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 Charlie Williams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlie Williams. Show all posts

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Charlie Williams belongs to the category of strips that had a famous film or TV comedian for the main character and were so common in old British comics. Buster had a lot of these throughout the sixties. IPC attempted to revive the genre in 1973, first by launching the Goodies in COR!!, and then including Charlie Williams in SHIVER AND SHAKE where the feature was part of the non-horror SHAKE section.

Wikipedia tells us that Charlie Williams was a mixed-race English professional footballer who later became Britain's first well-known black stand-up comedian. He became famous from his appearances on Granada Television's The Comedians and ATV's The Golden Shot, delivering his catchphrase, "me old flower" in his broad Yorkshire accent. Here is what I found of him on YouTube:

I have to admit that the Yorkshire accent is a bit tricky for me and I can’t understand every word the man says; also, his wild burst of laughter signalling the end of a joke is a bit overenthusiastic, but otherwise I find him quite fun to watch. Why they decided to turn him into a character of a children’s comic is a bit of a mystery to me and I am not too surprised it only managed such a short run…

Charlie Williams ran without a break in SHIVER AND SHAKE issues 22 - 47 (from August 4th, 1973 until January 26th, 1974) when the prototype of its main character was at the pinnacle of his comedy career. In the strip Charlie was a regular customer of the employment agency who took a new odd job every week. He tried everything from being a zoo animal keeper to room decorator, from Santa Claus to human cannon ball in a circus act.

By the early 70s racial stereotyping had disappeared from British children’s comics
but since Williams' comedy is said to have often been at his own expense, and particularly his colour, three or four of the episodes in SHIVER AND SHAKE were given that long-forgotten mildly racial twist:

As can be seen from the two examples above, Charlie Williams was illustrated by two different artists. Of the 26 episodes in SHIVER AND SHAKE weeklies, 16 were by Alf Saporito and the rest (mostly towards the end of the run) by Sid Burgon. Throughout its short run the strip was a one-pager but the last instalment in issue 47 was two pages long. In fact it consisted of two separate episodes and Williams’ adventures were given a proper ending in the second one when he was finally invited to join the local theatre as a stand-up comedian: