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

Sunday, October 9, 2016


The filthy-rich Bumpkin Billionaires were among the least-likely candidates to show up at Scream Inn in hope to win a million. On the contrary – they worked hard every week devising crazy schemes to get rid of some of their enormous wealth they had won in the lottery in the first issue of WHOOPEE!

Nonetheless, they did appear in Scream Inn strip, but in the capacity of finance providers rather than guests of the haunted inn!

The comedy of Bumpkin Billionaires was that the family’s efforts to waste money inevitably backfired, making them even wealthier than before. That week they had to endure two disappointments – one in Scream Inn, illustrated by Brian Walker, and one in their own strip, illustrated by Mike Lacey. Both episodes are from Whoopee! issue No. 124 cover-dated 7th August, 1976. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 27, 2016


In the last episode of Scream Inn with a guest appearance of another Whoopee! character that I showed some three weeks ago the resident spooks hoped for Scared-Stiff Sam

They had to deal with ‘Orrible Hole instead that time, but sure enough, the forever-scared 'clumsy great jollop' was the next Whoopee! character to have a go at the prize of one million pounds in the issue of Whoopee! & Shiver and Shake cover-dated August 2nd, 1975.

As always, the images below show that week’s episode of Scream Inn, followed by the strip where the guest character appears in his normal setting. Four pages by two excellent artists Brian Walker and Mike Lacey. It’s British comics at their very best, as far as I am concerned! Enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


In comparison with the previous Annual, the page count shrunk even further from 128 to 112 and the price came up to £1.95.

CONTENTS: Martha’s Monster Make-Up (two 2-pagers by Ken Reid, including one in colour), Kid Kong (a 4-pager in full colour by Frank McDiarmid), Monster Mirths (2 pages of gag cartoons by Artie Jackson, one in colour), The Ghost Train (8 pages of reprints from WHOOPEE!, artwork by Brian Walker),  Hot Rod (6 pages of reprints from WHIZZER AND CHIPS, artwork by Alf Saporito), Gums (two 2-pagers by John Geering), Tom Thumbscrew (two 2-pagers by Barrie Appleby), Freaky Farm (a 3-pager by Russel Brooke and a 4-pager by Ian Knox), Fiery Fun (1 page of gags by Artie Jackson), Creature Teacher (two 3-pagers by Tom Williams), Major Jump Horror Hunter (2 reprints from MFC comic, artwork by Barrie Appleby), Draculass (two 2-pagers by Terry Bave, including one in colour), Mummy’s Boy (a 2-pager and one reprint from MFC, both by Norman Mansbridge), Frankie Stein (three 2-pagers reprinted from WHOOPEE!, artwork by Robert Nixon), Ghostly Giggles (1 page of gags by Artie Jackson), King Arthur and His Frights of the Round Table (three 3-pagers reprinted from WHOOPEE!, artwork by Robert Nixon), X-Ray Specs (two 2-pagers by Mike Lacey and a 3-pager by Paul Ailey), Doug Nut and Rusty (a 3-pager and a 2-pager in colour on back endpapers, both by Jim Crocker), Brainy and His Monster Maker (two 2-pagers by Tom Williams), George ‘n his Magic Dragon (a 4-pager by Alan Rogers), Frankie’s Monster Mountain Game (reprint from MFC), Art’s Gallery (a 3-pager), Little Monsters (two 2-page sets by Martin Baxendale), Monster Mind (2 pages of puzzles), Terror TV (a 4-pager by Barrie Appleby), Teddy Scare (a 2-pager by Barrie Appleby).

As had become a custom in MF Annuals, a large proportion of the book was filled with reprints - I can confirm 36 pages but there are probably more. The majority is first-class material from the hands of Alf Saporito (on Hot Rod), Brian Walker (on Ghost Train):

… and Bob Nixon on Frankie Stein and King Arthur and His Frights of the Round Table).  They even did a good job processing one episode into a full-colour affair; check out both versions side-by-side. The b/w one is from WHOOPEE! No. 5 (click to enlarge):

Barrie Appleby was once again the champion in terms of page-count, but I am unsure how many were new and how many were reprints. I know for sure that both sets of Major Jump were reprinted from MONSTER FUN COMIC weeklies (Nos. 33 and 37) but Tom Thumbscrew, Teddy Scare and Terror TV may very well be new material. Here is the opening page of Terror TV:

Barrie Appleby mastered a prefect imitation of Reg Parlett’s monsters, don’t you think?:

Ken Reid provided two double-page episodes of Martha’s Monster Make-Up. This is a third year in a row (!!) that one of the stories involves bullies whom Martha teaches a lesson with the help of a monsterized snowman and some snowballs:

In the second story Martha uses her cream on a tramp for a change and helps him prove he’s not useless because he can now take a job as a scarecrow…

Tom Williams, another regular contributor in MF Annuals, provided two sets of Brainy and his Monster Maker and two sets of Creature Teacher. In one Teach takes class 3X to visit the local fire-station:

… while the other one comes with this dramatic logo:

… and shows class 3X get medieval on the poor woodwork teacher:

… and build a coffin for Teach:

John Geering’s input is four pages of Gums. In the first episode Bluey tricks Gums out of his false teeth by making him get rid of the old set and replace it with one made of steel, and then using a super-strong magnet to pull it out of the shark’s jaws. Bluey smashes the old false teeth to bits but two fossil collectors reconstruct the set. Gums ambushes them and is back in business again. Here are the opening pages of both episodes. I like the way Mr. Geering experimented with his layouts in this Annul:

There is quite a lot of X-Ray Specs this time: although Mike Lacey was the regular illustrator of the feature in MFC and later BUSTER weeklies, he rarely did X-Ray Specs for MF Annuals. Here is one of the two sets by Mr. Lacey:

There is also one by another artist who I believe is Paul Ailey:

In George ‘n his Magic Dragon by Alan Rogers George and Cedric the dragon deal with Bully Bloggs:

And before I finish this first part of the overview, here are two out of the 4 pages of gags drawn in this annual by Artie Jackson:

In Part Two I will look at some of the pleasant surprises contained in this Annual, such as Frank McDiarmid’s take on Kid Kong, two episodes of Freaky Farm by illustrators who’d never worked on the feature before and some super-nice artwork by an artist who’d learned from the best....

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Monster Hits (Top 10 Gags) was a regular reader participation feature in MONSTER FUN COMIC in which readers were offered cash prizes for sending in their jokes. Every week contributors of the gags ranked 10 to 2 in the “chuckle charts” received a pound each, while the sender of that week’s chart-topper (printed at the bottom of the page) collected 2 quid. Production process took approx. two months, so the names of the first participants appeared in MFC No. 8.  We may not know who sat on the “panel of experts” that compiled the charts and ranked the jokes at MFC offices but we know who the illustrators were – and this is what matters. 

A few of the weekly sets were by Artie Jackson who drew the jokes in MFC Nos. 1, 4 (together with Mike Lacey), 49, 50, 52, 61 and 70. Mike Lacey illustrated the chart in MFC No. 2 and drew some of the jokes in No. 4 (others were by Artie Jackson). Here is the page from MFC No. 4 with Artie Jackson’s and Mike Lacey’s work side-by-side:

Leslie Harding drew three sets in MFC issues 5, 6 and 7:

Starting from MFC issue No. 8 the vast majority of the sets were by Tom Paterson whose style was still shaping itself at the time. It looks like at that stage he was studying and trying to imitate Graham Allen – his other strong influence besides Leo Baxendale. Here are two early examples from MFC No. 8 and 14:

Monster Hits continued throughout the entire run of the comic, missing only one issue (No. 3). All were in b/w except in issues 11, 24 and 26 were they were printed in full colour. This one is from No. 24:

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