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 Wham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wham. Show all posts

Sunday, July 6, 2014


This week marks 50 years since the first appearance of Frankie Stein, one of the greatest characters in UK children’s humour comics. Ken Reid’s first creation after his departure from D.C.Thomson debuted in the 4th issue of WHAM! cover-dated 11th July, 1964 which went on sale this week exactly half-a-century ago. In this post I try to uncover the 'origins' of FS so let's start from the beginning:

Those of you who followed my account of Shiver and Shake comic last year may remember the posts in which I looked at Frankie’s second incarnation. You can revisit them HERE and HERE. The Editor introduced the character in Shiver and Shake without bothering to explain where he came from but popularity of the friendly monster must have prompted the idea to tell fans the story of Frankie’s creation. Here is the second reinvented version of Frankie’s birth. Drawn by Robert Nixon, it is from the first combined issue of WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE dated 12th October, 1974.

A year later Frank McDiarmid drew a 6-page story Professor Cube – Inventor! for the 1976 Whoopee! Book oF Frankie Stein in which he captured the flash of the creator’s inspiration:

… and copied the panel showing the exciting moments before that dramatic streak of lightning which brought Frankie to life. Here are Bob Nixon’s and Frank McDiarmid’s panels side-by-side for those of you who are fond of spot-the-difference puzzles:

To celebrate this landmark anniversary, I will take a break from Monster Fun Comic and do a series of posts dedicated to the friendly monster (who, by coincidence, held a honorary position at Monster Fun). The Ken Reid version of Frankie Stein is my favourite one but the peak of the character’s glory was in the mid-70s and the early 80s when he was big enough for two editions of his own Whoopee! Book of Frankie Stein:

… and as many as eight Frankie Stein Holiday Specials:

Brace yourselves for ten special friendly monster posts coming up!

Friday, June 20, 2014


Joining other bloggers in celebrating 50 years since the first issue of WHAM!, I thought I might add my penny’s worth of trivia by showing the advert for WHAM! No. 1 which I found in EAGLE AND SWIFT with that same cover date (20 June 1964, Vol. 15 No. 25).

There is also an ad in the next week’s issue but it is the same that you can find in WHAM! No. 1, only larger and therefore more impressive (EAGLE was a tabloid sized paper then), check out both versions below:

Sunday, December 15, 2013


At about this time last year I did a series of Christmas episodes of Faceache – a strip by Ken Reid that started in JET and then enjoyed an impressively long run in the pages of BUSTER. You can revisit the whole series HERE.

This time I’ll do a similar X-mas themed retrospective of another long-running and brilliant strip that also happens to be one of my favourites in UK comics – Frankie Stein.

The character and the strip were created by Mr. Ken Reid and originated in WHAM! nearly half-a-century ago in 1964. I will kick-start this three-part series with all four festive episodes from the pages of WHAM! spanning the years 1964 – 1966 (there was no X-mas episode in 1967, and by the time the Christmas of 1968 arrived the paper had already folded). For me, British humour comics hardly ever got any better than this. Enjoy!



Two-part story in 1966:

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: