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 Shiver and Shake Holiday Specials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shiver and Shake Holiday Specials. Show all posts

Friday, October 25, 2013


1980 SHIVER AND SHAKE Holiday Special was the last Sh&Sh Holiday special, it cost 45 p. and had 64 pages.

CONTENTS: Horrornation Street (a 4-pager by Tom Williams), The Chumpions (3 reprints from COR!!, art by Peter Davidson), Lolly Pop (most likely a reprint, artwork by Sid Burgon), Sweeny Toddler (looks like a reprint, art by Leo Baxendale), Percy the Peacemaker (2 reprints), Wizard Prang and Demon Druid in Wiz War (new, a 4-pager, possibly by Martin Baxendale), Sports School (by Jim Watson in full colour, signed), Shiver (by Terry Bave), Shake (by Terry Bave), Freddie Fang the Werewolf Cub (4 reprints from COR!!, including one in full colour on the back page, art by Reg Parlett), Frankie Stein (a 6-pager by Jogn Geering and a 4-pager by Brian Walker), Mirth-Shakes (2 pages of gags), A Fright Seeing Tour of London full-colour poster by Ken Reid, Blunder Puss (by Jim Crocker), Ghoul Getters Ltd (by Russel Brooke, signed), Toby’s Timepiece (a 5-pager), Monstermind puzzles, Ghouldilocks (by Tom Williams in full colour), The Duke’s Spook (by Tom Williams), The Desert Fox (by Terry Bave), Grimly Feendish (2 ½ pages by Paul Ailey and two shorts, possibly reprints), What’s Your Line? (a strip without speech balloons)‘Orrible Hole (by Jim Crocker).

If you get a feeling that you’ve seen the cover of this Holiday Special on another comic, that’s because the idea is borrowed from an old SHIVER AND SHAKE weekly. At least it is not a lazy reprint, besides, Mike Lacey has given it a new seaside holidays twist. Here is the old comic:

Tom Williams illustrated as many as three different strips in this edition. He drew Ghouldilocks 

... and that's in addition to his usual Horrornation Street, in which instead of going to the beach, residents of Horrornation Street have Hoodoo Voodoo (not Yoodoo…) arrange for the beach and the sea to come to them:

I think it is the first time that a new episode of Wizard Prang and Demon Druid was commissioned after long years of reprints. Would I be right in saying that Mike Brown who was the strip's regular illustrator in POW! and SMASH! is the artist? Here is the first page of the set:

There were two episodes of Frankie Stein in this Holiday Special, each by a different artist. In the set illustrated by John Geering Prof. Cube enters Frankie in the round-the-world yacht race, hoping that he will perish in a storm. It looks like seamen haven’t seen anything as monstrous as Frankie since the days when the Beano’s Jonah roamed the seas twenty years ago... Frankie sets his own boat on fire when he tries to fry himself some sausages, then he scares the crew off a posh yacht and finds himself in the zone of naval war games, sinks an indestructible destroyer, petrifies a vicious-looking killer whale, navigates it to the finish and wins the race. Too bad Prof. Cube has to pay all the damages and they both are sent to jail:

Frankie and Prof. Cube do some extreme driving
on their way to the wedding...
In the second story, the first in a Shiver and Shake Holiday Special or Annual to be illustrated by Brian Walker, Prof. Cube gets an idea to get rid of Frankie by having him marry and move away so he builds a monster bride to suit Frankie’s taste. Prof. Cube runs into a problem when he realizes that she doesn’t fancy Frankie. He adjusts a few screws in her head and programs her to fall in love with the first face she sees. As Prof. Cube’s luck goes, Frankie shows up with a copy of the Evening Post that has a large photo of Prof. Cube on the front page. We’ll never know how the unfortunate inventor got out of this scrape… 

Ghoul Getters Ltd. are called to take care of a ghostly knight who has nabbed a donkey and trampled all the sandcastles on the beach. The two-pager is illustrated and signed by Russel Brooke whose style I find very appealing. Can anyone tell me where I can find more of his art? A quick Google search returned nothing but he is very much my kind of artist…

In Toby’s Timepiece Toby finds himself in the future where he meets a loony scientist and his robot assistants. The scientist believes that his robot medical team will make human doctors out of date because each of his mechanical creations has the knowledge of fifty surgeons built into their circuits. He tries to prove his genius to the authorities by sending his robots to help the crew of a crash-landed spacecraft but it turns out that the robots only care about other robots, not humans. At first the scientist appears to be the usual obsessed villain but surprisingly he goes straight and admits his mistakes. He even gives Toby a new pair of roller skates as an apology and a sign of gratitude for helping him see his erroneous ways.

In the Grimly Feendish episode by Paul Ailey Grimly accidentally finds out that all policemen are on a cop shop outing at the beach and realizes that with no cops in town, he has free hands to commit all the crimes he wants. He uses air balloons in hope to escape abroad with a carful of loot but seagulls disrupt the plan and he lands in the middle of the cop shop outing… The other two Grimly Feendish episodes have the format of a newspaper strip and may be reprints:

To me, the biggest treat is A Fright Seeing Tour of London full colour poster by Ken Reid featuring some of his very best World-Wide Weirdies from the famous series in WHOOPEE!  By the time the 1980 SHIVER AND SHAKE special came out, the series had already ended, so this is the last non-reprint set of World-Wide Weirdies by Ken Reid. In the Autumn of 2007 the original artwork was offered by Compal Auctions (Indian ink on cartridge paper. 19 x 12 ins), with the winner paying £611.

This is where I’ll close the last chapter of SHIVER AND SHAKE Holiday Specials. You can go through the whole SHIVER AND SHAKE specials sequence by clicking HERE or by choosing the SHIVER AND SHAKE Holiday Specials label in the column on the right.

Shiver and Shake series will continue because there is still a good supply of Annuals left :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


1979 SHIVER AND SHAKE Holiday Special. 40 p., 64 pages.

CONTENTS:  Shiver (2 episodes by Terry Bave), Shake (by Terry Bave), George and His Magic Dragon (by Alan Rogers), Horrornation Street (a 3-pager by Tom Williams), Percy the Peacemaker (2 episodes by an artist whose name I don’t know), It’s a Smile (1/4 page, gags by Artie Jackson), Scream Inn at the Seaside (a 4-pager by Brian Walker), Creepy Car (by Jim Crocker), Sweeny Toddler (by Frank McDiarmid in colour and a 2-pager by Tom Paterson), Freddie Fang the Werewolf Cub (4 episodes, reprints from COR!! by Reg Parlett, one coloured-in), Robby Hood (8 pages by Ron Turner, reprint from COR!!), Webster (2 sets, one by I don’t know who and one by Frank McDiarmid in colour on the back cover), Brain Busters (2 pages of puzzles by Les Barton), The Duke’s Spook (looks like a reprint from an old Shiver and Shake weekly),  Lolly Pop (by Sid Burgon), Frankie Stein in America (3 pages by I don’t know who), Grimly Feendish (one reprint from SMASH!, one 4-pager by I don’t know who, and one episode by Tom Paterson, signed), The Desert Fox (by Frank McDiarmid, in colour), Moana Lisa (by Frank McDiarmid, in colour), It’s A Laugh (1/4 page, gags by Artie Jackson), Ghost Town (by Tom Williams, reprint from WHIZZER AND CHIPS), It’s a Joke (1/5 page, gags by Mike Lacey), Tough Nutt and Softy Centre (3 pages by Norman Mansbridge), Ghouldilocks by Tom Williams, Sports School by I don’t know who.

First, let’s take a look at the new strips and features. Percy the Peacemaker was about a boy who was always trying to help quarrelling parties to resolve their differences but ended up in trouble. I believe this is a reprint and I'd be grateful if someone told me where from. I wonder what the illustrator’s name was? I know I’ve seen a lot of his work in other IPC comics. Here is a page with an example of Percy the Peacemaker, followed by It’s A Smile gags. There were three such gag strips in this Holiday Special, all had a different headline: It’s a Smile, It’s a Joke and It’s a Laugh:

The second new tale was George and His Magic Dragon, illustrated by Alan Rogers:

Horrornation Street are at a holiday camp. They are having fun scaring other holiday makers but suffer a bicycle accident and end up at the camp sick bay:

After a longish break, Scream Inn made a comeback to the pages of SHIVER AND SHAKE Holiday Special with a 4-page story by Brian Walker.  It is quite an unusual instalment because the setting is a sunny beach rather than the gloomy Inn. The episode is entitled Scream Inn at the Seaside and in it the familiar gang of monsters and freaks help a boy win a sand castle competition. This happens to be the last ever instalment of Scream Inn proper because the weekly series ended in WHOOPEE dated 1st October, 1977 to become Spooktacular 7 (which ended on 22nd July, 1978, except for two more stories in WHOOPEE! 1979 and 1980 annuals).

The Holiday Special has three Grimly Feendish tales, all by different artists. One is a reprint from Smash!, one a new 4-pager by an unknown artist (Mike Higgs, perhaps??) in which Grimly uses a magnet as an instrument of crime but the police turn it against him in the end:

… and one by Tom Paterson:

Frank McDiarmid stepped in for the regular artists and illustrated as many as 4 strips: Sweeny Toddler, The Desert Fox, Moana Lisa and Webster, all presented in full colour. Here are two examples:

In the episode of Frankie Stein Prof. Cube takes Frankie on a holiday to the USA – the land of opportunity, in hope of an opportunity to get rid of him. He tries three schemes – pushing Frankie off a skyscraper, sending him to space on board a rocket launched out of the space centre in Florida, and finally abandoning him without food somewhere out in the great Mid-West. During this last adventure the starved Frankie finds himself on a peanut farm and gets to meet no less than Mr. Jimmy Carter, the then President of the US! I believe that’s one of the very few occasions when a contemporary politician was portrayed in a UK children’s comic. In fact, I can’t remember other such examples, except for Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini during WWII, so it’s a very interesting instalment in this regard, never mind some geographical inaccuracies (the landscape of what Prof. Cube refers to as ‘the great Mid-West’ looks a lot more like that of Southwestern USA, and the state of Georgia where Carter’s farm is located is nowhere even close).

Speaking of reprints, the episode of Robby Hood by Ron Turner is in fact a reprint of the first story that originally ran in COR!! comic between 14th November until 12th December, 1970 (issues No. 24 – 28); you can read my account of the story HERE.

Ghost Town must be a reprint from Whizzer and CHIPS.

I will sign off with images of the centerspread that I find quite hilarious. On the page preceding the centerspread we see a crowd of curious citizens flocking to see a Stately Haunted Home:

Turning the page, we see a busy picture of what is taking place inside the mansion:

… and overleaf, terrified folks flee the scene in panic:

I don't know who the artist was but just imagine what a brilliant sequence this would have been, had the illustrator’s duties been given to Brian Walker, Ken Reid, Frank McDiarmid or Tom Williams…