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 Frankie Stein. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frankie Stein. Show all posts

Sunday, June 26, 2016

GUEST APPEARANCES AT SCREAM INN – FRANKIE STEIN




When SHIVER AND SHAKE merged into WHOOPEE! in October 1974, Scream Inn and Frankie Stein were among the strips that confidently made it to the combined paper. A few weeks after the merger Frankie Stein stopped by at the spooky inn and tried to win the million quid. Brian Walker was a very good imitator and his Frankie looked very much like that by Robert Nixon. It’s a shame the printing presses used by IPC at the time often failed to present beautiful artwork decently. The episode is from WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE cover-dated 23 November, 1974 (No. 38). Followed by both pages of the Frankie Stein strip from that same issue, by Robert Nixon, of course.





Tuesday, April 26, 2016

GUEST APPEARANCES AT SCREAM INN - SERIES INTRO




I like it when characters make guest appearances in other features. I may be mistaken, but Scream Inn may very well be the champion in this category, at least as far as IPC comics are concerned. The general setting of the strip with Innkeeper welcoming a fresh guest every week offered a perfect frame for including virtually anybody and anything into the story.


A quick look through my notes tells me there were at least 13 episodes with such guest appearances, so I thought it might be fun to do a series of blogposts and show them all! I will start it in a few days, but until then here’s a nice exchange of visits between two Whoopee! star characters – Scared-Stiff Sam and Frankie Stein from the issue of Whoopee! & Shiver and Shake cover-dated 5th April, 1975:





Friday, March 25, 2016

THE WHAM! EASTERS OF FRANKIE STEIN



Let’s take a look at all three Easter episodes of Frankie Stein in WHAM! comic. Those from 1965 and 1967 editions were by Ken Reid while the one in the middle (1966) was by someone else because Ken was too busy with The Queen of the Seas at the time and had to give up drawing Frankie Stein temporarily. Which is a pity because the period when Ken was substituted by another artist coincided with Frankie’s days at Madam McAbre’s Academy for Frustrated Freaks (or Monster Manor) inhabited by fiendish characters of all sorts. One can only imagine how brilliant the episodes would have been, had they been illustrated by Frankie Stein’s original artist.

Happy Easter! 




Sunday, August 30, 2015

WHO WAS THE ORIGINAL FRANKIE STEIN?



In his interview for Golden Fun magazine Ken Reid said he developed the character of Frankie Stein from an idea suggested by Wham! Editor Alf Wallace.

Initially Ken didn’t name the friendly monster Frankie Stein, and the reasons are quite clear: in the classic story Victor Frankenstein was the creator while the result of his experiment was the Frankenstein monster. Following the scenario, Frankie Stein should have been the inventor, not the monster, and Ken’s original plan was to keep it that way: this early pencil sketch tells us that he considered the name of Frankie Stein for another character:


Had he stuck to the original idea, one of the long running characters in British comics would have been known by another name (Ken had a shortlist of four), likewise his neurotic parent, but that’s another story that I will save for later.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

THE TRUTH ABOUT FRANKIE STEIN MONSTER AWARD




I’m back home after a brief but productive visit in the UK to meet with my mate with whom we are working on an exciting UK comics-related project that we will reveal in due course.

In the meantime, I’d like to share some interesting information which has recently come to my attention.

Those of you who follow Compal Comics online auctions and like Ken Reid might recall the bust of Frankie Stein that they offered a few years ago. Here is how they described the item: Frankie Stein Monster Award by Ken Reid for WHAM! (1960s). A one-off bust made by Ken Reid for a WHAM! readers competition that apparently did not take place. Entitled 'Frankie's Monster Award' the bust is made from resin and was modelled and painted by Ken with his brother's help. It measures approximately 4 x 4 x 2 ins deep. It is unique.

Someone ended up paying £275 for it but would have probably thought twice before bidding, had they known then what I know now. The truth is that the auctioneer had almost everything wrong in the description! The award was in fact offered in Whoopee! in the early 1980s. Here is the cover of the issue and the page announcing the competition:



The first prize-winners were announced and their contributions printed in the issue of May 1st, 1982:


The competition continued for 22 weeks and ended in the issue of Sept 25th, 1982:

You can do your maths and see that at least 70-100 of Frankie's Monster Awards were handed out to the lucky winners so the gift may be rare but it is certainly not unique.

The auctioneer wasn’t completely wrong when he said it was made by Reid, only it wasn’t Ken Reid. The busts were in fact modeled and cast by Ken’s son Antony and his wife who made some 300 pieces of the award and shipped them to IPC. Unfortunately, the items were fragile and Antony didn’t pack them well enough so quite a few lost their bolts and other bits en route from Manchester to London. Antony still has a few of those left in his basement, here is an image of a coloured sample:


… and a “raw” one:

… and here’s an old photo of a squad of Frankies before it (the squad, not the photo) was off to London:

It is a nice item and I like the fact that it was modeled after Ken Reid’s original diabolical FS of the 60s rather its cuddly reincarnation of the late 70s/early 80s by Bob Nixon, but if you see another one on sale, don’t be mislead by claims that it is a unique piece crafted by Ken Reid :)