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 Free gift. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Free gift. Show all posts

Saturday, June 13, 2020


Compared to the year before, 1984 was a lot more generous in terms of WHOOPEE! pull-outs and free gifts... 

The four issues of 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st March, 1984 contained Sweeny Toddler's Naughty Booklet and confirmed that Sweeny Toddler had re-established his unshakable status of WHOOPEE!’s number one star. 

The booklet was given both sides of one page in all of the four issues, so it was 16 pages thick when fully assembled. It had colour front and back covers and centre pages, the rest was in black and white. The illustrator was the one and only Tom Paterson:

The issue with the cover date of 5th May, 1984 had a free Heinz Invaders badge:

… and carried this advert on one of its pages:

The next four issues of 12th, 19th, 26th May and 2nd June, 1984 had the Creepy Comix pull-out booklet.

The 16-page booklet was drawn mostly by Nigel Edwards or maybe Ian Knox, with a few pages by other artists:

The first of the four issues with the Creepy Comix booklet (12 May, 1984) also had a little extra and arrived with a pack of Free Fryers Phantom sweets, not present with my copy.

The next cut-out booklet came after a short break of just one week. The four issues of 16th, 23rd, 30th June and 7th July, 1984 carried Whoopee TV pull-out booklet:

It was another 16-pager, drawn exclusively by J Edward Oliver:

The first issue with the Whoopee TV pull-out booklet (16 June, 1984) also had a Free Gift from Weetabix - Shrinkies - Make me into BADGE… KEY FOB… PENDANT. I don’t have the gift but here is an image that I found online:

In August 1984 IPC launched Shoot! Football Magazine, and ran four-page adverts of the new periodical on the centre pages of WHOOPEE! issues cover-dated 25th August:

...and 15th September:

Whoopee Comic Turns Quiz and Jokes Booklet was that year’s fourth cut-out booklet and was presented with the issues of 22th & 29th September and 6th & 13th October, 1984:

Besides the page of the booklet, the issue of 29th September carried an advert of Christmas Annuals on its four centre pages. The layout of the first page looks shockingly familiar, doesn’t it? 

The centre pages of the next issue (20th October, 1984) advertised the arrival of the first issue of Big K computer magazine:

…followed a week later by the indispensable Guy Fawkes mask by Brian Walker in the issue cover-dated 27th October, 1984:

Finally, the four November issues (3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th) came with the second Sweeny Toddler booklet that year. The issue of 13th November also had three Free Stinky Stickers that are not present with my copy.

All four cut-out booklets offered earlier in 1984 followed the same uniform design: they had 16 pages, with colour front and back covers + colour centrespreads. This one, however, was different:  it was named Sweeny’s Baby Comic and purported to be the World’s Smallest Comic. After detaching the cut-out page from the comic, one was supposed to cut it in half again before folding, and after four weeks the result was a 32-page booklet that was four times smaller than the page of the comic:

The mini-comic was the last pull out in 1984, and also the last one in WHOOPEE! The days of the comic were already numbered: after the issue of 30th March, 1985 it was merged into WHIZZER AND CHIPS, and ceased to exist as such…

This blogpost concludes the long series of 13 yearly overviews of the posters, free gifts, pull outs and other goodies that came with WHOOPEE! during its exciting lifetime, spanning the period from 1974 till 1985. You can revisit the series by clicking Whoopee pull-outs at the bottom of the ‘Labels’ column on the right.

Characters are © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


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 Robert Nixon, but if you see another one on sale, don’t be misled by claims that it is a unique piece crafted by Ken Reid :)