t make a monkey out of Gus (or drop a strip that appeared on the front cover for nearly three years); indeed, it was transferred to the inside of the comic and continued as a black-and-white feature until Cor!! folded in 1974. As for the splash panel, the characters rotated all the time: one week it was Hire a Horror, then it was The Goodies, followed by Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, and so forth. There wasn’t a single feature that didn’t appear on the front page since the new layout was introduced.

Examples of covers with the new layout

Changes weren’t limited to just the cover. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? was a new comedy feature that debuted on page two. The issue dated 21st April, 1973 (No. 151) also saw the beginning of the Cor-Medy Choice series that was introduced to give readers a chance to select a new fun-series from ten brand new comedy ideas presented over a period of ten weeks. At the end of the series readers were given the opportunity to vote on which story should appear in COR! regularly as a complete series. The last change in the issue dated 21st April, 1973 (No. 151) was that of the title and masthead of what used to be COR!! NEWS SHEET. It became COR!! NEWS Easter Eggs-tra in the Easter issue, and then COR!! NEWS Readers’ Special from the issue dated 28th April, 1973 (No. 152). Starting from the summer months the news feature shrunk to a single page and became less cluttered with text; the Editor’s comments were becoming increasingly scarce. 

Example of COR!! News Readers' Special

Winner of the COR-MEDY CHOICE series was announced in the issue dated 1st September, 1973 (No. 170). It was Val’s Vanishing Cream; the strip joined COR!! line-up as a regular feature and fared sufficiently well to survive merger with BUSTER where it continued until the end of 1976.

The issue dated 6th October, 1973 (No. 175) marked the beginning of a series of five successive free-gift and pull-out issues. In all likelihood it was an attempt to boost declining sales. The issue dated 6th October, 1973 (No. 175) came with a free gift RATTY RAASSPER – the biggest noise in town. The gift was a tie-in with the popular reader-participation feature Rat Trap. Those who bought the third issue of the comic back in 1970 would have remembered that it was the same cardboard sleeve with a rubber band and a metal hoop inside that made a rasping sound as it spun around inside the envelope, but with Rat Trap strip going strong, the gift was quite appropriate. Three new features were introduced in the first free gift issue, they were Willy Worry, Night Mare and Professor Corn’s Daft Dictionary. The latter was another reader participation feature inviting readers to send in their Daft Dictionary Definitions and receive 50p for each definition published.

Front pages of 1973 free gift issues

Issue dated 13th October, 1973 (No. 176), the second issue in the series, offered a double treat of the Jumping Skeleton free gift and pocket COR-MIC part one (two super-surprises for all readers). Until recently COR!! wasn’t equipped to offer pull-outs because its pages were glued rather than stapled, so pulling pages out would have been problematic. COR!! became a stapled paper from the beginning of 1973 and the obstacle was removed. The COR-MIC pull-out was a nice combination of popular strips, pop/rock star photos and gags and received some very positive reader comments. COR-MIC pull-out booklet consisted of 4 parts that came with 4 consecutive issues.

COR-MIC pull out Pt. 4 in COR!! issue dated
3rd November, 1973 (No. 179)

The issue dated 20th October, 1973 (No. 177) had to be given 8 extra pages to accommodate all the goodness and 4 pages promoting Walt Disney’s GOOFY AND PLUTO Issue No. 1, while the paper’s only 3-page feature Rat Trap was reduced to two pages from that issue onwards.

Fiends and Neighbours from the pen of Graham Allen was one of the last additions to the line-up but a very strong one; it debuted without much fanfare in the issue dated 24th November, 1973 (No. 182).

In the issue of 1st December, 1973 (No. 183) the Editor informed with regrets that commencing with next week’s issue the price of Cor!! had to go up to 4p because of rising production costs. He also felt it was necessary to let his readers know that the increase had, of course, been submitted to and approved by the Prices Commission…

1973 Christmas edition

Strips that ended in 1973:
Eddie – 13th January, 1973 (No. 137)
Shiver and Shake – 3rd February, 1973 (No. 140)
Donovan’s Dad – 14th April, 1973 (No. 150)
Swopper Stan – 14th April, 1973 (No. 150)
5 Minute Wanda – 14th April, 1973 (No. 150)
Chip – 15th September, 1973 (No. 172)
Whacky – 29th September, 1973 (No. 174)
Tricky Dicky – 29th September, 1973 (No. 174)
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf – 29th September, 1973 (No. 174)
COR-Medy Choice feature, first series – 18th August, 1973 (No. 168)
The Goodies – 29th December, 1973 (No. 187)

Strips that started in 1973:
The Goodies – 6th January, 1973 (No. 136)
5 Minute Wanda – 6th January, 1973 (No. 136)
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf – 21st April, 1973 (No. 151)
COR-Medy Choice feature, first series – 21st April, 1973 (No. 151)
Gus Giggles front page feature – 21st April, 1973 (No. 151)
Val’s Vanishing Cream – 1st September, 1973 (No. 170)
Willy Worry – 6th October, 1973 (No. 175)
Daft Dictionary Definitions feature – 6th October, 1973 (No. 175)
Night Mare – 6th October, 1973 (No. 175)
Fiends and Neighbours – 24th November, 1973 (No. 182)

1973 COR!! Summer Special
1973 COR!! Summer Special cost 18 p. and had the usual 96 pages. Promotion in the weeklies commenced on 7th July 1973. The line-up was as follows: Whacky, Tomboy (some in colour), Wonder Worm, Chip, Hire A Horror, Helpful Hettie, Andy’s Ants, Gus Gorilla, Tease Break! feature, Well, What Do You Know??? feature, Swopper Stan, Tricky Dicky, Jim’s Genie, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?, Jack Pott, The Gasworks Gang, Football Madd, Tales of Tollgate (adventure, 12 pages), Jelly Baby (in colour), Jasper the Grasper, Donovan’s Dad, The Bouncers (10 pages), Teacher’s Pet, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, Gus Gorilla.

Same as in the 1972 Summer Special, the vast majority of the strips were nicely drawn by their regular artists.

This time there were as many as 3 unfamiliar entries: Jim’s Genie and The Bouncers were comedy features, while Tales of Tollgate were an adventure serial. The latter was a reprint of the strip Tales of Tollgate School from LION from the 60s (also reprinted as Adventures at Tollgate in the short-lived GIGGLE comic in 1966-1967). The Bouncers was a reprint from another old comic Swift where it was drawn by Peter Maddocks and appeared in the period 1959 – 1960. Jim’s Genie must have also been a reprint. That said, the three strips weren’t the only reprints in the 1972 Summer Special: a number of features that ran in the weeklies at that time were also reprints from older comics; they included Wonder Worm (from Buster), Chip (from POW!) and Helpful Hettie (from GIGGLE). Well, What do you know??? feature by Reg Parlett was probably also a reprint.

Tales of Tollgate from 1973 COR!! Summer Special

The Bouncers from 1973 COR!! Summer Special

Jim'e Genie from 1973 COR!! Summer Special

COR!! Annyal 1974 cover
Promotion of the 1974 COR!! Annual started in the weekly edition of COR!! dated 15th September 1973. The book was priced 70 p and had 160 pages. Here is the lineup of strips and features: Whacky (3 episodes, two in full colour), Hire A Horror (in full colour), Gus Gorilla (3 episodes, two in full colour), Fun on Four Wheels (gags), Wonder Worm (6 episodes), The Gasworks Gang (2 episodes), Ug and Tug the Peace Makers (4 episodes), Chip (4 episodes), Four Alone and the Sky Jackers (8 pages), The Slimms (2 episodes), Football Madd (2 episodes), Tomboy (2 episodes, one in full colour), Jelly Baby (2 episodes), Tricky Dicky (2 episodes), Tell-Tale Tess (2 episodes), Jasper the Grasper (2 episodes), Swopper Stan (2 episodes), Chalky (2 episodes), Zoo Sue (2 episodes), Andy’s Ants (2 episodes), Picture Crosswords feature, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke (2 episodes), Lucky Charmer (2 episodes), Teacher’s Pet, Tease Break feature (2 installments), Scene Stealers (gags), Hire A Horror, Eddie (2 episodes), The Goodies (4 pages), Helpful Hettie, Donovan’s Dad (2 episodes), 5 Minute Wanda (2 episodes), Jack Pott (2 episodes), Dr What and His Time Clock (12 pages), Fur and Feather Frolics (gags).

The book contained an original 4-page episode of the Goodies by Joe Colquhoun. It was the only appearance of the Goodies in COR!! annuals because the strip was licensed to COR!! for just one year 1973.

Opening pages of the Goodies in COR!! 1974 Annual

Dr What and His Time Clock made his second (but not the last) appearance in COR!! publications after 1972 COR!! Summer Special and will be covered in a separate blogpost later on.

Three pages of gags were a prelude to the two COR!! Books of Gags released two and three years later. The books will also be covered separately.

British annuals were always about Christmas. In the 1974 COR!! book two episodes of my favourite COR!! features ended with nice Christmas-themed ‘splash’ panels:

The Gasworks Gang splash panel by Frank McDiarmid from COR!! 1974 Annual
Jasper the Grasper splash panel from COR!! 1974 Annual


  1. Great stuff. I was a devoted Cor!! reader in the early 1970s. I had my Ratty Rasper free gift until quite recently although once the rubber band broke it was useless!

  2. Great stuff. It seems only yesterday that I last used my Ratty Rasper!

  3. Hi Irmantas P, these comics bring back some great memories from the early to mid 70s. I have a memory from that time of a strip from what I remember was a summer special. Probably Cor! or Shiver and Shake where. Kid I'd on the beach just about to sit on a deck chair when a man points to something and the kid utters the immortal line of my childhood - 'Coo what have you spotted?' the cheeky man then replies 'Nothing kid I just wanted the last deck chair' We all still remember this sketch but I never found where it was from. Do you have any idea which comic this was from and the character? Thanks....Andrew (now 50!)

    1. Andrew, I will try to check for you when I have time. In the meantime you might want to visit my blogposts on COR!! and SHIVER & SHAKE summer specials on this blog - the answer might be there (although I am not sure).

  4. Thanks Irmantas, I have had a look through and it brings back some great memories but can't seem to pinpoint the character/sketch. Will keep on looking. Great blog by the way...Andrew