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.



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

SPORTS THEME IN BRITISH COMICS TO CELEBRATE LONDON OLYMPICS 2012 (DAY 5)


Rick and Charlie Wild were super-athletes and the strongest boys in the World. Their adventures (illustrated by Mike Western and written by Tom Tully) appeared in Valiant weeklies for more than 10 years starting from 1964. I like this story from VALIANT Space Special 1968 because of the atmosphere and energy of a major sports competition that it carries.


A LOOK AT COR!! STRIPS: FIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS


The appearance of Fiends and Neighbours in COR!! issue dated 24th November, 1973 (No. 182) was probably the last good thing that happened to COR!!  Alfred Jones and his wife (whose name I haven’t found mentioned in the strip), a childless mid-aged traditional couple, got new neighbours Mr. and Mrs. Really-Ghastlies and their two kids – daughter Bella and son ‘Orrid (who had tiny horns and slept hanging down from the curtain rail). Later in the series the Joneses discovered that their neighbours also had a giant baby who used to go missing for weeks on end hiding in the bushes. Mister Really-Grastly’s name was Igor and the Mrs. was never addressed by name (as far as I can tell)

In the opening episode the nosey Mrs. Jones is eager to meet their new neighbours so she pops round and pretends she wants to borrow a cup of flour. The lady is in for a series of shocks at the peculiar looks and ways of the new neighbours as she makes their acquaintance:

First episode in COR!! issue dated 24th November, 1973 (No. 182)

The Really-Ghastlies were a strange lot indeed, without any doubt they were close relatives of the famous Adams Family in America (no direct references were made in the strip though) and they also had family in Transylvania (we know that Bella’s grandmother lived there). The chambers of their crumbling mansion were decorated with coffins, skulls and old family portraits of witches, devils and fiends. The family’s favourite pet was a monster-octopus by the name of Cyril who appeared in many episodes. Little ‘Orrid had a pet vampire bat Grockle. Other pets included meat-eating fish and a jelly-monster by the name of Fido who fed on ant eggs. Besides, the Really-Ghastlies had a baby dragon and a vulture named Vernon, not to mention a whole swarm of other small creepy creatures that inhabited the mansion and the hideous man-eating plants that grew in the garden. Over the weeks the unfortunate Joneses also got to know their neighbours’ visiting relatives such as gnome cousins from the haunted wood and the giant cousin Boris. To make things even more exciting, in the last COR!! episode ‘Orrid made himself a Frankenstein friend by the name of Clunk-Click.

The comedy of the strip was created by “cultural differences” between the neighbours who never ceased to shock and surprise each other. There is probably no need to say which family always fell victim to the ‘shocks’ part of the bizarre neighbourly relationship. The Really Ghastlies, however, were also puzzled at the ways of the Jonses who they thought were a couple of very weird neighbours...

From COR!! issue dated 8th December, 1973 (No. 184)
The feature was beautifully illustrated by Graham Allen who drew all but one of the 30 episodes in COR!! weeklies (the episode in the issue with the cover date of 18th May, 1974 (No. 207) was by another artist). During the short run of the strip the Really Ghastlies appeared on two front covers of COR!! issues dated 1st December, 1973 and 2nd March, 1974 (Nos. 183 and 196). They also led the crowd of COR!! characters on the front cover of the last issue of COR!! marching to join the lineup of BUSTER. 

The feature survived merger with BUSTER and continued there until 22nd November, 1975. Ray Moore’s BUSTER index says that the script writer was Les Lilley, so I believe it is safe to assume that the same writer also contributed scripts for the COR!! episodes. 

I saw some Fiends and Neighbours reprints in the short-lived SCREAM horror comic of the 80s.

From COR!! issue dated 11th May, 1974 (No. 206)


Here are details about appearances of Fiends and Neighbours outside of COR!! weeklies. As this is one my favourite strips and a highlight in COR!!, there is a good chance to find examples of the artwork in my blogposts dedicated to the particular Holiday Specials and Annuals.

1974 Special – 2 episodes by an artist whose name I don’t know
1975 Annual – 1 episode by an artist whose name I don’t know
1976 Annual – 1 episode by an artist whose name I don’t know
1977 Annual – 1 episode signed by Tom Paterson
1978 Annual – 1 new episode by Graham Allen
1979 Annual – 2 episodes by Les Barton (one signed) + 1 reprint
1980 Annual – 2 episodes by Les Barton
1981 Annual – 2 episodes by Les Barton
1981 Special – 1 episode by Les Barton
1982 Annual – 2 new episodes, one by Les Barton and one by an artist whose name I don’t know
1982 Special – 1 episode by Nigel Edwards
1983 Annual – 1 episode Les Barton
1983 Special – 1 new episode by an artist whose name I don’t know
1984 Annual – 1 new episode by Les Barton
1985 Annual – 1 new episode by Les Barton
1986 Annual – 1 new episode by Nigel Edwards

Monday, July 30, 2012

SPORTS THEME IN BRITISH COMICS TO CELEBRATE LONDON OLYMPICS 2012 (DAY 4)

Let’s take a quick look at tennis today. As I mentioned it in my previous post, tennis was one of the privileged sports in British comics. Many popular characters tried a hand at the sport once in a while so it probably won’t be the last time that we see it in this series of Olympic posts…

This lively set appeared in 1977 SHIVER AND SHAKE Holiday Special and was a reprint of the Lion Lot from LION by Leo Baxendale




Sunday, July 29, 2012

SPORTS THEME IN BRITISH COMICS TO CELEBRATE LONDON OLYMPICS 2012 (DAY 3)


Over the years, certain sports received considerably more attention in British comics than others. I am referring to football (of course!), cricket, motor sports, boxing and tennis. In addition to being “traditional” popular British sports that were very much part of the daily lives of many kids, they had strong comedy potential that could be exploited in comics. 

Cricket and motor sports are not part of the Olympic Games, so I will leave them out. Football has already been covered extensively last month but I found one or two interesting examples and will probably include them in later posts. Tennis can also wait a bit. Today’s post is all about BOXING, and there is certainly no shortage of strips with the boxing theme.

Here are some from BEEZER by Leo Baxendale:

From BEEZER No. 24 dated June 30th, 1956
From BEEZER No. 324 dated March 31st, 1962

Leo Baxendale is said to have signed all of his work for WHAM! so it is safe to assume that any unsigned instalments were by other artists:





And here are some examples by Ken Reid from two different periods of his career: 

From THE BEANO No. 754 dated December 29th, 1956
From THE BEANO No. 778 dated June 15th, 1957
From POW! No. 33 dated September 2nd, 1967


A LOOK AT COR!! STRIPS: NIGHT MARE



Night Mare told the adventures of an over-energetic ghost horse who was always looking for action. The kind-hearted mare took every opportunity to help out her suffering living fellow horses by taking their place.

Night Mare started in COR!! issue dated 6th October, 1973 (No. 175) and continued without a break for 37 weeks until the last issue dated 15th June, 1974 (No. 211). The character made two front page appearances, one on 19th January, 1974 (No. 190) and then in the penultimate COR!! issue with the cover date of 8th June, 1974 (No. 210). Night Mare was the last of Reg Parlett’s many contributions in COR!! Later in the run illustrator’s duties were handed over to Arthur Martin.

From COR!! issue dated 3rd November, 1973 (No. 179)
From COR!! issue dated 26th January, 1974 (No. 191)
From COR!! issue dated 16th February, 1974 (No. 194)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

SPORTS THEME IN BRITISH COMICS TO CELEBRATE LONDON OLYMPICS 2012 (DAY 2)


In the 70s VALIANT had nice Mike Western covers some of which featured outstanding Olympic athletes from different countries. You could actually learn things by reading comics then...






My intention is to focus on humour comics and I’ll start with this nice crowded Pirates’ Olympic set by Leo Baxendale from BUSTER dated November 25th, 1968: