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 Cor holiday specials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cor holiday specials. Show all posts

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The purpose of this post is to get the last things out of the way so that I can close this series dedicated to COR!! comic and move forward :) 

Smartie Artie is the last remaining strip whose appearances were limited to COR!! annuals. It can be found in 1982 and 1984 COR!! Comic Annuals, two episodes in each. Smartie Artie was a version of Artful Artie from COR!! 1983 Holiday Special. Both strips were illustrated by the same artist, the stories were very simple and so was the art.

Professor Corn’s Daft Dictionary Definitions feature was mentioned briefly in one of my early COR!! posts (1974: A look at the last months of COR!!). I will add that the feature began in COR!! issue with the cover date of 6th October, 1973 (No. 175) and appeared regularly until the last issue of the weekly. Here is a sample from the issue dated 26th January, 1974 (No. 191):

Some of the reprints that ran in COR!! Annuals and Specials also got a brief mention in the earlier posts. Here are full details of their various appearances over the years:

Ug and Tug the Peace Makers was a Wild West comedy strip drawn by Nadal about an Indian kid and a settler kid. The stories were reprinted from Buster where the strip enjoyed a short run in 1965. Ug and Tug reprints appeared in:
1971 COR!! Summer Special (4 episodes)
1972 COR!! Comic Annual (5 episodes)
1972 COR!! Holiday Special (3 episodes)
1973 COR!! Comic Annual (3 episodes)
1974 COR!! Comic Annual (4 episodes)

Aqua Lad – reprints from the early issues of Whizzer and Chips where the strip was illustrated by Terry Bave. Aqua Lad reprints appeared in:
1974 COR!! Holiday Special (3 episodes)
1975 COR!! Comic Annual (3 episodes)
1975 COR!! Holiday Special (1 episode)
1976 COR!! Comic Annual (4 episodes)

Give A Dog a Bone – reprints from the early issues of Whizzer and Chips where the strip was illustrated by Graham Allen. The reprints appeared in:
1974 COR! Holiday Special (4 episodes)
1975 COR!! Comic Annual (2 episodes)
1976 COR!! Comic Annual (4 episodes)
1977 COR!! Comic Annual (6 episodes, one in full colour)

The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk – reprints from the early issues of Whizzer and Chips where the strip was illustrated by the universal Frank McDiarmid. The reprints appeared in:
1974 COR!! Holiday Special (1 episode)
1975 COR!! Comic Annual (4 episodes)

Patch-Eye Hooker – reprints from BUSTER. Ray Moore’s BUSTER index says the story landed in Buster after it absorbed the short-lived GIGGLE comic in 1968. Artist unknown. Reprints of the strip appeared in:
1978 COR!! Comic Annual (2 episodes)
1979 COR!! Comic Annual
1979 COR!! Holiday Special (2 episodes)
1980 COR!! Comic Annual

The last remaining thing is to take a look at COR!! Books of Gags (two were published) which I hope to do very soon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Young MacDonald and His Farm was a series that appeared in COR!! Holiday Specials and Annuals in the period 1973 – 1986 (with a few breaks in the early years). 

The Editor was undecided as to which word of the title (if any)
he wanted inside inverted commas...

Andy “Young” MacDonald lived on a remote farm in the highlands of Scotland with his Grandfather, Andy “Old” MacDonald. Andy’s job was to help the old man run the farm but his real passion was inventing machines and building life-size mechanical models of various animals which he could control with a complex control box. The boy had a workshop in a vast cave that he kept secret from his Grandpa because the old man saw no good in machines and would not have anything mechanical on his land. He always looked down on Andy’s hobby and inventions. Young MacDonald’s original intent was to use his mechanical creations for different jobs on the farm but they also came handy in repelling and capturing sheep-rustlers, kidnappers and other evil-doers whenever they chose to trespass or do their dirty deeds on or around Old MacDonald’s land.

The idea of the story certainly wasn’t new – British comics have seen many characters who could control mechanical creatures. As a character, Andy is somewhat dull. In my opinion the most memorable and vivid figure in the series is that of the kilt-wearing Old MacDonald who speaks with a mild Scottish accent, uses the swear-word “Christopher Columbus” and is very consistent in his dislike for mechanical gadgets.

Ron Turner illustrated a number of instalments as indicated in the detailed account below. One episode was drawn by Les Barton and one was signed “Parko”. The name of the artist who illustrated the majority of the episodes is unknown to me. Ron Turner's version is my favourite one.

Here is a detailed account of all episodes:

COR!! Comic Annual 1973, one episode of 8 pages: Young MacDonald uses his mechanical zoo to persuade the sheep-stealing Hamish McSteeler and Angus McRustle never to set foot on Old MacDonald’s farm again. The illustrator’s name is unknown to me. Here are the first two pages:

COR!! Holiday Special 1974, one episode of 8 pages. Old MacDonald is determined not to let the old Lord’s nephew and his fancy paying guests from London hunt, shoot and fish on his land. Young MacDonald unleashes his mechanical bull on the beaters and then his bullet-resistant pheasants on the hunters. Finally, he uses a mechanical fish to scare off some trespassers who are fishing on Old MacDonald’s side of the loch.  Still ignorant of his grandson’s secret farm of mechanical animals, Grandpa is convinced he has sent the unwanted guests packing with his bare hands… Art by Ron Turner. Here are the first two pages:

The panels below show Andy's mechanical inventions that appeared later in the episode:

COR!! Comic Annual 1977, one episode of 8 pages. Andy uses his mechanical moles to dig up spuds when he sees a team of road builders about to knock Old MacDonald’s farmhouse to build a road. Andy stops them with his mechanical moles but it takes his giant iron monster to make the local roads committee and police abandon the idea of building the road across Old MacDonald’s land. Grandpa still believes it was he who saved the farm. The illustrator’s name is unknown to me. Here is a sample page:

Andy's moles at work:

It remains to be checked whether Young MacDonald appeared in the 1978 COR!! Holiday Special until I get hold of a copy. UPDATE: There was no Young MacDonald in the Special.

COR!! Comic Annual 1980, one episode of 7 pages. Robbie the sheepdog is sick so Old MacDonald takes him to the vet. Andy hopes to use his mechanical colie to bring the flock in from the fields for winter but the robot gets out of control and falls under suspicion that it might be responsible for the loss of a few sheep. Andy goes for a reconnaissance mission on his giant robot eagle and spots two sheep-rustlers trying to steal more animals. Andy tries to stop them with his mechanical wild boar but the robot has an accident and the evil men realise it is a trick. The runaway colie saves the day by causing a sheep stampede and knocking the villains out. This is the first episode in which Grandpa begins to warm up to Andy’s mechanical inventions. The illustrator’s name is unknown to me. Here are the last two pages:

COR!! Comic Annual 1981, one episode, 8 pages. Andy fetches his mechanical elephant to water a crop of peas because Old MacDonald resists mechanical aids on his farm and refuses to buy a sprinkler. Later the boy uses two of his mechanical inventions – a rhino and an eagle to rescue Mirabelle Dunwoody from a kidnapper. Mirabelle’s father insists on rewarding young Andy and the boy chooses a sprinkler so that he can have more free time to spend in his secret workshop.  The illustrator’s name is unknown to me. Here is the opening page:

1981 COR!! Holiday Special, one episode, 8 pages, signed by Parko. Andy’s rhino goes out of control, demolishes Old MacDonald’s shed and causes a chicken-run. Grandpa is very angry and demands that “them metal beasties have got to go”. The old man expects a spell of nasty weather and sets out for the town to replenish food supplies. Andy’s mechanical eagle, elephant and giant robot mole rescue Old MacDonald from under a snowfall. He admits that Andy’s beasties do come handy “just a wee bit at times” and agrees to give them another chance. Here is the opening page. Note the artist's signature in the splash panel:

COR!! Comic Annual 1982, one episode, 6 pages. Andy spots two foreign spies who work for Zurkovia and have just stolen some secret plans from the military base. Andy tries to drive the scoundrels back with the help of his mechanical wolves and a stag but the spies are smart enough to realise they are being stalked by mechanical contraptions so they send out a jamming signal to stop them. The day is saved by Andy’s new invention - a pair of mechanical beavers who build a dam on the river and prevent the spies from making their escape by motorboat. The illustrator’s name is unknown to me. Here are the last two pages: 

1982 COR!! Holiday Special, two episodes, 4 pages each. Also on the front cover:

In the first episode Andy and his mechanical zoo save the film star Gary Gregson from a cunning kidnapper. Film director rewards Andy with a big fat check and the MacDonalds can now afford a holiday. Art by Ron Turner.

Andy's giant gorilla accidentally interferes and ruins a film shoot:

Andy's mechanical monsters closing up on the kidnapper:

In the second episode Andy and his Grandad go on holiday. Andy’s amazing mechanical bird takes them to the beach where they are captured by a gang of crooks who are holding the whole population of the town of Seaburg to ransom. Before getting seized by the villains Old MacDonald accidentally hits an emergency button on Andy’s remote control and summons the whole pack of mechanical monsters. The kidnappers are taught a lesson… Art by Ron Turner.

The army of Andy's mechanical monsters on the march to Seaburg:

Gangsters flee in panic:

...but there is no escape for them from Andy and his farm:

COR!! Comic Annual 1983, one episode, 8 pages. Andy finds himself alone against a gang of crooks who have hijacked a truck and captured Old MacDonald and constable McTaggart. To make things worse, the villains get the drift of Andy’s ability to control the “funny animals” and take away his remote control. Andy climbs into one of his special models – a life-size giraffe that he can control from inside and stops the crooks from getting away with the loot. Art by Ron Turner.

Surprise mole attack:

Last two pages of the episode:

1983 COR!! Holiday Special, one episode, 5 pages. Andy calls up his fantastic bird Goldie so that it can take him to the village to fetch some medicine for Grandad. Upon his return the youngster finds some strangers on the farm helping themselves to the old man’s sheep while he’s asleep. Brave Andy confronts the rustlers but they tie the boy and the old man up and proceed loading the flock to the lorry. They also decide they want the metal animal models without realising Andy’s ability to control them. Andy loosens his bonds and activates the metal creatures. The rustlers get so terrified that they take shelter in the police van that has come to take them in. Art by Ron Turner. It's a nice representative episode that has every ingredient of a typical Young MacDonald story, so here it is in its entirety:

COR!! Comic Annual 1984, two episodes. In the first (a 6-pager) Andy encounters a real flying saucer and helps some friendly space aliens fix the engine of their craft. He also tricks his Grandad into believing that the object that he saw flying over the farm was not a flying saucer but Andy’s new remote controlled hover-mower. Art by Ron Turner.

Andy meets the space aliens:

The episode features some previously unseen exotic additions to Andy’s zoo, such as a mechanical bat with a built-in radar and a giant octopus:

The second episode (a 5-pager) is a Christmas story. It starts with another attempt by Andy to persuade Old MacDonald that his mechanical animals can be useful. Andy introduces his latest invention – a fire-breathing mechanical dragon that accidentally sets the barn alight. Robot jumbo puts the fire out but floods half the farmyard. Outraged, Old MacDonald orders Andy to get rid of all the beasties once and for all. Wandering about with his mechanical zoo, Andy meets Santa who was due to appear at the store in town but careered into a snowdrift. Grateful for saving him, Santa invites both MacDonalds to the party. Andy’s mechanical reindeer are the only transport they can use to get there in the snowy weather. I’m not quite sure, but I get an impression that the art is by the same illustrator who drew the episode in the 1981 COR!! Holiday Special and signed Parko. Here is the last page of the episode:

COR!! Comic Annual 1985. One episode, 4 pages. This was another episode with the Christmas theme. Andy is going to surprise Grandfather by giving him Bruno Bear, a mechanical farm labourer, a as Christmas present. The young inventor demonstrates how good Bruno is at shifting snow and buries the old man and his car under the snow.  Old MacDonald drives off to the station to collect Andy’s uncle Jock who is coming for Christmas but comes back with a carful of uncle Jock’s nephews instead. The kids fiddle with Andy’s remote control and cause havoc in the workshop. All ends well when Andy decides to use his animals for a Christmas Circus. Art by Les Barton. Here is the first page of the episode:

... and here is the last one:

COR!! Comic Annual 1986. Two episodes. In the first (a 6-pager) Andy’s mole ploughs the field and unearths a mysterious metal box. Old MacDonald believes it is the treasure hidden by his great uncle Angus. In reality though the box contained jewels and was stolen from the Lord’s mansion weeks ago by a crook who hid it on Old MacDonald’s farm because the police were after him. The thief snatches the box and tries to escape by boat but Andy unleashes his mechanical loch monster and stops him. Art by Ron Turner. Here are the first two pages of the episode:

Here's Andy feeding his rhino:

In the second episode (a 5-pager) that also happens to be the last one of the series, Andy uses his metal rhinos to clear the road because the snowplough has broken down. Afterwards he mounts his mechanical eagle and goes searching for Grandfather who decided to climb Ben Buchan and probably got himself into trouble because of poor weather conditions. Andy summons Congo, the giant gorilla, to clear the entrance to the cave blocked by rock fall. Inside, he finds a girl whom he brings to the farm. The constable tells them they found Andy’s Grandfather in a snowdrift and that the old man is all right, except that he sounds a bit delirious and swears he saw a big gorilla walking up in the mountains… The illustrator’s name is unknown to me. Here is the opening page: