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.



Thursday, January 24, 2013

1973 SHIVER AND SHAKE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SPECIAL



The first Shiver and Shake Special was quite extraordinary because it was a CHRISTMAS Holiday Special. It had 96 pages and cost 18 p.

Here is the breakdown of the contents (black colour is for SHIVER section and blue is for SHAKE; underlined are the features that didn’t appear in the weeklies): The Duke’s Spook, Soggy the Sea Monster, Grimly Feendish (4 episodes), Ghouldilocks (3 episodes), Christmas Creations (4 instalments), Frankie Stein (5 episodes), Horrornation Street, Menace of the Ghost Ship, Scatty Bat (2 episodes), The Hand (2 episodes), Sweeny Toddler, Wiz War (2 episodes), The Shiver Givers, Shake (+ Shake’s Christmas Surprise), Mirth-Shaking Christmas Inventions (2 instalments), The Desert Fox, Damsel in Distress, Lolly Pop, Mirth Shakers (2 instalments), The Fixer, Moana Lisa, Match of the Season: Santa’s Team v Jack Frost, Tough Nutt and Softy Centre, Sample Simon, Scream Inn, Ye Haunted Lake, Ed (2 episodes) and Webster.

The Special was structured after the weeklies: it had the spook and the elephant on the front and a Creepy Creation (on this occasion – a Christmas Creation) on the back, while SHAKE section was framed by full-colour Shake strip on the front and a beautiful Shake’s Christmas Surprise on the back, also in colour. All characters were in their usual sections. Here is the front page of the Shake section:


For me, the highlights were Ken Reid’s Christmas Creations – three in full colour and one in black and white, and the 4-page Christmas set of Scream Inn (Scream Inn Welcomes Ebenezer Scrooge). Here is one of the Christmas Creations, followed by the masthead and the final panel of Scream Inn:

 

All 5 instalments of Frankie Stein were reprints of episodes of the original series in WHAM! by Ken Reid (from WHAM! issues 131, 28 (with half a page of the original episode unceremoniously chopped off), 35, 34 and 157).  

Match of the Season was a nice variation of Match of the Week. Here is the opening panel with a crowd of Shiver and Shake characters in the background:

 
A number of strips were unfamiliar to readers of the weeklies, all but one were reprints.  Menace of the Ghost Ship was a 16-page adventure thriller by Eric Bradbury that in fact was a heavily doctored reprint of Maxwell Hawke and the Ghost Ship that ran in Buster back in 1965. In the Shiver and Shake version Maxhwell Hawke the famous ghost hunter became Stirling Steel, while Hawke’s pretty assistant Jill Adair from Buster had a sex change and turned into Mark Tyme. Below are two opening pages from the Special, followed by the first episode of the original series in tabloid-size Buster dated 3rd April 1965:  


 
Wiz War was a reprint of the strip about two rival wizards Wizard Prang and Demon Druid that originated in POW! and continued in SMASH! 


Scatty Bat was a reprint of Batty Bat from the early Whizzer and Chips; the reprints appeared in Shiver and Shake specials and annuals but not in the weeklies.  


Ed was the only new strip but was actually a poorly drawn space-filler about a headless cavalier.

All in all, the Special made a very attractive package.

11 comments:

  1. I've noticed Sid and Shiner hiding in that Santa's Team vs. Jack Frost picture!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hope you can show the other three Creepy Creations on Ken Reid from the special...
    as you know I'm trying to put together the complete set at my blog..

    the post has come up in my blog list so its working now..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can post them here when I do the post on Creepy Creations later on. If you are looking to collect the full set of Ken Reid's creepies, you will also want to get hold of two from 1974 Sh & Sh Annual, two mini monsters from the Sh & Sh pull-out booklet (that also has monster versions of all 12 star signs by Ken Reid) and the Calendar in Sh & Sh 1975 Annual. Funny Monsters series by Ken Reid in the first 4 issues of combined Buster and Monster Fun shoud also be included.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the info...quite a few more to collect then...
      it was a lovely surprise seeing the Christmas one...

      look forward to your reviews on Scream Inn and Creepy Creations..;0)

      Delete
  3. Scream Inn is fast becoming my favourite Fleetway strip of the whole lot - that picture you've put up there's fantastic! I'll have to seek this one out (got another annual in the post, so that's one thing).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scream Inn is an excellent series and easily one of my favourites too.

      Delete
  4. I actually can't remember if I ever had this one or not. I liked Shiver & Shake, even 'though - at 14 - I was probably not part of the age group it was aimed at.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very strange changing the sex of a character...But not very well done!!!!...

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Christmas Creation you showed was by Bob Nixon, I fear!

    I could be wrong, but I think the strip on the front page of Shake was drawn by Paul Ailey. It's not quite right for regular artist Mike Lacey.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with you regarding the cover. As for the Creepy Creation - now that I look at it with a fresh eye, it's indeed by Bob Nixon, and quite obviously so! The other three in the special also look like Nixon's, so do the two in the 1974 Sh&Sh Annual. Thanks for pointing this out!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fabulous posting. I dont remember the specials. I certainly track them down though for the Ken Reid Frankie Stein strips (cheaper than getting the original issues of Wham!).

    ReplyDelete