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 Monster Fun Comic Annuals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monster Fun Comic Annuals. Show all posts

Monday, April 27, 2015


The 9th and the last MONSTER FUN Annual had 96 pages and cost £2.75.

Contents: The Little Monsters (in colour on front endpapers by Martin Baxendale + 3 pages of reprints by Sid Burgon), Draculass (two 2-pagers by Terry Bave, including one in colour), X-Ray Specs (two 3-pagers by Paul Ailey, including one in colour), Frankie’s Diary (two one-page sets by Jim Crocker), Tom Thumbscrew (two 2-pagers by Norman Mansbridge, reprints), Teddy Scare (two 2-pagers by Barrie Appleby), Dough Nut and Rusty (two 2-pagers by Trevor Metcalfe, reprints), Terror TV (two 3-pagers by Barrie Appleby, including one in colour), Horror Alphabet feature (3 pages by Jim Crocker), Eric Intrepid Dinosaur Hunter (4-pager by Mike Green), Creature Teacher (two 2-pagers by Tom Williams, reprints), Freaky Fotos feature (3 pages of b/w photos), Frankie Stein (a 6-pager by Ken Reid), Martha’s Monster Make-Up (two 2-pagers, probably by Keith Robson), Art’s Gallery (a 3-pager by Mike Lacey, reprint),  Gums (a 6-pager by Ian Knox), Brainy and His Monster Maker (two 2-pagers), Major Jump Horror Hunter (a 2-pager (reprint) and a 4-pager (new) by Ian Knox), Holiday Heroes (a 4-pager, probably by Chas Sinclair), Kid Kong (a 6-pager by Ian Knox), Puzzles (2 pages by Cliff Brown), Doctor Ericstein Monster Maker (a 4-pager by Mike Green, in colour).

The book begins with another cheerful panoramic set of the Little Monsters by Martin Baxendale, his only one in this book:

There are a couple of previously unseen fun features, such as Freaky Fotos:

… and Horror Alphabet – a three-page set by Jim Crocker. Here’s a sample page:

Paul Ailey provided two sets of X-Ray Specs. In one, Ray stops a raid on the bank, and in the other one he helps land a plane at New York airport in thick fog:

Mike Green contributed two stories of Eric – the lad who creates things from the junk found in Dad’s scrap-yard. In Eric Intrepid Dinosaur Hunter Eric gets an idea to make some money by selling a fake dinosaur to the city museum:

… and in Doctor Ericstein Monster Maker he tries to become rich and famous by creating his version of the Frankenstein monster:

Ken Reid illustrated a new story of Frankie Stein. Ken’s style had become rather uninspired and monotonous by then but the 6-page set, drawn with meticulous precision, is quite remarkable because it was Ken’s first Frankie Stein in nearly two decades since he stopped drawing it in WHAM! comic in 1967. In this episode Prof. Cube takes Frankie to audition for the leading role in the re-make of Frankenstein film:

The Annual has two helpings of Martha’s Monster Make-Up – the feature that Ken Reid used to draw in Monster Fun Comic weeklies. Both sets were illustrated by someone else who had studied Ken’s style and tried to imitate it to the best of his ability. I will take a guess that the artist was a one-time BUSTER sub Keith Robson who occasionally stepped in for Ken Reid on Faceache and other strips in the seventies. Here is a sample page from the Annual:

Barrie Appleby drew both Terror TV episodes. One is a western story of Alias Smith and Bones, while the second one features TV at Midnight – the show that makes the late night horror movie look like cartoon-time:

It was the second year in a row that Major Jump Horror Hunter was presented in the form of puzzles; here are the first two pages:

I am unsure who illustrated it but I think it may have been Ian Knox who also provided two surprise sets of strips that were usually given to other artists to draw. In Gums, the cunning Captain Mayhem swindles Gums out of his false teeth and sends them off to space tied to a US rocket. Cap’n Mayhem’s fiendish plan is to starve Gums into becoming his pet performer for food.  The US space shot finally shakes off Gum’s false teeth and they zonk straight back into the shark’s mouth. Gums wastes no time switching places with his tormentor:

The other surprise set by Ian Knox is this 6-pager of Kid Kong in which the gorilla is sent on a mission to save the world from the evil Doctor Bananas. Here it is in full:

This post marks the end of my Monster Fun Comic series in which I covered the developments in the life of the comic, provided an account of each strip that appeared during its relatively short run, and reviewed all MFC Holiday Specials and Annuals. MONSTER FUN COMIC is the third comic after COR!! and SHIVER AND SHAKE covered in this fashion on this blog. I have no plans to undertake another project like this in the immediate future but will add the odd blogpost until I have more time and enthusiasm to resume regular blogging.

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

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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


The hardcover book came with a poorly drawn cover that had nothing to do with the Frankie Stein story inside; it was 112 pages thick and cost £2.25.

Contents: The Abominable Ho-Ho Man (gags in full colour on front endpapers by Artie Jackson), Draculass (3 two-pagers by Terry Bave, including one in colour), Freaky Farm (2 three-pagers by Russel Brooke, including one in colour), King Arthur and His Frights of the Round Table (a three-pager and 2 two-pagers, reprints from WHOOPEE!, two by Robert Nixon and one by a ghost artist), The Little Monsters (three sets by Martin Baxendale: at The Zoo; at the Sports Day; at the Garden Centre), Kid Kong (a four-pager and a three-pager (reprint) by Robert Nixon), Art’s Gallery (2 two-pagers by Mike Lacey, probably reprints), Brainy and His Monster Maker (a two-pager by Tom Williams and 2 two-pagers by someone else), Mummy’s Boy (2 two-pagers by Norman Mansbridge), Hot Rod (2 two-pagers of reprints from WHIZZER AND CHIPS, artwork by Alf Saporito), Major Jump (a two-pager and a one-pager, both reprints from MFC weeklies, artwork by Ian Knox), The Ghost Train (2 three-pagers reprinted from WHOOPEE, artwork by Brian Walker), Frankie Stein (a 6-pager by Robert Nixon), X-Ray Specs (3 three-pagers, all reprints, artwork by Mike Lacey), Terror TV (a 4-pager and a 3-pager, artwork by Barrie Appleby), Monster Mirth (1 page of gags by Artie Jackson and 1 page of gags in colour by Tom Paterson (reprints)), Badtime Bedtime Story: One Billion Years B.C. (an 8-page set by Mike Brown); Frankie’s Fun Pages (2 two-pagers of puzzles), Ronnie’s Robot (a 2-pager by Mike Brown), Gums (a 2-pager by Robert Nixon); Tom Thumbscrew (a 2-pager by Norman Mansbridge), Strong Silent Type (Frankie Stein strip cartoons by Sid Burgon, reprints from Shiver and Shake), Dough Nut and Rusty (a 3-pager in colour by Jim Crocker), Teddy Scare (a 3-pager in colour by Barrie Appleby).

Russel Broke was put in charge of Freaky Farm for the second year in a row. In the first episode two treasure seekers visit Freaky Farm armed with their metal detectors and run into a giant worm with a machine gun, a speaking tree, a monster queen bee and a freaky tractor:

In the second episode the army pick Freaky Farm for their exercise:

In Kid Kong Gran’s uncle Bert comes to visit from Australia:

Robert Nixon’s other contribution was a new 6-page episode of Frankie Stein. In it Prof. Cube tries to get rid of the ‘gormless goon’ by building a swing with rubber ropes and using it to catapult Frankie out of his life, but ends up with more repair and damage bills. He becomes a street artist and musician to raise money. Frankie decides to help him and proves to be so good at it that a record company offers him a big contract:

In one of her three stories in this Annual Draculass finds her chamber of horrors in a French restaurant:

The two shows featured in the double-helping of Terror TV in this Annual were The Ghoul Old Days and Some Monsters Do ‘ave ‘em. Both were drawn by Barrie Appleby who also illustrated the episode of Teddy Scare:

It’s good to see a new Badtime Bedtime Story after a two-year break. In One Billion Years. B.C. school boy Terry shares a story of how he went back in time. Here are the opening two pages:

This was the last Badtime Bedtime Story ever but it wasn’t Mike Brown’s only work in this Annual:

Mike Brown isn’t the only disciple of Leo Baxendale whose work features in this book - Martin Baxendale provided three panoramas of the Little Monsters and here’s one:

There are two more MFC Annuals  remaining …