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 Sid Burgon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sid Burgon. Show all posts

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A LOOK AT MONSTER FUN STRIPS: THE LITTLE MONSTERS




British comics had a long-time tradition of busy single-frame strips about naughty kids. From Casey Court in Chips in the 40s to Hoot Squad in HOOT in the 80s, with many memorable offerings in-between (such as the early Banana Bunch sets in the BEEZER, Terrors of Tornado Street in BUSTER, Lion Lot in LION, Moonsters in SPARKY, etc.), they gave readers lots of pleasure in studying all the gags and details.   

MFC provided the entertainment by way of The Little Monsters – a strip about the antics of a crowd of little green creatures.  It was added to the package from issue No. 16 and landed straight on the cover. Here are some examples:


The Little Monsters appeared on the front cover of nearly every issue until No. 35 when the front page was permanently reserved for Gums. More often than not, the headline of the strip came with a by-line, such as The Little Monsters visit the Motor Show (…in Outer Space, …go Mountaineering; …in Oil Strike, etc. etc.).

When the strip was moved inside to make room for Gums, it became a half-pager and looked like this:


Another transformation took effect starting from issue No. 46 when The Little Monsters  were given a full page and became more like a ‘normal’ strip with several introductory frames and the final large panel with all the action which Sid Burgon did so well.  


Sid Burgon was the main artist but a number of episodes were drawn by someone else. The style that Sid Burgon used to draw his little green monsters was easy to imitate so it is sometimes difficult to tell which sets were by the other artist. Mr. Burgon liked to sign his work, so if in doubt, look for the signature, and if it’s not there then it is most definitely drawn by someone else (both half-pagers shown above appear to be ghosted). The rule isn’t universal because the set below is definitely by Mr. Burgon but his signature is absent:


The Little Monsters first appeared in MFC issue No. 16 and lasted until No. 70. Here is the list of issue Nos. without the Little Monsters: 37, 39, 41, 56 and 66.  The monstrous midgets received their own pull-out poster in issue No. 63 (21st August, 1976).

Monday, May 12, 2014

A LOOK AT MONSTER FUN STRIPS: THE INVISIBLE MONSTER



Portrait of the Invisible Monster on front cover of MFC No. 8

The Invisible Monster was a part-serialised humour strip. Its short 19-week run consisted of four ‘chapters’: 

Chapter one – introductory episode in MFC No. 1;
Chapter two – the Invisible Monster meets Tich and together they are on the run from the authorities (MFC issues 2 – 10);
Chapter three – the Invisible Monster stays with Tich’s family in London (non-serialised episodes in MFC issues 11 – 17);
Chapter four – Tich takes the Invisible Monster out of London and the story reaches a satisfactory conclusion (MFC issues 18 and 19).

Here is a summary of the story: the Invisible Monster emerged from the sea one dark night and made headlines nationwide when he picked up a lighthouse and used it as a torch as he walked to London.


Tich heard about the Invisible Monster on the radio while camping with his pal, right before the giant showed up at their campsite and burned his foot on the campfire. Tich came to his aid, offered him some bandages and befriended the mystery talking giant.



The police and the army are after the invisible menace and the bandaged giant foot makes him easy to spot. Tich and his new friend spend the next few episodes running away from pursuers.

The Army have tied the Invisible Monster to a train in his sleep

In issue 8 the Invisible Monster Task Force (I.M.5) send Colonel Crumpet – the most famous big-game hunter in the World, on the mission of catching the IM. Colonel Crumpet dopes the monster with a fake giant lollipop and then lures him into Monster Cavern, but to no avail – the luck is always on the side of Tich and the IM; they finally make it to London where the Invisible Monster has a show-down with another monster whom Colonel Crumpet and I.M.5 retrieved from the Monster Cavern and brought to the city believing it was the IM.

The Invisible Monster bashes his oponent with Nelson's Column

The next few non-serialised episodes show the IM’s antics during his stay with Tich and his parents in London, spiced-up with the odd attempt of I.M.5 to capture the giant. Tich realises that London is no longer a safe place for the Invisible Monster so he takes him to Scotland. Tich finds him a secluded lake where the IM meets ‘a female monster’ who gives him a nasty black eye. The black eye spreads all over the Invisible Monster's body and finally makes him visible:


The weekly episodes were two-pagers (except in issues 14 and 17 where they were 1 ½ pages long). All were illustrated and signed by Sid Burgon (except in issue 17 where Terry Bave may have had a hand). The Invisible Monster featured on the cover of MFC issue No. 8.

The strip was tied-in with a participation feature. The invisibility of the main character was a good reason to invite the readers to send-in their drawings of how they pictured the hero of the story and collect cash prizes:


The Invisible Monster prize winning pictures appeared in MFC issues 8 to 19 and were presented in b/w, except in issues 11 and 14 where they were in full colour: