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 Jack Clayton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jack Clayton. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


In 1980 the first 4 issues of WHOOPEE! (January 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th) included the Giant All-Year X-Word and 1980 Calendar consisting of 4 pull-outs printed on the centre pages.

Assembly instructions and X-word solutions came with the last part:

… and, once assembled, the X-word/calendar looked something like this: 

One of the issues mentioned above also had this page that gives us an idea of the most popular WHOOPEE! strips at the time:

I find it a bit surprising that Frankie Stein and Scared-Stiff Sam were in the ‘supporting cast’ category. I would have hoped that at least Frankie was still a big star at that point...

Many fans hated the GOOD NEWS INSIDE issues because they marked the end of their favourite comic, but let us not forget that defunct papers were usually merged into other comics that had nice adverts heralding the expansion of their character lineup. WHOOPEE! issue, cover dated 2nd Feb., 1980 came with a Special Announcement of WHOOPEE! and CHEEKY merger next week:

Starting from the issue of 9th Feb., 1980, WHOOPEE! became another two-comics-in-one package  - IPC’s third after WHIZZER AND CHIPS and SHIVER AND SHAKE. The intention of this blog-series is to cover WHOOPEE! pull-outs, so it is worth-while pointing out that, technically speaking, starting from that week, every single issue of the paper published in 1980 came with a pull-out – a 16-page CHEEKY comic inside WHOOPEE! Here are the first 4 covers of the CHEEKY section, drawn beautifully by Frank McDiarmid. I have to say I find them more appealing that those of the WHOOPEE!s where they were included:

Of course, very few readers actually detached the CHEEKY section, and when you buy WHOOPEE! comics for your collection today, it is unlikely the “pull outs” will be missing.

The first 4 combined WHOOPEE! and CHEEKY comics, cover-dated February 9th, 16th, 23rd and March 1st, 1980, also had ‘proper’ pull-outs – a 4-part 'FIB' Card Game:

Instructions how to play the game came with the last part:

Next up was the Ticklish Allsports Pocket Book in the issues cover-dated March 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th, 1980:

Here is a selection of pages, many drawn by Jack Clayton, with a few by other artists:

The Editor took a break with WHOOPEE! pull outs till Autumn and came up with quite a unique and educational one in the 4 issues of October 11th,18th, 25th and Nov. 1st, 1980. 

It was How to Draw Comic Strips, with 14 cartooning lessons by Terry Bave. I thought it would be a good idea to show the booklet in full – maybe you’ll find it a useful tool to share with someone taking their first steps at drawing:

The issue with the last part of Terry Bave’s booklet was the Firework number, so it came with yet another Guy Fawkes’ mask drawn by Brian Walker (I think…), from an idea devised by a lucky reader who won the contest and pocketed a grand prize of 50 pound – enough to buy 416 issues of WHOOPEE!, priced 12 p. at that time! 

The last pull-out for 1980 was in the Christmas issue – the only one without a front cover of the CHEEKY section inside since the WHOOPEE!/CHEEKY merger. The front cover below was by Robert Nixon:

The pull-out was The Whoopee! Flip the Kipper Game drawn by Mike Lacey and printed in full colour on the centerspread:

Characters are © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

Friday, August 8, 2014


Like the previous editions, the magazine had 64 pages but cost 40 p. They systematically kept increasing the price by 5 p. every year. Speaking of contents, to me it is definitely an improvement since the previous edition. They kept the share of reprints down and commissioned loads of new material – I estimate there were only 12 pages of reprints (Monkey Nuts by Graham Allen (from I don’t know where), Tell-Tale Tess by Joe McCaffrey (from COR!!) and Ghoul Guides by I don’t know who (from the IPC revamp of KNOCKOUT), 4 one-page episodes of each). Here are some examples:

26 pages of Frankie Stein – Time Traveller were by the excellent Brian Walker. Attentive readers will recall it is the second time that a story with this headline appears in a Frankie Stein publication – the first one, drawn by Rober Nixon, can be found in the first Frankie Stein Annual (1976). That time Frankie Stein visited the Wild West and then the age of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  In this WHOOPEE! FRANKIE STEIN HOLIDAY SPECIAL 1979 Frankie Stein – Time Traveller was split into 4 parts spread across the paper (one 8-page and three 6-page sequences).

The story begins when Frankie disrupts Dad’s peaceful breakfast. The frustrated parent and inventor goes through his regular routine of failed attempts to do away with his offspring until Dr. Who TV programme gives him an idea to build a time machine and send ‘the big lunk’ away for good. Contrary to his plan, Dad accidentally becomes a companion in Frankie’s time travels:

Like in the earlier time travel story, their first stop is in the Wild West:

… then the sixteen-hundreds – the golden age of pirates:

… and finally prehistoric times:

Professor Cube goes through a lot of danger and suffering, but it all comes to nothing in the end, as always:

Disaster movies are out, so Monster Movie Makers decide to do one with good old-fashioned monsters. Assistant Director has some ideas but first their Rodney-the-Rhino-on-loan escapes into town disguised to look like a Triceratops, then the systems of two electronic giant monsters go haywire. With all the damage caused during shooting, it looks like this is the first major financial disaster for Carlo Monte and his crew… Artwork by Mr. Hill.

Computer Cop is on special duty, guarding the Ministry of Secret Plans. A gang of crafty villains is on a mission of stealing some plans... 

... but they underestimate Computer Cop who foils two of their sophisticated attempts in this 6-page episode. Drawn and signed by Alan Rogers:

Two 2-pagers of Gook TV Spook by Artie Jackson were presented in full colour.  I believe they were drawn especially for this Holiday Special. Here is one of the episodes in full:

There was a one-pager of The Ghost Train by Frank McDiarmid. The original run of the strip by Brian Walker in Whoopee! had expired  back in 1974, so it looks like the set was drawn especially for this Holiday Special but there is also a possibility that Mr. McDiarmid had drawn it for the Star Guest feature and it was printed in an IPC sister publications back in the mid-seventies (most probably WHIZZER AND CHIPS – I checked COR!! and SHIVER AND SHAKE but didn’t find it).

On the gags front, Jim Crocker drew and signed two pages of Freaky Funnies while Jack Clayton contributed 3 pages of Monster Mirth drawn in his instantly recognisable style:

For dessert, here is the pull-out poster from the centre pages of this WHOOPEE! FRANKIE STEIN HOLIDAY SPECIAL 1979. It is the only contribution by Robert Nixon in this magazine – you have probably noticed that the cover is by Mike Lacey.

For the sake of accuracy, I will also mention Bob Nixon’s drawing of Frankie used in the Frankie Twins puzzle in this Holiday Special. Mr. Nixon had drawn it for the front page of the Mini Monster Comic pull-out book in the first combined issue of WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE (October 12th, 1974).

Images 2014 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.