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, February 23, 2013


The second Shiver and Shake Special was 80 pages thick and cost 20 p. It must have been published in August because the first advertisement in the weekly paper was in the issue cover dated 10th August, 1974.

Here is the summary of the contents: Ghost’s Revenge, Frankie Stein (4 episodes), Ed (3 episodes), Screen Scream (2 pinups), The Hand, The Shiver Givers (2 episodes), Spot the Difference puzzle (featuring characters of Horrornation Street), Webster (2 episodes, one in full colour), Mirth Shakers feature (2 installments), Hire a Horror (2 episodes, one in full colour), Grimly Feendish (3 episodes, one in full colour), Shake, Sports School (2 episodes), The Desert Fox (3 episodes), Tough Nutt and Softy Centre, Scatty Bat (2 installments), Stirling Steel and the Terror Train (adventure story, 6 pages), Blunder Puss, The Fixer,  The Wiz War (2 episodes), Lolly Pop, Moana Lisa, Harry’s Haunted House, Scream Inn, Ghouldilocks, Sweeny Toddler, The Duke’s Spook.

The features marked in red weren’t familiar to readers of the weeklies or of the first Special and the 1974 Annual.

In tune with the horror comedy genre of the magazine, the Screen Scream pinups were screenshots of old horror movies, enhanced with humorous speech balloons. Here is one example:

Harry’s Haunted House was a star guest from WHIZZER AND CHIPS. At that time Star Guest was a regular feature in Shiver and Shake and other weekly IPC sister publications in which popular characters from one comic made guest appearances in other titles.

Terry Bave contributed as many as 12 pages of art, including some features that were usually illustrated by other artists (one story of Hire a Horror and the Shake strip). Blunder Puss was by Les Barton. Brian Walker was substituted by someone else on Scream Inn – that’s one of only two cases I am aware of when the feature was illustrated by a substitute artist. Here are both pages of the story:

As far as I can tell, all other stories were drawn by their regular artists. The episodes of Grimly Feendish were reprints from SMASH! where the strip was illustrated by Leo Baxendale:

As was the case in Shiver and Shake 1973 Christmas Special and 1974 Annual, all 4 episodes of Frankie Stein were reprints of Ken Reid’s work from WHAM! comic of the sixties; original stories had appeared in WHAM! issues 52, 55, 44 and 56. Here is an example, originally from WHAM! No. 56:

Same as in the 1973 SHIVER AND SHAKE Christmas Holiday Special, the Stirling Steel story (Stirling Steel and the Terror Train) was a reprint of Maxwell Hawke’s adventures from BUSTER. The original story (Maxwell Hawke and the Phantom Express) ran in BUSTER between 24th October 1964 and 2nd January 1965. Here are opening panels of both versions:

“Adorning” Maxwell Hawke with a beard and redrawing (poorly) his pretty girl assistant Jill Adair as teenage boy Mark Tyne weren’t the only atrocities against the original story: it was also cropped from its original page count in BUSTER to merely six pages in the Holiday Special by dropping more than a half of the BUSTER tale. Whoever constructed the Stirling Steel story, merged the first three and the last three instalments of Maxwell Hawke from BUSTER and discarded more than 5 episodes in between. This was a serious cut-and-paste exercise, as can be seen from the scans below. Here is page 4 of Stirling Steel and the Terror Train from the Holiday Special:

… and here are the pages from three different issues of BUSTER that were used to construct the page shown above:

The last thing worth mentioning about the Special is the nice back cover with most of the paper’s characters enjoying themselves at the seaside. I would credit Tom Paterson with the artwork but I’m prepared to stand corrected:


  1. Excellent back cover - I'd say Martin Baxendale drew it.

  2. I think that Grimly Feendish may have been by Stan McMurtry, and I agree with George about the back cover.

  3. Thanks, folks. I suppose you may very ell be right regarding Martin Baxendale. Not so sure about Stan McMurtry on Grimly Feendish.

    1. After some more research I have now updated the information about Grimly Feendish. The episodes were reprints from Smash! - two by Leo Baxendale and one by I don't know who.

  4. Excellent research on the Stirling Steel reconstruction job. Obviously Maxwell Hawke was a good fit with S&S's spooky elements, but I wonder why they chose to rehash a serial story from the weekly Buster. Surely it would have been much easier to reduce/rehash a Hawke tale from one of the early Buster Books (the examples I've seen being 8-10 pages each) to fit this summer special.

    1. They worked in mysterious ways. I for one can’t figure out the point of adding facial hair and changing the sex of the assistant.