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 Leo Baxendale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leo Baxendale. Show all posts

Thursday, December 8, 2016

THE CHRISTMASES OF SWEENY TODDLER – PART ONE




Sweeny Toddler the infamous demonic baby first appeared in the first issue of SHIVER AND SHAKE in March 1973. The paper lasted for less than two years, so there was only enough time for one X-mas episode of Sweeny Toddler. Script and artwork by Leo Baxendale:


SHIVER AND SHAKE was merged into WHOOPEE! in October 1974. It sounds quite surprising, but Sweeny didn’t make a straightforward leap to the new combined comic. It had to prove its strength by participating in a poll: WHOOPEE! editor selected 8 strips and invited readers to vote in a Pick-A-Strip competition that ran in the Autumn of 1974. Sweeny was declared victor in WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE cover-dated 22nd March, 1975, and his regular appearances recommenced a week later. This means that Sweeny Toddler would have missed the X-mas of 1974 even if WHOOPEE! hadn’t been affected by industrial action in the end of that year and the X-mas issue of the paper  had been published (WHOOPEE! missed the last week of 1974 and the first two weeks of 1975).

Leo Baxendale stopped drawing Sweeny Toddler in June 1975, and was succeeded by the excellent Tom Paterson who imitated Mr. Baxendale’s style very well indeed. Here are the next three festive episodes from the 1975, 1976 and 1977 X-mas issues of WHOOPEE! :




Come back soon for more X-mas stories featuring the little pest!

Friday, April 15, 2016

TWO VERSIONS OF THE BANANA BUNCH FEATURE


The very early installments of The Banana Bunch in The Beezer were full-pagers with a single picture. Drawn by the young Leo Baxendale, they were printed in colour on the back page of the comic for thirteen weeks starting from the very first issue (January 21, 1956). Starting from issue 14 (April 21, 1956) the feature was moved to the inside of the paper and appeared in black and red.

The reason I am writing this post is because some time ago I saw a copy of The Beezer from 1961 on eBay. One of the photos uploaded by the seller showed a reprint on one of those early full-page sets, rendered in back and red. I though my readers might be interested to see the two versions side by side. Here’s the original in full-colour from The Beezer No. 10 (March 24, 1956):




… and here’s its twin from the issue cover-dated June 24, 1961:




The colour version looks OK, but I have to say that in this particular case I prefer the reprint. What do you think? I wonder if DC Thomson reprinted other early installments of The Banana Bunch in the same way?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

SWEENY'S A WINNER!



Sweeny Toddler, the demonic baby who brought lots of fun to generations of children in the UK over a number of decades, first appeared in SHIVER AND SHAKE in 1973. I covered the SHIVER AND SHAKE period of the strip in an old post HERE.

This time let’s retrace Sweeny’s path from SHIVER AND SHAKE to the new comic with the clumsy title of WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE.

WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE was 32 pages thick at the time. It seems like a lot of space to fill, but Whoopee! had a strong lineup of characters as it were, and it had to accommodate quite a few refugees from SHIVER AND SHAKE who were too popular to be discontinued with the demise of their home comic (Frankie Stein, Scream Inn and a few others), so re-arrangements were inevitable and competition was tough.

Sweeny Toddler didn’t make a straightforward leap to the new comic – it had to prove its strength by participating in a poll. The Editor selected 8 strips and invited readers to vote in a Pick-A-Strip competition. Most of the entrants were either WHOOPEE!’s own (presumably less successful) features – Pop Snorer, Little Miss Muffit, Snap Happy and The Upper Crusts and the Lazy Loafers, or those from SHIVER AND SHAKE - The Desert Fox, Grimly Feendish and Sweeny Toddler. This is what Sweeny’s entry looked like in WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE cover-dated 23rd November, 1974:




Results were announced in the issue cover-dated 22nd March, 1975:




… and Sweeny Toddler proudly returned to the spotlight a week later in the Easter issue of WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER AND SHAKE cover-dated 29th March, 1975:




It would have been interesting to see the vote count. Perhaps it was a close call for Sweeny? Was there a chance that he would have faded into oblivion, had the runner-up received a few more votes in its favour?.. 

All Images 2016 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Friday, September 25, 2015

MORE BUSTER COVERS BY BAX



Below are the remaining two Buster covers by Leo Baxendale from 1967, followed by examples of The Cave Kids and The Pirates by Bax from the same period. It appears that the artist also did the lettering throughout the runs of both strips.





By way of a teaser for the next post, I can say that I decided to check if I can find more examples of cap-less Buster. Come back soon to see some results of my quest. In the meantime, here’s an image of Buster-less cap from 1985: