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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.

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Showing posts with label Mike Green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Green. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


This one had 96 pages and cost £2.50. I think I can identify Mike Lacey as the front cover artist; again, the cover illustration wasn’t connected to the Frankie Stein story inside.

Contents (reprints are marked in blue): Out and About with the Little Monsters (two sets in colour (…In the Park and …On a Sightseeing Trip) + one set in black and white (…At the Fair), artwork by Martin Baxendale), X-Ray Specs (a 2-pager in colour by Mike Lacey and a 2-pager by someone else), Draculass (two 2-pagers by Terry Bave, including one in colour), Frankie’s Diary (four single-page sets, including one in colour, artwork by Sid Burgon), Gums (3-pager and a 6-pager by John Geering), Tom Thumbscrew (three 2-pagers by Norman Mansbridge, including one in colour), Gorgon Zola the Witch Girl (three 2-pagers), Frankie Stein (two 2-pagers by Robert Nixon, 4-pager by John Geering (new story)), Kid Kong (three 2-pagers, including one in colour, and a 6-pager (new story), all by Robert Nixon), The Return of Eric Superwimp (4-pager by Mike Green), Art’s Gallery (two 2-pagers by Mike Lacey), Teddy Scare (two 2-pagers by Barrie Appleby), Dough Nut and Rusty (three 2-pagers by Trevor Metcalfe), Monster Puzzles (two 2-page sets of puzzles), Major Jump (5-page puzzle story by Barrie Appleby), Holiday Heroes (5-page story), Monster Movies (two single-page sets of gags by Artie Jackson, including one in colour), Spot the Changes (one-page puzzle).

The Little Monsters by Martin Baxendale were in bright full colour on front and back endpapers, so I will use them as a “frame” for this blogpost:

Let’s start with the star characters identified in text on the front cover. In the only new Frankie Stein story Prof. Cube has an idea to make a presentation on Frankie at the Inventors’ World Conference in Tibet, and hopes to leave him there. Frankie accidentally exits through the emergency door during their flight to Tibet, lands in the snow-covered Himalayas and meets Yeti. He brings one specimen to the conference and steals Prof Cube’s glory by winning the special medal for his great discovery.

The story was provided by John Geering who also illustrated both new episodes of Gums in this Annual. In the first one Gums sits down to write his memoirs but Captain Mayhem interferes and gets the shark’s false teeth. Gums recovers them with the help of his mate Olly the octopus and the noted beauty Pamela Eelvenson.

In the second tale Gums and Olly stumble across a magic machine that grants wishes and Gums takes the opportunity to get real teeth again. The re-acquired self-confidence and ruthlessness get him into trouble, first with a school of piranha, then with a submarine, until a daft dentist pulls all his teeth out. The two pals turn to the magic machine once again, only this time Gums wishes he had his false teeth back. 

Olly looks like Gums’ regular companion in the strip but I don’t recall seeing him in MFC weeklies, so he must have been introduced later on sometime during the run in BUSTER.

In the only new Kid Kong tale included in his Annual Gran and Kid go to Banana Republic to visit Gran’s nephew Dan:

The story reaches its climax when Gran is kidnapped by the “slippery ones” who take her to the lost city of Eldabanana, and Kid comes to her rescue:

All is well that ends well:

The Annual has a generous helping of new strips. There are three episodes of Gorgon Zola the Witch Girl about a Mother and a daughter who are both witches. Mom is a nasty witch who enjoys making people miserable, while the daughter believes it is nice to be nice. Her gimmick is magic hair that she uses to save people from her Mother’s nasty tricks. The strip may be reprinted but if it is, I don’t know where from or who the illustrator was:

Holiday Heroes is a contribution by yet another artist whose name I don’t know. It is a weird tale about a lad named Tony who is on holidays in Greece with his parents and is very bored until he meets Mercury – messenger of the Gods. The new pal takes Tony to Mount Olympus – home of the Gods, and introduces him to Neptune. Then he meets a pair of footballing Centaur forwards and finally makes the acquaintance of Hercules who helps him during an athletics session in school. There’s a good chance Holiday Heroes is also a reprint but if it is, the source remains to be identified.

The 4-page story The Return of Eric Superwimp is about a lad named Eric who is short of money to buy food so he gets a superhero outfit in the scrap yard and sets out to patrol the city first as Leapfrogman, then as Balloonman and finally as Rubber-Tyreman to capture the notorious Roller Skate Thief and claim the reward of £1,000. A series of accidents later he becomes Bandageman and accidentally catches the villain. As far as I know, this is the second story of Eric (hence The Return of... in the title) - the first one was in Frankie Stein Holiday Special 1982. There is something about the simplicity of Mike Green's style that makes it quite appealing:

What I like about the Annual is these Monster Puzzles:

… and especially the five-page Puzzle Story of Major Jump. It reminds me a bit of the hilarious Save Our Stan feature in Monster Fun Comic weeklies. I should get a clean copy of the Annual some day because the original owner of the one that I have had some fun with it:

I will round up this post with another panorama featuring The Little Monsters that graces the back endpapers of this book:

All Images 2015 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.