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.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Now it’s time to take a look at all the strips in COR!! – nearly 70 of them all in all. I plan to cover them in the order in which they appeared in the weeklies so I’ll start with Eddie and Whacky that occupied pages two and three of the first issue.


Eddie – Yawn! I’m bored! (later Eddie – He’s Always Bored). The subtitle explains it all – Eddie was a kid who was always looking for ways to keep himself from being bored.  Usually his attempts resulted in trouble for him or his unfortunate parent. Illustrated beautifully by Graham Allen who contributed a lot of strips in COR!!, Eddie enjoyed a healthy run of 137 episodes from the first issue to issue dated 13th January, 1973 (Nos. 1 – 137).

The page on the right was the last episode of Eddie in COR!! weeklies


Whacky – He’s Always Getting Whacked! Little to add here – the subtitle says it all once again. But for poor Whacky punishment wasn’t limited to just the old slipper or cane from his sadistic teacher Mr. Thwackery. The boy also suffered from a whole arsenal of mechanical gadgets: he got it from a spinning turnstile at the stadium entrance and from tennis balls fired from a tennis-ball cannon; he was whacked with windshield wipers while being stuck between car grill and bumper. There were more exotic ways of whacking too – like getting it from an elephant while being stuck in a kangaroo’s sack with only his arse sticking out... Teacher Thwackery also got a fair share of whacking from the headmaster, the odd bloke or even Whacky himself.

The episode on the left is the first full-page set from issue
dated 12th September, 1970 (No. 15)

Whacky’s sufferings continued from the first issue until 29th September, 1973 (Nos. 1 – 174). At first the strip occupied 2/3 of a page. Starting from the issue of 12th September, 1970 (No. 15) it was promoted to a full-page feature. Several episodes were in full colour and there was one front-page appearance in the issue dated 30th June, 1973. The series was given a proper ending of sorts: Mr. Thwackery announced his retirement. The class presented him with an inscribed cane and Whacky thought his misery was over but he immediately got into trouble with his new neighbour who proved to be no one other than old Mr. Thwackery… Illustrated by Mike Lacey.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Gus Gorilla was COR!! mascot and cover star. He had his own strip named after him that occupied the front page and was in full colour for nearly three years until it was moved to the inside of the paper and turned monochrome. Gus’ weekly antics were followed by a bloke who always showed up out of nowhere in the last panel only to say that you can't make a monkey out of Gus. In the beginning of his career Gus wasn’t a character of many words. In quite a few early episodes he didn’t utter a single word. In fact, there were several covers with hardly any speech balloons at all. Unlike the majority of characters in children’s humour comics Gus rarely interacted with kids. His adventures usually involved grown-ups; a pair of chaps appeared more or less regularly, one was short and on the fat side while the other was tall and lean. They always tried and failed to have fun at Gus’ expense

Gus’ regular artist was Alf Saporito. Some episodes were illustrated by other artists such as Mike Lacey and Sid Burgon.

 Gus Gorilla on front page in colour:  13th June, 1970 – 14th April, 1973 (Nos. 2 – 150, except for the issue dated 6th January, 1973 (No. 136) when the strip was on the back cover because the front page was awarded to The Goodies to celebrate their first week in COR!!).

 Gus Gorilla in b/w inside the paper, usually on the same page with Picture Yourself feature: 21st April, 1973 – 15th June, 1974 (Nos. 151 – 211), full page in issues dated 30th April, 1974 (No. 203), 11th May, 1974 – 15th June, 1974 (Nos. 206-211). 

Gus starred in two other COR!! features: Gus Giggles and Gus Gags. Both ran on the front page concurrently with the Gus Gorilla strip when it was moved to the inside of the comic. Gus Giggles was a three-panel gag cartoon in the same vein as Gus Gorilla only there Gus managed without the moustached bloke and his usual punch line. It ran from 21st April, 1973 until 23rd March, 1974 (Nos. 151 – 199) and was dropped in favour of Gus Gags that appeared during a short period from 30th March, 1974 until 8th June, 1974 (Nos. 200 – 210 (the penultimate issue)). The gags (two of them every week) were drawn from reader’s ideas and contributors received one pound for each cover joke published. Gus Gags feature survived COR!!’s merger with Buster where it continued for as long as the very last issue of 1979.

Monday, March 26, 2012


24 issues of the comic were published in 1974 (Nos. 188 – 211)

Important issues in 1974:
5th January 1974 (No. 188) – New Year issue
30th March, 1974 (No. 200) – New look issue 200
20th April, 1974 (No. 203) – Easter issue
15th June, 1974 (No. 211) – last issue before merger with Buster

Line-up of the first issue of 1974 (5th January, 1974 (No. 188)):
The Slimms / Gus Giggles on front page
Jack Pott
Cor-Medy Choice – second series (2 pages)
Willy Worry
Wonder Worm
Hire a Horror
Tomboy (in full colour)
Rat-Trap (2 pages)
Star Guest feature (2 pages)
Picture Yourself feature + Gus Gorilla
Night Mare
Ivor Lott and Tony Broke (2 centre pages)
Andy’s Ants
Cor!! News Readers’ Special feature
Fiends and Neighbours (2 pages)
Jasper the Grasper (1 ½ pages)
Teacher’s Pet (in full colour)
Tease Break feature
Val’s Vanishing Cream
Professor Corn’s Daft Dictionary Definitions feature
The Gasworks Gang (2 pages)
Football Madd
Jelly Baby
The Slimms (in full colour on back page)

The New Year issue introduced the second series of Cor-Medy Choice feature. In the Christmas issue of 1973 the Editor explained that the first series produced a strong response and proved to them that readers enjoyed choosing a new character for Cor!! so it was decided to run a new series in 1974. This time the candidate list was shorter and consisted of 6 new ideas. The feature ran for six weeks from the first issue of the year until the issue dated 9th February, 1974 (No. 193). Voting coupon was printed in the issue dated 16th February, 1974 (No. 194) and results were announced 6 weeks later in the issue dated 30th March, 1974 (No. 200). 

Until then it was business as usual; there are two small things worth mentioning: first is that for some reason Ivor Lott and Tony Broke temporarily swapped slots with The Gasworks Gang and the latter was given the centre pages from the issue dated 23rd February, 1974 (No. 195) to the issue dated 23rd March, 1974 (No. 199). 

COR!! News Readers' Special with
Knock! Knock! jokes, issue dated
23rd March, 1974 ( No. 199)
Second is that the issues dated 2nd March, 1974 (No. 196) – 23rd March, 1974 (No. 199) trumpeted about the arrival of yet another companion comic Whoopee!, only this time the number of pages wasn’t increased. Incidentally, at about the same time COR!! NEWS printed the first jokes of the KNOCK! KNOCK! series that later became a regular popular feature in Whoopee! (the first one appeared in Cor!! issue dated 12th January, 1974 (No. 189); a few more were in the issue dated 23rd March, 1974 (No. 199) and then in issues No. 205 and No. 206). 

Issue 200 - new cover l
The issue dated 30th March, 1974 (No. 200) was given a new look. The front page was again redesigned and both changes had to do with Gus. First, his familiar screaming face was re-drawn and moved to the right. Second, Gus Giggles feature was dropped and replaced with Gus Gags. A generous prize of £1 (in addition to the star, front cover billing) was offered to the sender of each cover joke published. The response must have been overwhelming and the quantity of material received was enough for two annual-type soft cover COR!! Books of Gags produced in 1976 and 1977. 200 issues old and still storming along!! – boasted the Editor in his special address on page 2:

Cor-Medy Choice No. 2 results were announced. The Editor chose to print total number of votes registered for each entry, confirming that the interest in the feature was indeed fantastic. This time there was not just one but two winners - The Spectre Inspector and Wally’s Weirdies, both to survive merger with Buster that was a little more than 2 months away. The Gasworks Gang enjoyed an excellent part-full-colour treatment that week – a very nice and unusual episode involving play with colours. 
1974 Easter issue

Easter issue dated 20th April, 1974 (No. 203) was the last in which new characters were introduced. Adding new strips to a comic that was about to go under sounds like a daft idea, but there wasn’t much of a choice because two of the three newcomers were winners of the Cor-Medy Choice series that must have been designed and launched before the decision to end the paper was taken. The third was Baron Von-Bonkers the Birdman – a very-amateur looking experiment IMHO and the motives for its inclusion are impossible to understand.

From retrospect we now know that the paper was living its last months, but looking at the early issues of 1974 one can hardly see signs of decline. Sales, however, must have been dwindling. In the last attempt to keep the comic afloat the editors included a large ordering coupon with the comic’s favourite characters. There were nine coupons all in all, the first one in the issue dated 22nd December, 1973 (No. 189) and the last one in the issue dated 11th May, 1974 (No. 206), by which time the writing was on the wall and the days of the comic were numbered. 

In the last weeks signs of decay were beginning to show more prominently – Hire a Horror resorted to reprints of a couple of early Reg Parlett episodes, editors turned a blind eye on some artists (Trevor Metcalfe and Robert Nixon in particular) signing their artwork and some of the sets started looking a bit rushed or were ghosted.

Last issue: front cover and the page of the great news

The infamous Exciting News for all readers was announced in the issue dated 15th June, 1974 (No. 211). The last edition of the paper came with a beautiful cover and Gus’s screaming head was back on the left-hand side of the page where it always belonged. A number of characters (the bloke from Gus, Dr. Rat, The Gasworks Gang, Jelly Baby, Teacher’s Pet, Micky Madd’s dog) bid farewell to the readers in one way or another. And that was the end of COR!!

That week’s BUSTER also broke the news about the forthcoming merger to its readers. The news was on the front cover and occupied one full page inside:

Buster of 15th June, 1974: front cover and the inside page with the news
about merger with COR!!

Strips that started in 1974:
COR-Medy Choice feature, second series – 5th January, 1974 (No. 188)
Gus Gags – front cover feature – 30th March, 1974 (No. 200)
The Spectre Inspector – 20th April, 1974 (No. 203)
Wally’s Weirdies – 20th April, 1974 (No. 203)
Baron Von-Bonkers the Birdman – 20th April, 1974 (No. 203)

Strips that made it to the combined Buster and Cor!!:
The Spectre Inspector
Wally’s Weirdies
Gus’s Gags feature
Ivor Lott and Tony Broke
Val’s Vanishing Cream
Football Madd
Fiends and Neighbours

The Slimms landed in the pages of Whizzer and Chips. Hire A Horror found itself in SHIVER & SHAKE, albeit only for a short span of 10 weeks. Willy Worry ended up in WHOOPEE! where it continued until well into 1978. Jack Pott resurfaced in 1979 in JACKPOT and then migrated to BUSTER after the two comics merged in 1982.

Front page of the first cimbined BUSTER and COR!!

Welcome message to COR!! readers in the first combined BUSTER and COR!!

Announcement of the merger in SHIVER and SHAKE dated 22nd June, 1974.
A similar advert was printed in that week's issue of VALIANT
and possibly other IPC companion comics

1974 COR!! Summer Special
1974 COR!! Summer Special cost 20 p. Page count was down from the usual 96 to just 80. Only one advert appeared in the weekly COR!! on June 15th, 1974 (the last issue). Here is the line-up: Night Mare, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, Wonder Worm, Whacky, Andy’s Ants (some in colour), Fiends and Neighbours, Gus Gorilla, Tease Break feature, The Gasworks Gang, Jack Pott (some in colour), Give a Dog a Bone, Spot the Sun Spots (puzzles page), Chip, “Young” MacDonald and His Farm (adventure, 8 pages), Aqua Lad, Teacher’s Pet (in colour), The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk, Jasper the Grasper, Chalky, Val’s Vanishing Cream, Swopper Stan, Donovan’s Dad and Tomboy.

This time there were four features that weren’t familiar to regular readers of the weeklies; they included two comedy strips: Give a Dog a Bone and Aqua Lad, both reprints from the early Whizzer and Chips where the former was drawn by Graham Allen and the latter by Terry Bave, and two adventure features: The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk, again from the early Whizzer and Chips where it was illustrated by the universal and prolific Frank McDiarmid, and “Young” MacDonald and His Farm by Ron Turner who contributed numerous adventure serials to WHIZZER AND CHIPS in the 70s. I may be wrong but “Young” MacDonald and His Farm looks like new material drawn especially for COR!!  More stories about Young MacDonald appeared in a few later editions of COR!! specials and annuals.

Give a Dog a Bone in 1974 COR!! Summer Special

Aqua Lad from 1974 COR!! Summer Special

The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk from 1974 COR!! Summer Special

"Young" MacDonald and his Farm in 1974 COR!! Summer Special

1975 COR!! Annual cover
Annuals were usually released in the end of Summer or early in the Autumn, so COR!! 1975 Annual appeared after the weekly had already folded. It cost 80 p. and had 160 pages. Here is the line-up of characters: Chalky (some in colour), Hire a Horror (some in colour), Jelly Baby (some in colour), Gus Gorilla (in colour), Jasper’s Money Maze (maze page), Teacher’s Pet (some in colour), Wonder Worm, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke (some in colour), The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk (4 stories, 4 pages each), Football Madd, Jack Pott, Aqua Lad, Andy’s Ants,  Give a Dog a Bone, Night Mare, Val’s Vanishing Cream,  Willy Worry, Tomboy, The Gasworks Gang, Whacky, Chip, Super Spook (adventure, 6 pages), TEASE BREAK feature, Tricky Dicky, Swopper Stan, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (some in colour), The Slimms, Rat-Trap (5 pages, Christmas story), Fiends and Neighbours, Gus Giggles, Helpful Hettie and Jasper the Grasper.

Like in the 1974 Summer Special, there were many reprints of Aqua Lad, Give a Dog a Bone and especially The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk from the early WHIZZER AND CHIPS. The only unfamiliar name to readers of the weeklies or the 1974 COR!! Summer Special was Super Spook. The tale was about a mighty muscular miner Jeremiah Smith who was crushed to death in a mine beneath a mountain during the Gold Rush while trying to save other people. His selfless courage and bravery was rewarded by the gift of eternal life and supernatural powers such as flying. He travelled the World wearing a silly skin-tight costume and doing good deeds as Super Spook. I am not sure if it’s a reprint but some panels look cropped so it may very well be one.

Two sample pages of Super Spook from 1975 COR!! Annual

Some of the regular sets from the weeklies illustrated by their usual artists were particularly nice. Robert Nixon did a marvellous job on his Hire A Horror and Ivor Lott and Tony Broke pages in the annual both in colour and monochrome:

A nice set of Hire a Horror by Robert Nixon in 1975 COR!! Annual

Two sample pages of Robert Nixon's
Ivor Lott and Tony Broke in 1975 COR!! Annual

COR!! Holiday Specials and Annuals continued well into the 80s. I intend to cover them on this blog after I finish the overview of individual strips in the comic (which may take quite a while…)

Sunday, March 25, 2012


52 issues of the comic were published in 1973 (Nos. 136 – 187)

Important issues in 1973:
6th January 1973 (No. 136) – New Year + first new look cover
10th March, 1973 (No. 145) – bumper issue, 40 pages, SHIVER and SHAKE adverts
21st April, 1973 (No. 151) – Easter issue + permanent change of cover layout
15th September, 1973 (No. 172) – bumper issue, 40 pages, Football Star No. 1 adverts
6th October 1973 (No. 175) – free gift issue
13th October, 1973 (No. 176) – free gift double treat issue
20th October (No. 177) – pull-out comic No. 2
27th October, 1973 (No. 178) – Pull-out Cor-mic No. 3
3rd November, 1973 (No. 179) – Pull-out Cor-mic No. 4
8th December, 1973 (No. 184) – price increases to 4 p.
29th December 1973 (No. 187)– Christmas issue

Line-up of the first issue of 1973 (6th January, 1973 (No. 136)):
The Goodies cover
Football Madd
The Goodies – 2 pages
Andy’s Ants
Shiver and Shake
Teacher’s Pet (in full colour)
Rat-Trap – 3 pages
Jelly Baby
Star Guest feature
Jack Pott
Ivor Lott and Tony Broke – 2 centre pages
The Slimms
Cor!! News Sheet feature
Wonder Worm
5 Minute Wanda
Jasper the Grasper – 1 ½ pages
Hire a Horror (in full colour)
Donovan’s Dad
The Gasworks Gang
Tricky Dicky
Swopper Stan
Gus Gorilla in full colour on back page

1973 New Year issue - the first one with a
new cover layout since the
premiere issue in 1970
To give COR!! a New Year boost, the Editor introduced two new fun features: The Goodies and Five Minute Wanda. Zoo Sue and Helpful Hettie were axed to make room for the new arrivals. The television fame of the Goodies was a good enough reason to change the layout of the front cover for the first time since issue one, with the three comedians proudly pedalling their three-man bicycle on the front cover. Gus Gorilla had to content himself with the back page that week. A week later things came back to normal.

Nothing much happened in terms of new developments for a few months – Whacky was receiving his regular thrashings, the Goodies kept doing anything anytime, Patsy kept trying (and failing) to become her teacher’s pet, Micky Madd kept doing keepie-up, Jack Lott never missed an opportunity to gamble, Dr. Rat kept rasping at readers who never got tired of designing ingenious traps to round him up, Ma and Pa Slimms kept trying to stuff themselves silly with grub, Ivor Lott kept getting himself into trouble because he was such a mean rotter, Chalky kept drawing, miserly meanie Jasper the Grasper kept penny-pinching and hoarding, horrors from Hire a Horror kept scaring, Donovan’s Dad still couldn’t control his strength, Tomboy kept upsetting her Mum, Jelly Baby kept stretching her limbs, the Gasworks Gang was as dangerous as ever, Swopper Stan kept swopping stuff and of course you still couldn’t make a monkey out of Gus.

The smooth pace was upset slightly in the issue dated 10th March, 1973 (No. 145) when the comic received 8 extra pages, 4 of which trumpeted about the arrival of the new super two-in-one fun comic Shiver and Shake. This also meant that now there was one more source of guests for the Star Guest feature in addition to Knockout and Whizzer and Chips.

1973 Easter issue - the first one with the
permanent change of the cover design
and a number of surprises inside
The next overhaul took place in Easter Fun edition dated 21st April, 1973 (No. 151). Firstly and perhaps most importantly, there was a change of the cover layout. Gus Gorilla feature disappeared from the front page, or to be more precise, it was re-packaged as Gus Giggles – a three-panel gag cartoon. It appeared beside a splash panel that was part of one of that week’s stories inside the paper. That said, it was common knowledge that you couldn’t make a monkey out of Gus (or drop a strip that appeared on the front cover for nearly three years); indeed, it was transferred to the inside of the comic and continued as a black-and-white feature until Cor!! folded in 1974. As for the splash panel, the characters rotated all the time: one week it was Hire a Horror, then it was The Goodies, followed by Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, and so forth. There wasn’t a single feature that didn’t appear on the front page since the new layout was introduced.

Examples of covers with the new layout

Changes weren’t limited to just the cover. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? was a new comedy feature that debuted on page two. The issue dated 21st April, 1973 (No. 151) also saw the beginning of the Cor-Medy Choice series that was introduced to give readers a chance to select a new fun-series from ten brand new comedy ideas presented over a period of ten weeks. At the end of the series readers were given the opportunity to vote on which story should appear in COR! regularly as a complete series. The last change in the issue dated 21st April, 1973 (No. 151) was that of the title and masthead of what used to be COR!! NEWS SHEET. It became COR!! NEWS Easter Eggs-tra in the Easter issue, and then COR!! NEWS Readers’ Special from the issue dated 28th April, 1973 (No. 152). Starting from the summer months the news feature shrunk to a single page and became less cluttered with text; the Editor’s comments were becoming increasingly scarce. 

Example of COR!! News Readers' Special

Winner of the COR-MEDY CHOICE series was announced in the issue dated 1st September, 1973 (No. 170). It was Val’s Vanishing Cream; the strip joined COR!! line-up as a regular feature and fared sufficiently well to survive merger with BUSTER where it continued until the end of 1976.

The issue dated 6th October, 1973 (No. 175) marked the beginning of a series of five successive free-gift and pull-out issues. In all likelihood it was an attempt to boost declining sales. The issue dated 6th October, 1973 (No. 175) came with a free gift RATTY RAASSPER – the biggest noise in town. The gift was a tie-in with the popular reader-participation feature Rat Trap. Those who bought the third issue of the comic back in 1970 would have remembered that it was the same cardboard sleeve with a rubber band and a metal hoop inside that made a rasping sound as it spun around inside the envelope, but with Rat Trap strip going strong, the gift was quite appropriate. Three new features were introduced in the first free gift issue, they were Willy Worry, Night Mare and Professor Corn’s Daft Dictionary. The latter was another reader participation feature inviting readers to send in their Daft Dictionary Definitions and receive 50p for each definition published.

Front pages of 1973 free gift issues

Issue dated 13th October, 1973 (No. 176), the second issue in the series, offered a double treat of the Jumping Skeleton free gift and pocket COR-MIC part one (two super-surprises for all readers). Until recently COR!! wasn’t equipped to offer pull-outs because its pages were glued rather than stapled, so pulling pages out would have been problematic. COR!! became a stapled paper from the beginning of 1973 and the obstacle was removed. The COR-MIC pull-out was a nice combination of popular strips, pop/rock star photos and gags and received some very positive reader comments. COR-MIC pull-out booklet consisted of 4 parts that came with 4 consecutive issues.

COR-MIC pull out Pt. 4 in COR!! issue dated
3rd November, 1973 (No. 179)

The issue dated 20th October, 1973 (No. 177) had to be given 8 extra pages to accommodate all the goodness and 4 pages promoting Walt Disney’s GOOFY AND PLUTO Issue No. 1, while the paper’s only 3-page feature Rat Trap was reduced to two pages from that issue onwards.

Fiends and Neighbours from the pen of Graham Allen was one of the last additions to the line-up but a very strong one; it debuted without much fanfare in the issue dated 24th November, 1973 (No. 182).

In the issue of 1st December, 1973 (No. 183) the Editor informed with regrets that commencing with next week’s issue the price of Cor!! had to go up to 4p because of rising production costs. He also felt it was necessary to let his readers know that the increase had, of course, been submitted to and approved by the Prices Commission…

1973 Christmas edition

Strips that ended in 1973:
Eddie – 13th January, 1973 (No. 137)
Shiver and Shake – 3rd February, 1973 (No. 140)
Donovan’s Dad – 14th April, 1973 (No. 150)
Swopper Stan – 14th April, 1973 (No. 150)
5 Minute Wanda – 14th April, 1973 (No. 150)
Chip – 15th September, 1973 (No. 172)
Whacky – 29th September, 1973 (No. 174)
Tricky Dicky – 29th September, 1973 (No. 174)
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf – 29th September, 1973 (No. 174)
COR-Medy Choice feature, first series – 18th August, 1973 (No. 168)
The Goodies – 29th December, 1973 (No. 187)

Strips that started in 1973:
The Goodies – 6th January, 1973 (No. 136)
5 Minute Wanda – 6th January, 1973 (No. 136)
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf – 21st April, 1973 (No. 151)
COR-Medy Choice feature, first series – 21st April, 1973 (No. 151)
Gus Giggles front page feature – 21st April, 1973 (No. 151)
Val’s Vanishing Cream – 1st September, 1973 (No. 170)
Willy Worry – 6th October, 1973 (No. 175)
Daft Dictionary Definitions feature – 6th October, 1973 (No. 175)
Night Mare – 6th October, 1973 (No. 175)
Fiends and Neighbours – 24th November, 1973 (No. 182)

1973 COR!! Summer Special
1973 COR!! Summer Special cost 18 p. and had the usual 96 pages. Promotion in the weeklies commenced on 7th July 1973. The line-up was as follows: Whacky, Tomboy (some in colour), Wonder Worm, Chip, Hire A Horror, Helpful Hettie, Andy’s Ants, Gus Gorilla, Tease Break! feature, Well, What Do You Know??? feature, Swopper Stan, Tricky Dicky, Jim’s Genie, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?, Jack Pott, The Gasworks Gang, Football Madd, Tales of Tollgate (adventure, 12 pages), Jelly Baby (in colour), Jasper the Grasper, Donovan’s Dad, The Bouncers (10 pages), Teacher’s Pet, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, Gus Gorilla.

Same as in the 1972 Summer Special, the vast majority of the strips were nicely drawn by their regular artists.

This time there were as many as 3 unfamiliar entries: Jim’s Genie and The Bouncers were comedy features, while Tales of Tollgate were an adventure serial. The latter was a reprint of the strip Tales of Tollgate School from LION from the 60s (also reprinted as Adventures at Tollgate in the short-lived GIGGLE comic in 1966-1967). The Bouncers was a reprint from another old comic Swift where it was drawn by Peter Maddocks and appeared in the period 1959 – 1960. Jim’s Genie must have also been a reprint. That said, the three strips weren’t the only reprints in the 1972 Summer Special: a number of features that ran in the weeklies at that time were also reprints from older comics; they included Wonder Worm (from Buster), Chip (from POW!) and Helpful Hettie (from GIGGLE). Well, What do you know??? feature by Reg Parlett was probably also a reprint.

Tales of Tollgate from 1973 COR!! Summer Special

The Bouncers from 1973 COR!! Summer Special

Jim'e Genie from 1973 COR!! Summer Special

COR!! Annyal 1974 cover
Promotion of the 1974 COR!! Annual started in the weekly edition of COR!! dated 15th September 1973. The book was priced 70 p and had 160 pages. Here is the lineup of strips and features: Whacky (3 episodes, two in full colour), Hire A Horror (in full colour), Gus Gorilla (3 episodes, two in full colour), Fun on Four Wheels (gags), Wonder Worm (6 episodes), The Gasworks Gang (2 episodes), Ug and Tug the Peace Makers (4 episodes), Chip (4 episodes), Four Alone and the Sky Jackers (8 pages), The Slimms (2 episodes), Football Madd (2 episodes), Tomboy (2 episodes, one in full colour), Jelly Baby (2 episodes), Tricky Dicky (2 episodes), Tell-Tale Tess (2 episodes), Jasper the Grasper (2 episodes), Swopper Stan (2 episodes), Chalky (2 episodes), Zoo Sue (2 episodes), Andy’s Ants (2 episodes), Picture Crosswords feature, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke (2 episodes), Lucky Charmer (2 episodes), Teacher’s Pet, Tease Break feature (2 installments), Scene Stealers (gags), Hire A Horror, Eddie (2 episodes), The Goodies (4 pages), Helpful Hettie, Donovan’s Dad (2 episodes), 5 Minute Wanda (2 episodes), Jack Pott (2 episodes), Dr What and His Time Clock (12 pages), Fur and Feather Frolics (gags).

The book contained an original 4-page episode of the Goodies by Joe Colquhoun. It was the only appearance of the Goodies in COR!! annuals because the strip was licensed to COR!! for just one year 1973.

Opening pages of the Goodies in COR!! 1974 Annual

Dr What and His Time Clock made his second (but not the last) appearance in COR!! publications after 1972 COR!! Summer Special and will be covered in a separate blogpost later on.

Three pages of gags were a prelude to the two COR!! Books of Gags released two and three years later. The books will also be covered separately.

British annuals were always about Christmas. In the 1974 COR!! book two episodes of my favourite COR!! features ended with nice Christmas-themed ‘splash’ panels:

The Gasworks Gang splash panel by Frank McDiarmid from COR!! 1974 Annual
Jasper the Grasper splash panel from COR!! 1974 Annual