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.

Monday, December 31, 2012


With the New Year just a few hours away, I will end this string of Holiday Season posts with my personal favourite Shiver and Shake annual cover. It serves as a nice intro to the series about Shiver and Shake comic that I hope to do in 2013.  By happy coincidence, the year marks the 40th anniversary since the comic first appeared.  

Happy New Year everyone!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Today I’ll do something I don’t normally do on this blog and volunteer a few personal details. Some of my readers may know that I live in Lithuania. When I was a kid it was still part of the mighty old Soviet Union, a country where they tried to do away with Christmas. Why? Because it is a religious holiday and stern builders of Communism weren’t supposed to be religious or celebrate Christian holidays. They celebrated New Year big time instead. I’m not saying us kids didn’t enjoy ourselves back then – New Year festivities and Father Frost was always a highlight of the season at home, at the kindergarten and at school. 

That's my three-year-old self at a New Year's
party in the kindergarten some 40+ years ago.

There was this cute little rhyme that every boy and girl of my generation knew and still knows by heart. Here is my English translation (a word-by-word one but you’ll have to trust me that it does sound sweet in Lithuanian): Branchy fir-tree / Green fir-tree / Shaggy bear visits her in the woods / Woodpeckers pecker at her slender trunk / Pupils dress her on New Year’s eve. Not a word about Christmas, see?
The reason I am writing this is because the other day I came across a short article about the rhyme. It turns out that it no longer goes down well with the kids of today because they dress their Christmas trees on Christmas and not the New Year’s eve. In order for the rhyme to make sense to kids, some kindergarten teachers changed the last line by dropping New Year and replacing it with Christmas. Word-by-word, the line now goes like this:  Pupils dress her on the night before Christmas.’ The teachers had to use the wording ‘the night before Christmas’ rather than ‘Christmas eve’ to make it rhyme in Lithuanian, but created another problem – kids still find it illogical because normally they don’t decorate their Christmas trees at night…   Of course, children have their own ways of explaining things. The article quotes a little boy who has memorized the ‘new’ version of the rhyme and knows from his parents and teachers that Christmas was sort of banned back in the day. Here is what he had to say: ‘Folks weren’t allowed to celebrate Christmas in the old days, but now its OK, as long as we do it at night and the Russians can’t see us’. I am not sure if my English readers will grasp the humour of this comment but it had me laughing out loud when I read it.

While I am on the subject of the old days, I might also reveal that many Christmases ago I used to be a freelance cartoonist and my comics appeared regularly in the national humour magazine for three years or so. Below are proof-prints of a New Year tale that I drew to a short story of a famous Lithuanian writer who wrote in the age when there was no Christmas. The strip was drawn and printed in 1991. I drew the original on A4 size paper in ink and water colours and lettered it too. I won’t bother with translation but here is a brief synopsis of the plot: village kindergarten teacher asks the janitor to dress as Santa and hide in the old closet to surprise the kids. The troubles begin on New Year’s Eve when a new closet is delivered to the kindergarten and the old one with the janitor dozing inside is loaded onto a truck to be taken to the dump. Having travelled some distance out of the village, the truck runs out of fuel and the poor janitor breaks free. He tries to ask his acquaintance for help but she doesn’t recognize him. The janitor can’t take off his beard because it is glued. Embarrassed by the silly looks he shuns people but runs into his nephew who takes him to the nearby village where the locals are gathered in the club to see in the New Year. The janitor wishes the villagers a Happy New Year on behalf of his village and gives presents to the local kids. Grateful and impressed by the neighbors’ initiative, villagers drive him back to his village in the morning… 

Thursday, December 27, 2012


A little behind the schedule due to the various Christmas functions, etc., here is the last part of the Faceache Christmases series.

IMHO, Ken Reid’s artwork suffered a decline in quality in the 80s, hitting its low in 1983 – 1985. His characters gradually became static and ‘tired’, panel layouts monotonous and boring. Mr. Reid must have been dissatisfied with his work as well because he stopped signing his Faceache sets in the beginning of 1982. Weekly installments became increasingly irregular with Frank McDiarmid stepping in more and more frequently as the substitute artist.

As the 80s progressed, Mr. Reid developed a new style that I find quite appealing in its own way, especially if not viewed in the context of his work of the 6os and 70s. I therefore completely understand the fans who like the later version of Faceache too. The last Christmas episode from 1986 serves as a nice example to illustrate the point.

Below is the chronological sequence of Faceache Christmas episodes from 1979 till 1986:

Monday, December 24, 2012


In Buster and Monster Fun with the cover date of Jan 14th, 1978 Dad got the news that he’d won £ 75,000 in the pools and immediately decided to go on the World cruise that he has always dreamed about. Realising they’ll get kicked out of hotels all over the Globe because of Faceache’s scrunging hobby, Dad takes Faceache to the Belmonte School for Uncontrollable Young Whelps and leaves the boy for good in the iron hands of Mr. Albert Thrashbottom, the Headmaster, and Mr. Snipe, the Teacher. The episode marked the beginning of Belmonte School era that lasted until the strip ended.

Here is the 1978 Christmas episode, the first one at Belmonte School:

As a Christmas gift to my readers, below are some close-up scans of the original artwork. I am puzzled about ‘No. 262’ and ‘FLY’ written in pencil at the top left corner of the original page – I just can’t make any sense of this. Also, you can see the title of an earlier episode (The Pied Piper) underneath the glued piece of paper with the text ‘at Belmonte School’. The artwork page is four times the size of the printed page in the paper. Enjoy! :)