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 Smash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smash. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


Ken Reid was known to have sometimes been ‘text heavy’ in the strips that he scripted himself, making it necessary for editors to cut his writing down. Below is a nice example of that. The panel is from original Queen of the Seas artwork. I am not completely sure, but I believe I photographed it from the original piece owned by Peter Hansen:

The episode was printed in Smash! No. 31 (3rd Sept., 1966). The ugly colouring ruined the beauty of Ken’s linework,  but the reason I am showing the panel here is Captain Enoch Drip’s new speech balloon:

The Editor apparently thought Ken’s original version was too long, or eccentric…

This is how the panel looked in the reprint of the same episode in Buster cover-dated 8th July, 1972:

Click on the POWER PACK banner in the right-hand column and get your copy of the POWER PACK OF KEN REID - the deluxe two-volume set of Ken’s strips in WHAM!, SMASH! and POW! comics of the ‘60s.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Nautical antics was one of Ken Reid’s favourite themes. The Queen of the Seas in SMASH! comic is a classic example considered by many to be his best work.

Interestingly, my mate and UK comics collector and researcher extraordinaire Peter Hansen has discovered that Ken’s inspiration for the pompous skipper Enoch Drip and his one-man-crew Bertram Bloop came from the 1964 British comedy film The Bargee by Duncan Wood.

The film is about two boatmen operating a commercial canal-boat. The main character is Hemel Pike (played by Harry H. Corbett) who is quite a bit of a lothario with girlfriends all across the canal network. As such, Hemel wasn’t suitable for a children’s paper, but his cousin Ronnie (played by Ronnie Barker) became the prototype for Ken’s Bertram Bloop:

.. while the character of the inept mariner (played by Eric Sykes) was the inspiration behind Queenie’s skipper:

Ken actually owned a boat and had quite a few comical adventures when sailing the canals. If you take a close look, Enoch Drip often looks like Ken’s self-portrait.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Grimly Feendish was the fourth strip that started in SHIVER AND SHAKE No. 22 and the third of the paper’s features (after Frankie Stein and Ghouldilocks) that had originated years ago in another comic. Grimly had enjoyed a long and spectacular career in crime, first as a character of the long-running strip Eagle Eye Junior Spy in WHAM! and later as the star of a strip named after him in SMASH! , so before looking at the run of shiver and shake it is appropriate to mention a few things about his background.

First ever panel in WHAM! No. 1
Grimly Feendish was Leo Baxendale’s creation for WHAM! comic. In his book a very funny business Mr. Baxendale admits that the character came out looking ‘vaguely like the uncle in the Chas Addams family’, but in fact the likeness was way more than vague. 

In Eagle Eye Junior Spy Grimly Feendish was an ambitious criminal mastermind whose aim was to conquer the World. The infamous arch-villain fought a relentless war with the young MI 5 ½ agent Eagle Eye who was forever foiling his evil plots. Eagle Eye Junior Spy’s Grimly Feendish first appeared in the first issue of WHAM! and was last seen in the penultimate edition of the paper (No. 186 dated 13th Jan., 1968).

From WHAM! No. 1

Interestingly, less than two years before that he got his own weekly strip in another Power Comic SMASH! Although the Grimly of SMASH! still had his crowd of squelchy things and weirdies familiar to readers of WHAM!, his criminal ambitions had shrunk considerably and become limited to stealing and robbing. Crimes of this category fell outside the competence of intelligence services but being ‘the rottenest crook in the world’, Grimly made new enemies in the shape of the police. Grimly Feendish ran in SMASH! issues No. 1 – 162 (Feb. 5th, 1966 – 8th March, 1969 (last pre-revamp issue)) and then disappeared from the radar for nearly four years before re-surfacing in SHIVER AND SHAKE No. 22.

The Grimly of SHIVER AND SHAKE was the thieving and robbing version from SMASH!, rather than the villainous mastermind with World-domination ambitions from WHAM! The shiver and shake run of Grimly Feendish started with eleven reprints from SMASH! I pinned down the particular issues of SMASH! in which the episodes originally appeared; here is the list for those who care:

Shiver & Shake No. 22 (August 4th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 58 (11th March, 1967)
Shiver & Shake No. 23 (August 11th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 18 (4th June, 1966)
Shiver & Shake No. 24 (August 18th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 14 (7th May, 1966)
Shiver & Shake No. 25 (August 25th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 63 (15th April, 1967)
Shiver & Shake No. 26 (September 1st, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 16 (21st May, 1966)
Shiver & Shake No. 27 (September 8th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 72 (17th June, 1967)
Shiver & Shake No. 28 (September 15th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 65 (29th April, 1967)
Shiver & Shake No. 29 (September 22nd, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 53 (4th Feb. 1967)
Shiver & Shake No. 30 (September 29th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 28 (13th Aug 1966)
Shiver & Shake No. 31 (October 6th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 68 (20th May, 1967)
Shiver & Shake No. 32 (October 13th, 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 35 (1st Oct, 1966)
Shiver & Shake No. 33 (October 20th 1973) - reprint from Smash! No. 69 (27th May, 1967)

Check out an example of a SMASH! original and a SHIVER AND SHAKE reprint side-by-side:

In Shiver and Shake Grimly Feendish picked up where he had left off in SMASH! and continued with daring crime schemes, assisted by Squelch and company. Although his life’s ambition was to rob the Bank of England, it was not uncommon to see Grimly raid a candy store or swinde old folks out of their pensions. In issue 24 Grimly Feendish appeared in The Shiver Givers strip and hit a new low by lifting a rubber from Frankie Stein and a type-writer from Shiver:

From issue 34 until the end of the run illustrator’s duties were given to the young Tom Paterson who was just starting his career in comics. I may be mistaken, but Grimly Feendish was probably his first regular strip and Tom’s style is hardly recognisable at that stage. Check out the examples below and see how his style evolved into something more familiar as weeks went by. He even signed a couple of episodes towards the end of the run (in Shiver and Shake issues 73 and 77):

First episode by Tom Paterson in SHIVER & SHAKE No. 34
From SHIVER & SHAKE No. 41
From SHIVER & SHAKE No. 42
From SHIVER & SHAKE No. 51
From SHIVER & SHAKE No. 54
First signed episode by Tom Paterson in SHIVER & SHAKE  No. 73
Last episode by Tom Paterson in SHIVER & SHAKE No. 77

Trivia buffs will be delighted to know that Tom Paterson’s trademark striped upright sock was first seen on the side of the turret of Grimly’s tank in Grimly Feendish episode in SHIVER AND SHAKE No. 49:

Grimly Feendish started in SHIVER AND SHAKE issue No. 22 and continued until issue No. 77 missing three weeks inbetween (issue Nos. 63, 72, 76). The episodes in issues 22 to 33 were reprints from SMASH!, as was the episode in issue 39 (illustrated by Terry Bave I believe). The episodes in issues 34 to 77 were by Tom Paterson who drew in his early rough style. The strip was part of SHIVER section of the paper. Grimly Feendish got his own mini pin-up in Frankie Stein mini pull-out comic in SHIVER AND SHAKE issue 54:

Grimly Feendish didn’t survive merger with WHOOPEE!, so SHIVER AND SHAKE saw the sad end of his long and dramatic criminal career from the mastermind of the underworld to a petty thief. The strip was included as an entrant in the Pick-A-Strip feature in Whoopee! and Shiver & Shake where it competed against 7 other strips but readers gave their support to SweenyToddler. The good thing is that he continued in SHIVER AND SHAKE annuals and holiday specials for quite a while and if you are a Grimly buff, you may very well might find it worth while checking the Grimly Feendish label in the column on the right for full details. 

Afterwards Grimly was seen just one more time in ALBION series published by Wildstorm in 2005.

Grimly Feendish must have been fondly remembered by many, including members of the London rock band The Damned who named one of their singles after him in 1985. The single reached No. 21 in UK charts: