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 Trevor Metcalfe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trevor Metcalfe. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


It’s time I took a break from the alternating routine of SPARKY/The Moonsters and Scream Inn  and did something else I enjoy in my quest of researching British comics. 

The theme of this post was suggested by Stephen Archer – a long-time friend of this blog. When commenting on my 2013 article about Ghoul Getters Ltd. (a SHIVER & SHAKE strip that made a jump to WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE when the two papers were merged in 1974) he mentioned reprints in 1984/1985 WHIZZER AND CHIPS with nice alterations to original artwork. 

It’s not often that you find those done nicely, so when Stephen mentioned them to me for the first time, I suspected they might be new material by Trevor Metcalfe (whom I’m also proud to have in my followers list). I only have two issues of WHIZZER AND CHIPS with the reprints (Stephen thinks they ran from 24/11/84 till 23/3/85) but having pulled out my WHOOPEE! collection, I soon found that Stephen was right and they were indeed reprinted from the WHOOPEE! run.

My original article mentions similarities between Ghoul Getters Ltd. (1974) and the American supernatural film Ghostbusters (1984). When the film was released and became a blockbuster in 1984, it was only natural for IPC to revive Ghoul Getters Ltd., renamed as Ghost Getters, in one of their comics. IPC also made sure the heroes were more ‘Ghostbuster-like’, hence alterations and additions (Dad wears a crash helmet and Arnold’s cap has an aerial, etc.). Check out two samples of the two versions below. What do you think of the alterations?

Thursday, July 14, 2016


The next episode of Scream Inn with a guest appearance of fellow WHOOPEE! characters can be found in the issue cover-dated 8th February, 1975 (No. 46). This time the guests were Dad and his lad Arnold, collectively known as Ghoul Getters Ltd. The strip, drawn by Trevor Metcalfe, had originated in SHIVER AND SHAKE. I covered it the SHIVER AND SHAKE series a couple of years ago, the article can be found HERE.

The not-so-easily-intimidated duo gave the spooks a hard time and it took another guest appearance to save Innkeeper from losing his one million quid. Brian Walker didn’t waste time redrawing the creepy merry-go-round from the masthead of Fun Fear – he simply glued a photographic reproduction to his artwork – just as he did every week with the Scream Inn sign in the first panel (I know this because I have an original page which I once showed HERE). 

Here is the episode, followed by Ghoul Getters Ltd and Fun Fear from the same issue of Whoopee! and Shiver & Shake

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


This weird little strip was set in the dark Middle Ages and offered the readers of MONSTER FUN COMIC a weekly helping of dungeon humour. The main character was young Tom Thumbscrew who worked as a torturer in the King’s caste; the title of the strip tells us he was the torturer’s apprentice but actually he was the master of the dungeon and answered directly to the King.

Tom wasn’t much of a torturer: he tended to side with the prisoners and was generally on friendly terms with them. He spent more time playing cards with the captives than actually trying to make them ‘talk’ and tormenting them with his branding irons, stretching rack and iron maiden. Sometimes he even helped them escape. There were usually at least two or three prisoners chained to the wall of the dungeon but they seemed to be quite happy in Tom’s custody. The young torturer did his job only when the King imperatively commanded him to, and even then he preferred soft methods, such as feather tickling, telling lame jokes, making a dirty robber wash, telling the offender to eat both of the apples he has pinched or shaving off a guy’s hair and beard to dissuade him from escaping because he knew the guy preferred not to be seen like that in public.

The other regular character of the strip was the King (or Kingy). He was the one who was really violent and always eager to keep Tom busy. Kingy was often worried that Tom wasn’t torturing his prisoners properly so he liked to check on him in the dungeon. The King was a willing participant in the torture sessions and liked to experiment with new methods. The honey-on-buried-prisoner torture must have been his favourite - he tried it as many as four times. Besides, the King liked to entertain his noble guests by inviting them to do some torturing together or watch his prisoners being branded and stretched on the rack. Obviously, the King was the baddie in the strip and often found himself at the receiving end of the various torturing schemes gone wrong.

All this sounds worse than it looked in the strip which was in fact quite jolly and bright. Tom Thumbscrew ran in MFC issues 1 to 73 and missed issue Nos. 14, 24, 48, 51, 56, 58, 62, 70, 71 and 72. The regular artist was Norman Mansbridge who took charge of the strip starting from issue 12. The opening story in MFC No. 1 was by Trevor Metcalfe who would have made an excellent job as the illustrator of the entire run, on par with Norman Mansbridge:

The episodes in MFC Nos. 2 – 11 were by the less-excellent Andy Christine – the illustrator of another concurrent MFC strip Giant Bearhug… GIANT, who signed his sets of Tom Thumbscrew in issues 2 and 4. Here is an example from MFC No. 9: