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.

Monday, February 25, 2013


SHIVER AND SHAKE Annual 1975 had 160 pages and cost 80 p. The book came out when the weekly was still up and running: the first ad of the book can be found in the issue cover-dated 31st August, 1974 (No. 74).

For me it is one of the most interesting IPC annuals ever with lots of quality new material and multiple artists offering their takes on popular characters.

Here is the summary of the contents: Creepy Creations Calendar - 1975 (4 pages), Ghouldilocks (3 episodes by Stan McMurtry, one in full colour), Webster (2 episodes by Terry Bave, one in full colour), Dr. Heckle (4 instalments, one in full colour), Scatty Bat (3 episodes), Sweeny Toddler (2 episodes, by Tom Paterson or Martin Baxendale), The Hand (5 episodes, all by different artists), The Shiver Givers (2 episodes, probably by Tom Williams), Grimly Feendish (4 episodes), Frankie Stein (3 episodes), Biddy’s Beastly Bloomers (two episodes by different artists), Horrornation Street (2 episodes by Tom Williams),  Scream Inn, The Duke’s Spook (3 episodes, all by different artists), Shake (2 episodes in full colour by different artists), The Forest Legion (6-page episode in full colour), Nutter (3 episodes, two in full colour), Tough Nutt and Softy Centre (3 episodes, one in full colour), Damsel in Distress (3 episodes, one in full colour), Match of the Year – Winter Sportsmen versus Snowmen (4 pages), Wiz War (3 episodes, including one special episode Wizard Prang and Demon Druid ‘Wiz’ Wizardry Galore), Moana Lisa (2 episodes by Peter Davidson), Lolly Pop (two episodes by different artists), The Fixer, Eagle Eye (8-pager), The Desert Fox (3 episodes by Terry Bave), Mirth Shakers (2 instalments), The Phantom Piper (8-pager), Sports School, Mickey Muggins, Money Maze puzzle, Ed (2 episodes, one in full colour), Soggy the Sea Monster (2 episodes by Robert Nixon, one in full colour).

The features marked in red were one-offs that hadn’t appeared in SHIVER and SHAKE publications before. Dr. Heckle and Mickey Muggins are hardly worth mentioning – I find nothing interesting about them. Quite the opposite applies to the other two. Let’s leave The Phantom Piper for the end of the post. As for Creepy Creations 1975 Calendar, it was another excellent piece from the hand of Ken Reid. 4 pages of the brightly coloured calendar were on the inside covers and the pages opposite them, three months per page. Check out some examples of the Creations from the calendar: 

There was more of Ken Reid’s art in the Annual. The three Frankie Steins included in the book were reprints from WHAM! Nos. 39, 67 and 80, all with a few panels dropped because panels of the original one-page episodes were re-arranged to fill two pages. Here are some sterling images from two different episodes:

Frankie Stein episodes weren’t the only reprints in the Annual – so were the installments of Scatty Bat (reprinted from Whizzer and Chips), Wiz Wars (from POW! and SMASH!) and Grimly Feendish (from SMASH!).

As can be seen from the summary of contents above, all episodes of Ghoudilocks, Webster, Desert Fox, Horrornation Street, Moana Lisa, Soggy the Sea Monster and a few other strips were illustrated by their regular artists.

And now comes the interesting part because different episodes of a few popular strips were illustrated by different first-rate IPC artists. I don’t remember seeing another IPC funnies annual with so many examples of this interesting practice.

Mike Lacey and Terry Bave illustrated one episode of Shake each. Then there were two episodes of Lolly Pop: a 4-pager by Robert Nixon and a 3-pager by Sid Burgon. Both artists worked on the feature in the weeklies. Here are four sample panels, two from each set. In the first pair Pop is mean and miserly, and in the second he is devastated and furious because his fortunes have been ruined by Archie, as always:


Next comes Biddy’s Beastly Bloomers, with one set drawn by Sid Burgon:

… and the second by another artist who I think was Tom Paterson:

The further we go, the more exciting it gets. There were three episodes of The Duke’s Spook included in the book; one was by Arthur Martin who I believe was the strip’s regular artist in the weeklies:

… the other one by Les Barton who was often invited to step in for other artists in different IPC Annuals and Holiday Specials:

… and the third by Frank McDiarmid who did numerous one-off ghostings in IPC publications in the mid-70s, particularly in the Annuals and the Star Guest feature in the weeklies. I believe he is also responsible for one episode of Damsel in Distress in this Annual. Here is the complete set of The Duke’s Spook by Mr. McDiarmid:

The trend is championed by The Hand with as many as five sets, all by different artists, four of whom I think I can identify as Arthur Martin:

… Les Barton:

… Frank McDiarmid:

… and Tom Paterson:
... plus one whose name I don’t know:

So much for different artists’ takes on the same character. But the goodness doesn’t end here. Here is the opening panel of The Match of the Year by Mike Lacey (snowmen came on top in the end):

The Forest Legion made their second appearance (after 1974 Annual), only this time in full colour. Here are the first two pages of the 6-page tale in which the team of vigilant forest animals bust the crooks Boss and Butch once again:

An episode of Scream Inn by Brian Walker would have improved this excellent book even further. Unfortunately, you can’t have it all and the 3-pager was illustrated by the same ghost artist who was responsible for the instalment in the 1974 Holiday Special; here is a taste of the story in which a Snowman tried to spend a night in the haunted bedroom to win a million pounds:

Adventure ingredient of the package was an 8-page episode of Eagle Eye by Ron Turner, who, to my regret, wasn’t responsible for weekly instalments. Here is the opening page of the story in which ‘Eagle Eye’ Tommy Trotter and two safari park guides nab a gang of professional crooks who attempt to steal an exotic onyx from the park:

Eagle Eye wasn’t Ron Turner’s only contribution to SHIVER AND SHAKE 1975 Annual. The second was this extraordinary one-off Phantom Piper story. Extraordinary because Ron Turner specialised in sci-fi and adventure stories and this is the only example that I am aware of when he tried his hand at the comedy genre. The set below proves what a universal artist Mr. Turner was. I find his humour style very appealing. There is something about the pages below that reminds of Harvey Kurtzman’s work, don’t you think? Here is the tale in its entirety:


  1. The Phantom Piper is a real find - superb! Thanks for posting it.

  2. Lovely. i actually have this and dug it out of the attic for my 6 yo to enjoy (passing on the curse? Blessing?). I didnt check for the Ken Reid stuff tho and so I need to have a closer look and single them out for bedtime reading - thx for this.