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 Norman Mansbridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norman Mansbridge. Show all posts

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Mummy’s Boy was a strip about the most possessive Mum that ever was, and her nine-year old son whom she treated as a baby and wouldn’t let him engage in normal kids’ stuff because she thought her Choochkins was too delicate. She wheeled him in a pram, dressed him in baby clothes, made him wear nappies and a silly baby bonnet, go to bed at 5:30, drink milk from a baby bottle and do all the other baby stuff which a grown lad like him found very embarrassing. Mumsy never addressed her boy by his proper name (it’s not even clear if he had one) and embarrassed him even further by calling him Diddums, Babykins, Kiddiwinky, Darling Duck, Cherub, Cutie Pie, Oody Boody Baba, Cuddlekins, Choochiface, etc.

Mumsy’s little treasure hated being treated like a baby, especially in public. He often ran away from ‘the silly old fusspot’ and acted naughty but she always tracked him down and re-organized things her way. 

Sometimes ‘the cherub’ was glad that he just couldn’t loose with Mum around:

In fact, Mummy’s Boy was a naughty little devil and a nuisance – a kind of Sweeny Toddler brought to heel, but with a crazy Mum like his that’s hardly surprising. I am trying to picture Mumsy’s relationship with her husband - yes, Diddums did have a Dad but in MFC he was only seen once, in issue No. 21; perhaps he took every opportunity to be away from home and his nutty spouse… I am sure Mumsy would have made an ideal Mum-and-son pair with WHOOPEE!’s Scared-Stiff Sam. This cross-over never happened but there were a couple others that did – in issue 33 Babykins tried using Teddy Scare’s tactics and in No. 51 he got some help from Brainy and his Monster Maker (in case you didn’t know, I’ll mention that Teddy Scare and Brainy and His Monster Maker were concurrent MFC strips).

Mummy’s Boy is one of the few strips in MFC with a dubious connection to the horror theme. On the other hand, come to think of it, having a Mum like this would certainly be a nightmare, so the strip takes horror comedy to the dimension of psychological terror.

Mummy’s Boy started in MFC issue No. 2 and continued till the last number (missing issues 16, 25, 47 and 57 in-between); all episodes were in b/w, except for the full-colour one in issue No. 33. The main artist was Norman Mansbridge; Terry Bave stepped in for him in issues 7 and 8. Mummy’s Boy made the jump to BUSTER when MFC was merged into it in 1976. The strip must have done really well in the popularity charts: it continued for more than a dozen years and was last seen in BUSTER cover-dated 12th September 1987. Of all the strips which originated in MFC, Mummy’s Boy came second only to X-Ray Specs in terms of the length of the run.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Cinders was a tale about the adventures of two strange characters: Cinders, the romantically disposed she-dragon, and a cowardly knight who was the object of her affection. Cinders always tried to look her very best to make sure she was ready to meet the man of her dreams – the dishy and noble handsome knight in shiny armour on a gallant steed. She lived in a boudoir-like cave decorated with flowers and curtains and spoke in heart-shaped red speech balloons. The knight was a cissy coward who nonetheless sought a fiery dragon to fight; he was unaware that the lady dragon had a crush on him whereas Cinders considered his failed weekly attempts to fight her to be signs of his warm feelings towards her.

First episode, art by Norman Mansbridge

Cinders had the shortest run of all MFC strips: it appeared in issues 1 – 12 and missed issue No. 9 in between. The main artist was Norman Mansbridge with Alf Saporito substituting him in issues 7 to 11. All 11 episodes of Cinders were on the rear cover in full colour.

From MFC No. 11. Art by Alf Saporito

Cinders concludes the series of reviews of the strips that appeared in the first issue of MONSTER FUN COMIC. I have omitted one participation feature (Monster Hits) and the Badtime Bedtime Storybook (‘Jack the Nipper’s Schooldays’) but that’s because I am saving them for later.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


This weird little strip was set in the dark Middle Ages and offered the readers of MONSTER FUN COMIC a weekly helping of dungeon humour. The main character was young Tom Thumbscrew who worked as a torturer in the King’s caste; the title of the strip tells us he was the torturer’s apprentice but actually he was the master of the dungeon and answered directly to the King.

Tom wasn’t much of a torturer: he tended to side with the prisoners and was generally on friendly terms with them. He spent more time playing cards with the captives than actually trying to make them ‘talk’ and tormenting them with his branding irons, stretching rack and iron maiden. Sometimes he even helped them escape. There were usually at least two or three prisoners chained to the wall of the dungeon but they seemed to be quite happy in Tom’s custody. The young torturer did his job only when the King imperatively commanded him to, and even then he preferred soft methods, such as feather tickling, telling lame jokes, making a dirty robber wash, telling the offender to eat both of the apples he has pinched or shaving off a guy’s hair and beard to dissuade him from escaping because he knew the guy preferred not to be seen like that in public.

The other regular character of the strip was the King (or Kingy). He was the one who was really violent and always eager to keep Tom busy. Kingy was often worried that Tom wasn’t torturing his prisoners properly so he liked to check on him in the dungeon. The King was a willing participant in the torture sessions and liked to experiment with new methods. The honey-on-buried-prisoner torture must have been his favourite - he tried it as many as four times. Besides, the King liked to entertain his noble guests by inviting them to do some torturing together or watch his prisoners being branded and stretched on the rack. Obviously, the King was the baddie in the strip and often found himself at the receiving end of the various torturing schemes gone wrong.

All this sounds worse than it looked in the strip which was in fact quite jolly and bright. Tom Thumbscrew ran in MFC issues 1 to 73 and missed issue Nos. 14, 24, 48, 51, 56, 58, 62, 70, 71 and 72. The regular artist was Norman Mansbridge who took charge of the strip starting from issue 12. The opening story in MFC No. 1 was by Trevor Metcalfe who would have made an excellent job as the illustrator of the entire run, on par with Norman Mansbridge:

The episodes in MFC Nos. 2 – 11 were by the less-excellent Andy Christine – the illustrator of another concurrent MFC strip Giant Bearhug… GIANT, who signed his sets of Tom Thumbscrew in issues 2 and 4. Here is an example from MFC No. 9: