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.

Showing posts with label Arthur Martin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arthur Martin. Show all posts

Monday, July 22, 2013


The main character of the strip was another ghostly headless cavalier with a ball and chain. I’ve lost count of them in the SHIVER AND SHAKE – I think it was the fourth of maybe fifth strip in the paper that he featured in.

This one had a grudge against Bloggs family because their ancestor Sebastian Blogg of Cockfosters was the headsman who chopped the ghost’s nut off umpteen hundred years ago. The ghost turned up at the Bloggs house and vowed to take his ‘most awful revenge’ on them. The family weren’t really scared of him but the silly old spook was a nuisance so they always tried to fool him and slip away from him. The ghost usually caught up with the Bloggs and found ways to annoy them. Sometimes he fell victim to his own plots to the joy of the Bloggs.

The Ghost’s Revenge ran in SHIVER AND SHAKE issues 58 – 79 (April 13th 1974 – October 5th, 1974) and missed Nos. 70 and 74. The strip was part of the 'spooky" SHIVER section of the paper. The majority of the episodes were by Arthur Martin (please, correct me if I am wrong); the episode in issue 72 was by Tomboy artist (Mike Atwell?) while the episodes in issues 75, 77, 78 and 79 were by David Jenner. The strip didn’t survive merger with WHOOPEE! Here is the last episode:

Friday, March 22, 2013


Shiver the spook waited on the old Duke and they got along well until the Duke decided he needed a new butler and hired Grimes, an experienced professional. The toffee-nosed newcomer and the resident spook instantly became rivals and foes, both eager to get into the Duke’s good books. Neither the spook nor the butler was a model servant: Shiver was a lazy glutton, while Grimes never missed an opportunity to make some money at the Duke’s expense. 

Grimes was mean towards Shiver and used different tricks to get rid of him but his schemes often backfired and landed Grimes in trouble with the Duke whose sympathies were usually with the spook. A few months into the run the antagonism between Shiver and Grimes acquired an extra dimension because Shiver became obsessed with pinching food (just like his old self in COR!!), while Grimes concentrated on making sure that the spook was kept well away from grub.

On a few rare occasions the two rivals put their differences aside and joined forces for a common cause: 

As it was already mentioned a few times in this series, Shiver had his roots in COR!! comic that was still around during most of SHIVER AND SHAKE’s lifetime. It is nice to see the artist plug the sister publication by putting it into the hands of the former COR!! character in this set from issue SHIVER AND SHAKE No. 31 (6th October, 1973):

The b/w feature was illustrated by Arthur Martin who was later replaced by another artist whose name I don’t know. The Duke’s Spook didn’t miss a single issue but failed to survive merger with WHOOPEE! in the autumn of 1974. The caption beneath the last episode in Shiver and Shake No. 79, however, announced that Shiver was to appear in WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER AND SHAKE. After the merger the character starred on the front cover of SHIVER AND SHAKE section of the new combined comic until it was dropped early in 1976.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


The weird origins of the two characters have been covered on this blog here and here so I will briefly mention that a strip with the title of SHIVER AND SHAKE first appeared in COR!! comic where it showed adventures of a spook named Shake and an undead cavalier named Shiver. The COR!! strip was discontinued in February 1973 but when Shiver and Shake comic came out a month later, the spook made a comeback renamed as Shiver (after his companion in the COR!! strip) while his previous name was given to his new pal – the elephant dressed in what looked like school uniform.

Drawn by Mike Lacey, the pair appeared regularly on the front cover of SHIVER AND SHAKE and hosted their respective sections inside the paper. Initially the front covers were split along the middle with Shiver appearing on the left and Shake on the right, presumably to emphasise the rivalry of the two sections (let us not forget that the comic was imitating its sister publication Whizzer and Chips that pioneered and successfully exploited the two-comics-in-one gimmick). Later in the run the split cover format was dropped in favour of a single large illustration showing the antics of both characters. Here are some examples of split covers, followed by a couple of nice samples of the later trend:

A small number of covers were sort of split in half but actually consisted of two panels with the two characters appearing in both: 

Front cover domination of the spook and tusker pair lasted for fifty-two weekly issues (exactly one year) until No. 53 when they were ousted and permanently replaced by Frankie Stein. That said, the star characters retained their position on the front covers of all Holiday Specials and Annuals that carried their name (except 1974 Holiday Special and 1976 Annual when they stepped down for Frankie Stein).

The two cover stars hosted their own sections inside the paper. In practice this meant that they appeared on the pages of their respective reader participation features urging readers to send their contributions in exchange for cash prizes. The images and messages were always the same: 

Besides, on a few occasions Shiver and Shake featured in promotional messages urging readers to place their regular orders:

In issue 41 they can be seen side-by-side in this competition announcement:

Readers could also follow weekly adventures of both cover stars: Shiver was one of the main characters in The Duke’s Spook illustrated by Arthur Martin, whereas Shake had the prime slot on the cover of his own section, illustrated by Mike Lacey. Both features will receive dedicated posts when their turn comes but in the meantime, here are examples of both strips:

The spook and the elephant had a full page each but Shake had the luxury of full colour presentation. This doesn’t mean that the tusker enjoyed preferential treatment because the spook had the advantage of starring in yet another weekly strip - the Shiver Givers, so actually the paper had more of Shiver than of Shake. Again, The Shiver Givers will be covered separately in due course, but here is a taste:

On a number of occasions both characters crossed over in other strips inside the paper, such as Match of the Week in issues No 6 and 20:

The Shiver Givers in issues 37 and 45:

… and Wizards Anonymous in issue 27. Here are both pages of this interesting episode, illustrated by Brian Walker:

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Night Mare told the adventures of an over-energetic ghost horse who was always looking for action. The kind-hearted mare took every opportunity to help out her suffering living fellow horses by taking their place.

Night Mare started in COR!! issue dated 6th October, 1973 (No. 175) and continued without a break for 37 weeks until the last issue dated 15th June, 1974 (No. 211). The character made two front page appearances, one on 19th January, 1974 (No. 190) and then in the penultimate COR!! issue with the cover date of 8th June, 1974 (No. 210). Night Mare was the last of Reg Parlett’s many contributions in COR!! Later in the run illustrator’s duties were handed over to Arthur Martin.

From COR!! issue dated 3rd November, 1973 (No. 179)
From COR!! issue dated 26th January, 1974 (No. 191)
From COR!! issue dated 16th February, 1974 (No. 194)