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 Pow!. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pow!. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


In my previous post I asked if my learned readers might have any ideas as to the identity of the Odhams employee by the name of ‘SWALLOW’ who wrote the letter to Ken Reid that I showed.  

As it happens, I had an answer all along... I was checking my notes for something else the other day and found out that Ken had identified Bill Swallow as Editor of POW! in his diary.

I am aware that Alf and Bart were the official “spokespersons” for the Power Comics in the letters section and signed their replies to readers' questions. I also know that the Power Pack Index by Steve Holland says that the editor of the paper was Albert Cosser.

Ken’s notes, however, clearly suggest that POW! editor was Bill Swallow, and mention at least one phone call from the man with instructions regarding Dare-A-Day Davy strip.

I ran a search for the name in the context of Odhams comics but Google returned no relevant hits. I also checked the Dictionary of British Comics Artists, Writers and Editors by Alan Clark, and there’s no mention of Bill Swallow there either. Was he perhaps a sub-editor in charge of POW! humour strips? Or maybe he was in fact the editor who chose (or was instructed) to remain anonymous because differently from the letters section, News from the Floor of 64 (the editorial column) went unsigned (I did check my copies of POW!).

Friday, October 20, 2017


Ken Reid must have enjoyed himself when he worked for Odhams drawing Frankie Stein, Dare-A-Day Davy, Queen of the Seas, etc. because it looks like at least some of the staff were just as potty as he was and shared his sense of humour. This is demonstrated by the letter below that Ken received from someone at 69 Long Acre, London in the late 60s. 

I am not sure who the author was because I’ve only seen the first page, unsigned. Any ideas as to who may have written it? It says “My name is Swallow, not Splutt”… at the bottom of the page, and it appears that the person was then in charge of POW! comic.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


The text of this post is part of Ken Reid biography that I wrote for a project that now seems to be dead, which I think is very sad...

“Dare-A-Day Davy” in POW!, illustrated by Ken Reid and written (mostly) by Walt Thorburn, featured a boy who couldn’t resist a dare. Dares were supplied by “POW!” fans who were offered a pound for every idea used. In the beginning of each episode Davy was torn between common sense and an irresistible urge to take on the dare, no matter how crazy or dangerous it was.

Vance Gledhill of Blackpool, Lancs., dared Davy to no less than dig up Frankenstein-monster’s remains and bring him back through the kiss of life. Davy had done lots of naughty and nasty things before but until then he’d never desecrated a grave or kissed a worm-infested fungus-covered skull, so Bart and Alf decided to spare the readers of “POW!” of the gory tale. 

Ken, however, wasn’t the only person responsible for its horridness: “Frankenstein” was drawn to Walt Thorburn’s script, so the writer was at least partly culpable

Odhams Press didn’t reject the episode or contact Ken about it. Ken received his check for the artwork and there is no evidence of his knowledge that the page was withheld from print. It was rescued by Steve Moore, then an Odhams Press’ employee, later a comics writer whose work featured in most of the major British comics, and printed in the first issue of “Weird Fantasy” comics fanzine published in the Winter of 1969 by David Britton – a British author and artist, later a co-founder of the publishing house “Savoy Books” that reprinted a couple of Ken's original Fudge books.

Contrary to what some people believe, “Frankenstein” was not the last episode of “Dare-A-Day Davy”. The reason which may have given rise to the belief was the number  “90” hand-written by Ken at the top left corner of the original “Frankenstein” artwork reprinted in “Weird Fantasy”, implying that this may have been the 90th episode of “Dare-A-Day Davy”, whereas only 86 issues of “POW!” had been published. “Frankenstein” was in fact the 64th episode of those drawn by Ken, while the “90” was the result of an error in Ken’s paybook when he turned a new page and started the numbering of his “Dare-A-Day Davy” episodes at 74 instead of 47, and carried on with it until the very end of the run.

Below is the cover of the fanzine that reprinted the Frankenstein episode, followed by the inside pages with the episode itself, the editor’s comment on Ken Reid and an artist’s take on Fudge, drawn in the style of American underground comix of the times (1969 or thereabouts).