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 Playhour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Playhour. Show all posts

Friday, January 5, 2018


Here are some nice examples of Gulliver Guinea-Pig original artwork by Gordon Hutchings that I recently came across on eBay. I didn’t buy them, so the images are “borrowed” from the auction site.

They were first printed in PLAYHOUR in 1961. According to the auction description, the story was re-used in TEDDY BEAR’S PLAYTIME in the 1980s. It looks like the full page shown above was “constructed” from two episodes of the original tale. Here is how they appeared in PLAYHOUR:

Gulliver Guinea-Pig Saves Summer started in PLAYHOUR cover-dated 25 February, 1961 and ran for 6 weeks until Easter issue of 1 April, 1961. It was the second Gulliver story illustrated by Hutchings who took over from the original artist Philip Mendoza. Both did an excellent job on the strip. The quality of the artwork and the stories makes me want to do a detailed account of all Gulliver’s travels during the seven years of the strip’s existence (1958 – 1965)…

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Here is the rest of The Story of Father Christmas by Geoffrey Squire from December 1957 issues of PLAYHOUR. I don’t have a hard copy of issue No. 168 so I can’t show the front cover, but I found a scan of the centre pages on the web, so enjoy! 

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 18, 2017


In 1957 PLAYHOUR celebrated the Holiday Season throughout December. Christmas-themed stories appeared on the front covers as well as inside, including The Story of Father Christmas presented on centre pages in full colour. The story was painted by the now largely-forgotten British illustrator Geoffrey Squire (1896-1989). The quality of art in those nursery comics of the 50s and 60s never ceases to impress me. 

Below are the front covers of the first two issues of December (Nos. 165 and 166) and the first two installments of The Story of Father Christmas. The remaining two will follow in my next blogpost. 

Friday, December 15, 2017


To celebrate the Holiday Season, here’s a nice sequence of 4 covers of PLAYHOUR young children’s comic from December 1956 featuring Dicky and Dolly & Co., illustrated (I believe) by Harold McCready. The realism of those anthropomorphic animal characters has a strange air of creepiness, don’t you think?

Friday, July 10, 2015


Lawson Wood (1878 – 1957) was a British artist and illustrator who is probably best remembered for his humorous depictions of a chimpanzee called Gran'pop – a character featured in a series of annuals. His work appears to have been very popular on both sides of the Atlantic and was widely used by advertising agencies, manufacturers of postcards, trading cards, calendars, puzzles and whatnot. I first saw his drawings and distinctive signature on the front covers of early issues of the nursery comic Playhour. Here is the first one with the chimps cover, unsigned:

I was browsing eBay the other day and found something described as Lawson Wood German Porcelain figurine, offered by a seller in Germany. I’ve heard about "The Lawson Woodies” line of wooden toys but not about porcelain figurines. According to the description, it was made ca. 1930. It depicts a sinister penguin and is 30 cms tall.

I am not into this kind of collectibles and have no idea about their value but this example attracted quite a bit of attention and sold for £ 67.00. I wonder if the buyer wanted it because of Lawson Wood connection or for other reasons? Anyway, here are some images courtesy of eBay:

In an unlikely event if you are not familiar with this prolific artist, here are some fine examples of Lawson Wood's Gran’pop work: