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 Ken Reid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ken Reid. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Last week I received my copy of Ken Reid’s Faceache published by the new copyright owner. I am proud I had an opportunity to make a small contribution to the preparation of the book, and I am pleased that the editor included a special thank you to me in the credits.

I like nearly everything about the book: introductions by Alan Moore and Ken’s son Antony are an entertaining read and offer some fresh insights; I like the endpapers and the back cover (not so thrilled about the front one); reproduction quality is impressive, considering that the stories were scanned from newsprint comics; it is nice the book is printed on plain paper rather than the glossy stock used for Marney the Fox collection published earlier this year.

The sub-title says “The Ken Reid Years”, so I would have preferred if they had left out the poorly-drawn pages by the substitute artist (16 altogether) and filled the book with Ken Reid’s art from cover to cover. 

That aside, it’s an excellent volume, a must for every Ken Reid/Faceache fan! I very much hope it does well in the bookstores and Rebellion find it worth their while to release Vol. 2, 3, etc. of this great character that happens to be one of my favourites in British comics.

P.S. - Have you noticed that the actual front cover differs from the version used in the various online articles and blogposts that promoted the book when it was first announced? Amazon and eBay sellers are still using the first version of the front cover. I am glad Rebellion changed it because as many as five scrunges in the first version were drawn by the substitute artist, while those appearing on the actual book are all by Reid! 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


In my previous post I asked if my learned readers might have any ideas as to the identity of the Odhams employee by the name of ‘SWALLOW’ who wrote the letter to Ken Reid that I showed.  

As it happens, I had an answer all along... I was checking my notes for something else the other day and found out that Ken had identified Bill Swallow as Editor of POW! in his diary.

I am aware that Alf and Bart were the official “spokespersons” for the Power Comics in the letters section and signed their replies to readers' questions. I also know that the Power Pack Index by Steve Holland says that the editor of the paper was Albert Cosser.

Ken’s notes, however, clearly suggest that POW! editor was Bill Swallow, and mention at least one phone call from the man with instructions regarding Dare-A-Day Davy strip.

I ran a search for the name in the context of Odhams comics but Google returned no relevant hits. I also checked the Dictionary of British Comics Artists, Writers and Editors by Alan Clark, and there’s no mention of Bill Swallow there either. Was he perhaps a sub-editor in charge of POW! humour strips? Or maybe he was in fact the editor who chose (or was instructed) to remain anonymous because differently from the letters section, News from the Floor of 64 (the editorial column) went unsigned (I did check my copies of POW!).

Friday, October 20, 2017


Ken Reid must have enjoyed himself when he worked for Odhams drawing Frankie Stein, Dare-A-Day Davy, Queen of the Seas, etc. because it looks like at least some of the staff were just as potty as he was and shared his sense of humour. This is demonstrated by the letter below that Ken received from someone at 69 Long Acre, London in the late 60s. 

I am not sure who the author was because I’ve only seen the first page, unsigned. Any ideas as to who may have written it? It says “My name is Swallow, not Splutt”… at the bottom of the page, and it appears that the person was then in charge of POW! comic.

Friday, September 15, 2017


Here’s the third version of the crazy bird by Ken Reid which he drew in hope to attract the attention of MAD USA when he sought new work in 1969. I am not sure as to the order of precedence in which the three versions were produced but I find this one to be the best. I showed the other two in my previous posts. 

Monday, August 21, 2017


Here's the second version of  Soarus Magnificus, the crazy birdie drawn by Ken Reid when he hoped to attract the interest of Mad USA in 1969. 

I've saved the third and the best version for later :) 


Sunday, August 6, 2017



When Ken Reid lost all his work for Odhams in 1969 and his regular income plummeted, he started looking for new channels to sell his talent.

Ken developed a feature “Extinct Animals” (or “Biological Blunders on the Part of Dame Nature”) that he thought might be of interest to “Mad USA”. He prepared a batch of well-executed colour and b/w drawings with photo tints and type-written captions on front and back and posted them to America. Sadly, “Mad USA” returned Ken’s drawings with a letter saying it was not the type of work they required.

In the series Ken came up with some crazy creatures and even crazier legends of their extinction. Ken’s mad menagerie included Gluttonus Explodum – the two-inch whale with a stomach capacity of 4 drams that blast itself to obscurity as a species through swallowing too much of plankton; Stiltus Loftus – a wader bird that fed on algae and could neither fly nor swim, and became extinct because it developed enormously long legs and could no longer reach its food when water level receded; Jumbosis Minutus – a pygmy mammoth that snuffed it because its oversized curved tusks developed into a wheel causing it to plummet off the mountain; Clunkerdonkus Extermini – a species that solved the problem of over-population by clobbering each other to death, and a few more exotic birds, mammals and fish such as Hornoshnozaurus, Duddus Spondukliz, Wartus Probosics Amora (a.k.a. Warty-Nosed Kassanova), Soarus Magnificus Rex, Twittus Proboscis and Gulpus Introvertus

Ken must have really liked his idea of Soarus Magnificus Rex because he drew as many as three versions of the mad birdie… The one below is a bit text-heavy. I will show the other two in my next post.