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, March 31, 2016


Sweeny Toddler, the demonic baby who brought lots of fun to generations of children in the UK over a number of decades, first appeared in SHIVER AND SHAKE in 1973. I covered the SHIVER AND SHAKE period of the strip in an old post HERE.

This time let’s retrace Sweeny’s path from SHIVER AND SHAKE to the new comic with the clumsy title of WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE.

WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE was 32 pages thick at the time. It seems like a lot of space to fill, but Whoopee! had a strong lineup of characters as it were, and it had to accommodate quite a few refugees from SHIVER AND SHAKE who were too popular to be discontinued with the demise of their home comic (Frankie Stein, Scream Inn and a few others), so re-arrangements were inevitable and competition was tough.

Sweeny Toddler didn’t make a straightforward leap to the new comic – it had to prove its strength by participating in a poll. The Editor selected 8 strips and invited readers to vote in a Pick-A-Strip competition. Most of the entrants were either WHOOPEE!’s own (presumably less successful) features – Pop Snorer, Little Miss Muffit, Snap Happy and The Upper Crusts and the Lazy Loafers, or those from SHIVER AND SHAKE - The Desert Fox, Grimly Feendish and Sweeny Toddler. This is what Sweeny’s entry looked like in WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE cover-dated 23rd November, 1974:

Results were announced in the issue cover-dated 22nd March, 1975:

… and Sweeny Toddler proudly returned to the spotlight a week later in the Easter issue of WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER AND SHAKE cover-dated 29th March, 1975:

It would have been interesting to see the vote count. Perhaps it was a close call for Sweeny? Was there a chance that he would have faded into oblivion, had the runner-up received a few more votes in its favour?.. 

All Images 2016 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.


  1. A very tiny percentage of readers ever respond to these type of polls, Irmy, so there's no guarantee that the results reflect the majority of readers' tastes. I'd imagine they got it right on this occasion 'though, because the strip was usually very funny.

  2. Tony's Toolbox nearly won! Would this character been a cover star!!!! ;)

  3. I read 'Whoopee!' avidly from 1978 to 1981; Sweeny was always my absolute favourite. Such anarchy and absurdity, and action, too! I read and studied my comics quite carefully, and although there was much to make me smile, Sweeny Toddler was the only strip to make me LAUGH OUT LOUD regularly. Both Leo Baxendale and Tom Paterson did amazing work on this strip.