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 The Forest Legion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Forest Legion. Show all posts

Sunday, November 24, 2013


1986 SHIVER AND SHAKE Annual retained the page-count of 96 but the price increased further to £2.50 while the proportion of colour pages dropped considerably in comparison with the previous Annual. Things were rapidly deteriorating...

Contents: Lolly Pop (2 episodes by Sid Burgon), Horrornation Street (two sets by Jim Crocker, one in full colour), Shake (3 reprints, one in full colour, art by Mike Lacey), Webster (2 episodes by Terry Bave, possibly reprints), Sweeny Toddler (2 episodes by Tom Paterson, one in full colour), Moana Lisa (2 sets by Peter Davidson), Ghoul Getters Ltd (in full colour by Trevor Metcalfe), Puzzles and Posers (3 one-page installments), Shiver (3 sets by Terry Bave, one in full colour), Frankie Stein (two 3-pagers by Brian Walker), The Hand (2 episodes by Les Barton), Sports School (by Jim Watson), Jolly Brave Jelly Babe fun quiz, The Forest Legion (a 4-pager), The Ghost’s Revenge (2 episodes), Shiver’s A Taunting Hunting (2-page text story with illustrations by Terry Bave), The Desert Fox (2 episodes by Terry Bave), The Duke’s Spook (2 reprints), Blunderpuss (2 episodes by Terry Bave), Ghouldilocks (2 reprints, art by Stan McMurtry), Jumbo Jesters (feature with photos of elephants), Grimly Feendish (two sets by Martin Baxendale, one in full colour), The Desert Fox Food Feud Game (drawn by J.Edward Oliver), Tough Nutt and Softy Centre (reprint, art by Norman Mansbridge), ‘Orrible Hole (2 sets by Jim Crocker, one in full colour), Toby’s Timepiece (5 pages), Creepy Challenge (test-type puzzle featuring Ghoul Getters Ltd).

Frankly, those SHIVER AND SHAKE annuals of the mid-80s were increasingly becoming rather boring and formulaic (just as the entire stable of IPC children’s comics, if you ask me). Sales must have been declining and the publisher must have realized that enough was enough so the mid-80s was the time when many once-popular children’s titles had their annuals released for the last time (Christmas of 1984 for Krazy, Cheeky, Knockout and Monster Fun Comic, and Christmas of 1985 for COR!!, WOW! and Jackpot). SHIVER AND SHAKE was no exception and this 1986 Annual (published for the Christmas of 1985 of course) happens to be its last.

The last two annuals are very similar, as if they were both put together in one go.

Mitch contributed both inside covers – one set for spooks (Shivers) and the other one for elephants (Shakes):

J.Edward Oliver drew this nice little Desert Fox Food Feud game:

Ghoul Getters Ltd. failed in solving the problem of a shop keeper whose shop was haunted by a ghastly doorman who hated customers and slammed doors in their faces. In the end Ghoul Getters decided there was only one solution which was really going to work:

In the first Frankie Stein story Prof. Cube persuaded Frankie that he should deliver his letter to Santa in person because one couldn’t trust the post these days! Cruel Cube hoped that with luck, his dreaded son will get lost and never come back. Indeed, Frankie did get lost and fell asleep in a storage yard packed with gnome statues. Next morning a store manager took him for another statue and placed him in his Santa’s grotto display but when Frankie gradually thawed out the terrified customers caused a stampede.

In the second story Prof. Cube wants to claim his bingo prize from the local paper and nearly misses the deadline thanks to clumsy Frankie who is doing his best to be helpful. When Dad finally reaches the offices of the newspaper, he finds out that he got the numbers wrong because he was holding his card upside down. No prize money for Dad this time, only repair bills from owners of the property that Frankie destroyed as they rushed to claim the prize.

The Forest Legion put on a show in front of a TV crew who came to film some natural forest wildlife. The legionnaires are so eager to become TV stars that they overdo it and the TV people drive off angry and disappointed. Artwork is by the same illustrator who was in charge of the strip in the previous Annual.

Just as in the previous Annual, there are two sets of Grimly Feendish, one in b/w and one in full colour, both drawn and signed by Martin Baxendale. 

In the first episode Grimly Feendish has built himself a Crime-Mobile and is off to clean out every bank in town. This time the cops stop him by removing a manhole cover from his path.

The scene of the other episode is set at the Police College where students are watching a video film captured from Grimly Feendish documenting his various crimes, sneakiness and mastery of disguise. Grimly shows up disguised as a video repair man and gets his tape back together with the TV and the video player, only to find out that the laugh’s on him…

In the splash panel of Toby’s Timepiece we see Toby in a crowd of terrified Londoners who are running for their lives as the great fire of 1666 rages through the city. A bit later we find out that it all started on Christmas Eve when Toby realized that he hasn’t bought Mum’s Christmas present. Toby sets off to catch the shops before they close but accidentally drops his five-pound note and leaps to catch it before it lands on a bonfire. That’s all it takes to activate the timepiece and now we know how Toby found himself in the London of 1666. The watch does not react well to the crowded and violent environment of the burning city so it quickly transports Toby to the year 1805. The battle of Trafalgar is about to begin. Toby fires a gun and hits a French ship but the jolt sets the timepiece off again and he finds himself back in his own town and time with just enough time to buy his Mom a perfume with an unusual name of FLAME. The story is easily the worst in the whole series…


The review of the 1986 Annual concludes the series of posts on SHIVER AND SHAKE, a short-lived but excellent UK comic. Every single strip that appeared in the weekly has received its own post, as has each SHIVER AND SHAKE Special and Annual. It took me nearly a year to accomplish the mission and this blog is now the World’s most comprehensive resource for SHIVER AND SHAKE enthusiasts (all three of them…). You can revisit the whole sequence by clicking SHIVER AND SHAKE label HERE or in the column on the right.

SHIVER AND SHAKE is the second IPC comic title after COR!! that has been covered in every detail on Kazoop!!  If all goes as planned, 2014 will probably be the year of MONSTER FUN COMIC but a few weeks’ delay is likely to occur because preparations for a new series will take some time, besides, I always have lots of other things to do in December and the first months of the New Year. This does not mean there will be no blogposts –  as a matter of fact, I have lots of goodness lined up for the remaining weeks of 2013 and the beginning of 2014: I will continue with Artist Self Portraits series that I started a year ago; I will then do a complete retrospective of Christmas episodes featuring a character known as the ‘friendly monster’ (can you guess who?…), followed by a series of cover galleries of my favourite period of one of my favourite UK comics… It will be fun!

P.S. If you decide you want to leave a comment, please, do by all means but be aware I won’t be able to read, publish or answer your comments until the end of November because when this post goes live I will be soaking up the sun in Dubai without the possibility and desire to connect to the web  :))))

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


1985 SHIVER & SHAKE ANNUAL didn’t lose any more pages (the page-count is 96 as before) but the price went up by 30 p, reaching £2.25. On the positive side, the proportion of pages printed on quality paper got bigger.

CONTENTS: Sweeny Toddler (2 episodes by Tom Paterson), Blunderpuss (2 sets by Terry Bave, one in full colour), The Duke’s Spook (2 reprints), Lolly Pop (one in full colour and one in b/w), Webster (two episodes: a reprint and one possibly new, both by Terry Bave), Ghoul Getters Ltd (2 episodes by Trevor Metcalfe, one in full colour), Are You’re a Scaredy Cat (rating game with art by J. Edward Oliver), Puzzles and Posers (4 one-page instalments), Frankie Stein (2 episodes by Brian Walker: a 3-pager and a 4-pager), Shake (3 sets by Terry Bave and one in full colour by Mike Lacey (reprint)), Ghouldilocks (2 reprints, art by Stan McMurtry), Toby’s Timepiece (a 5-pager), Horrornation Street (2 sets – one by Tom Williams and one in full colour by Crocker), The Hand (2 episodes by Les Barton), Moana Lisa (2 sets by Peter Davidson), Desert Fox (2 episodes by Terry Bave), Ghost’s Revenge (2 episodes), Sports School (2 sets by Jim Watson), Grimly Feendish (2 episodes by Martin Baxendale, one in full colour), Shiver’s Ghoul School (2-pages, a text story with illustrations by Terry Bave), ‘Orrible Hole (2 episodes by Jim Crocker), Shake Your Memory puzzle (art by J. Edward Oliver), Tough Nutt and Softy Centre (reprint, art by Norman Mansbridge), The Forest Legion (4 pages), Shiver (in full colour by Terry Bave), A Haunting Experience dice game.

I find it strange they were still putting out annuals 10 years after SHIVER AND SHAKE weekly folded… The editors, however, deserve praise for not relying on reprints too much.

The book had bright colourful inside covers: a busy set with lots of elephants and ghosts (i.e. Shakes and Shivers) drawn and signed by Mitch:

… and A Haunting Experience dice game:

Let’s take a quick look at some of the features included in this Annual.  

Ghoul Getters Ltd. got rid of two ghosts – first an old lady ghost that haunted a nice gentleman’s house, and then a skeleton in a lady’s closet.

In Lolly Pop Archie asks Dad for a pocket calculator but gets a broken abacus that is good for nothing else but playing marbles; some counting beads fly over the fence, hit Lolly Pop’s central computer and drive all factory production lines mad. 

In the second episode Archie wishes he had a record player but gets an old-fashioned wind-up gramophone instead; he then tries to get some decent records at Pop’s Record Factory, with the usual outcome. Sid Burgon drew the first set and I believe Nigel Edwards is the artist responsible for the other one, check out the last page below:

In Frankie Stein Professor Cube is still trying to get rid of Frankie. He pretends he’s caught a rare disease and tells Frankie that the only cure is in the leaves of a small plant found only in the South American jungles. Manipulative Dad knows that Frankie will immediately volunteer to fetch some to cure him, and will hopefully disappear forever.  But Frankie returns much sooner than Prof. Cube hoped he would…

In the second episode Prof. Cube takes Frankie on a skiing holiday in Switzerland hoping to loose him on a bob-sleigh run, a ski-slope or during a mountain climbing trip. Not this time either…

Prof. Cube enjoys a rare and brief moment of happiness,
believing he's finally got rid of Frankie.
I love Brian Walker's clean and bold brushstrokes!

In Toby’s Timepiece Toby is on a bus, he is on his way to play football in another town. The bridge across the river is down and the sudden jolt of the stopping bus sets the time piece into operation. The boy finds himself in a Plymouth-to-London stage-coach, sharing it with a posh couple. The stage-coach is stopped by Black Jake the highway man who robs the couple and grabs Toby to shake some sense into him. The two of them have a quick journey across time until they land in the age of the dinosaurs. The macho highwayman panics and runs away, dropping the loot. One jolt of the magic watch later Toby is back at the stage-coach where he returns the valuables to the rich couple who repay him with a free ride to the destination of his choice. The stage-coach takes Toby to the town of the football game where he travels back to his own time in 1985 and joins his team.

The Forest Legion drive out a team of tree fellers and road builders from their forest. The strip got a new artist again, but I don’t know his name.

I will finish this blogpost about 1985 SHIVER AND SHAKE Annual with Grimly Feendish. Both sets were by Martin Baxendale and it is nice to see Leo Baxendale’s son take over the strip created by his Dad two decades ago. 

In the first episode Grimly’s aides kidnap Santa and Grimly goes live on TV to demand lots of money in exchange for his freedom. Unfortunately for Grimly, his silly assistants hid Santa’s sleigh in the police car park thinking that there could be no safer place for it… The cops follow the tracks in the snow, find Grimly’s hideout and set Santa free. As his punishment, Grimly has to go down millions of chimneys across the land to deliver presents on Santa's behalf.

The second episode is called Grimly Feendish’s Circus of Crime. Here it is in full: