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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


If you’ve got a spook you want shifted, call for the Ghoul Getters, Ltd. - read the caption above one weekly episode of this nice strip by Trevor Metcalfe. The ghoul-getting service was a small family business run by Dad and his lad Arnold.  When called, they would arrive in their ghost-proof van, sometimes use their ‘spookometer’ to detect the ghost, put one of their letter-coded plans into action and send the ghost packing. Plan A was the one that never failed – it involved the use of the ghost sucker, or the super ‘spook-sucker-inner’ – a device that would suck the ghost in. The Ghoul Getters would then drive it away and drop it off someplace where the ghost wouldn’t be such a nuisance. In the first episode they rid a lady from a noisy one and dropped him off at an all-nite disco where visitors couldn’t care less about noise.

The Ghoul Getters started in SHIVER AND SHAKE issue No. 71 and was a strong addition to the lineup. The strip occupied 1 ½ pages in the spooky SHIVER section of the paper. All but one episodes were illustrated by Trevor Metcalfe who signed a number of his sets towards the end, and the episode in issue 75 was by Tomboy artist. Seven episodes were self-contained stories but the Phantom Piper tale (the last story in SHIVER AND SHAKE) was serialised over two weeks. You can read both parts in this post, here is the first:

SHIVER AND SHAKE was merged into WHOOPEE merely 9 weeks after The Ghoul Getters first appeared. It was considered to be good enough to deserve a slot in the new combined paper and continued there for nearly two years until the end of February 1976 (exactly like Blunder Puss).

One can’t help noticing similarities between The Ghoul Getters and the famous Ghostbusters film, although the strip predates the movie by a whole decade so it wasn’t a spoof but rather the other way round. Could it have been that the American writers of Ghostbusters were familiar with this little strip published in a British children’s comic?  

Sunday, July 28, 2013


The Ghostly Galleon was part of the package of three new features introduced in SHIVER AND SHAKE No. 71 merely a few weeks before the paper was discontinued. Two boys Philip Drake and his brother Frankie accidentally found themselves aboard an ancient Spanish galleon buried in the sand off the Norfolk coast. This is how the story began:

As can be seen from the first episode, The Ghostly Galleon was yet another adventure serial that offered the readers a chance to win some cash.  The plot was simple and easily predictable. Details aside, the Ghostly Galleon was in fact a carbon copy of The Terrible Trail to Taggart'sTreasure that appeared SHIVER AND SHAKE issues 14 – 22.  

The boys soon found out they weren’t alone aboard the ship and that a mysterious character was determined not to let them escape. The violent masked bloke wasted no time in assaulting the two brothers with his antique but deadly weapons such as a halberd, a blunderbuss, a trident, etc. Scared for their lives, the boys rushed about the ancient ship, finding holes, hidden passages and doors that led them from one compartment to another, and occasionally fought back by popping champagne corks...

The bloke appeared to be well-familiar with the layout of the old galleon and chased the boys all over the place – from the top to the bottom and then back to the top, smashing though walls and never falling far behind. In the final episode Philip and Frankie broke out onto the upper deck, accidentally stumbled across an ancient Spanish treasure chest full of gold, silver and precious jewels, and mustered up the courage to confront the villain. Surprise, surprise – it was Professor John Harvey, another greedy mad scientist (a historian) who was after the treasure and was unwilling to share it with anyone. Here is the last instalment:

Readers were invited to enter for The Ghostly Galleon competition:

This being the last issue, the editor had a small logistical problem with competition results but promised to publish them in the combined WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE. The results can be found in Whoopee! and Shiver and Shake cover-dated 30th Nov., 1974:

The Ghostly Galleon appeared in SHIVER AND SHAKE issues 71 – 79 and was part of SHAKE section; it was a two pager, apart from the opening episode that was two pages long and had an extra page with the drawings of the galleon so that readers could follow the two brothers’ dramatic flight through the buried ship. I don’t know the name of the artist but it looks like he also illustrated Rat Trap in COR!! There is something about the style that reminds me of girls’ comics.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Hire A Horror was a strip that originated in COR!! and appeared there regularly throughout the run of the paper from 1970 until 1974, running up to 200+ episodes. Those of you who followed the COR!! series on this blog last year may very well remember the post that I did on the feature. If you didn’t follow the series, you may wish to check the post out because in addition to factual details and my babble, it also includes some nice examples from the hand of the original artist Reg Parlett and his successor Bob Nixon, and even some images of original artwork by Reg Parlett.  Click HERE for the old post.

When COR!! comic merged into BUSTER on June 22nd, 1974, Hire A Horror didn’t make it to the combined paper. However, a week after the merger the strip reappeared in SHIVER AND SHAKE No. 69 with the cover date of June 29th, 1974. The ‘spooky’ SHIVER section of the paper was a natural home to the strip that was an excellent example of the horror comedy genre. On the occasion of the transfer to SHIVER AND SHAKE, the strip was given a small face-lift with an excellent new logo by Robert Nixon.

Hire A Horror ran in SHIVER AND SHAKE for ten weeks until the penultimate issue. We’ll never know if the brief run in SHIVER AND SHAKE was part of a plan to transfer it to WHOPPEE! (if it was, the plan didn’t materialize in the end, although Hire A Horror did appear in WHOOPE AND SHIVER & SHAKE just one more time as part of the mini book in the issue dated October 26ht, 1974 ), or was it simply the case of artwork being submitted by the artist prior to the decision to put COR!! to rest. In any event, the last episodes of the series are a treat to the eye, as illustrated by the examples shown in this post. All but one were drawn by Bob Nixon and one (in No. 74) was by Tomboy artist (Mike Atwell?). Mr. Nixon proudly signed all of his sets.

For the sake of accuracy it has to be noted that on two occasions Hire a Horror made guest appearances in SHIVER AND SHAKE in the Star Guest from COR!! feature (issue No. 17 (June 30th, 1973) and issue No. 67 (June 15th, 1974)).  Both were nice sets by Bob Nixon; here is one: 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Those of you who followed my COR!! series on this blog last year may remember that it didn’t include a review of COR!! 1978 Holiday Special for the simple reason that I didn’t have a copy to review. 

Well, I have recently won a copy on eBay and my collection of COR!! is now as complete as it can ever be (except that I have only one of the four free gifts that were offered with the paper during its lifetime). When writing the series I deliberately reserved a slot for the Special and have now updated it with full details and a review. You can read it HERE