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, April 29, 2013


The Fixer was an unsophisticated strip about a little boy who was always there to fix things for other people in exchange for a bag of sweets, or sometimes simply for the sport of it. Fixer’s cunning plots usually worked fine at first but then backfired leaving him in trouble and without sweets. The first episode and three later ones in issues 6, 7 and 9 were by Peter Davidson. Here’s a panel from issue 6, complete with the artist’s trademark pet in the foreground:

The vast majority of the episodes, however, were by another artist whose name I don’t know. Here are some examples:


The Fixer started in the first issue of SHIVER AND SHAKE. The b/w strip was part of SHAKE section and continued until issue 52, missing six weeks during its run (it was not included in issues 16, 20, 27, 30, 35, 44).

Towards the very end of the run a third illustrator appears to have taken over, but I don’t know his name either…  Here is the last episode:

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Gal Capone was a short-lived strip about a heavyset school girl who was part of a weird kind of gangster underworld. Her rival gang was Manx Mound Mob (consisting of three blokes who all looked like grown-ups or at least disguised themselves as such) with whom Gal Capone fought a ruthless war using cork popguns, peashooters and catapults while driving around in armoured self-propelled cartys. The reason of the conflict wasn’t quite clear – something about rival territories and the town not being big enough for the two of them… 

It’s interesting to note that Gal Capone looked a lot different in SHIVER AND SHAKE 1974 Annual – the gangster ingredient was gone and Gal was more of a regular school bully, not immune from corporal punishment for her wrongdoings at the hands of grow-ups:

Gal Capone started in the first issue of Shiver and SHAKE and ended in issue 21, missing two weeks inbetween (it did not appear in issues 16 and 19). The illustrator was Murray Ball with Les Barton drawing one episode in issue 8.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


World War II history buffs will know that The Desert Fox was the nickname given by the British to Erwin Rommel, German Field Marshal and commander of the Afrika Korps. Editors of SHIVER AND SHAKE picked it as the title of a strip that had its scene set in the desert of North Africa during WWII and depicted the antics of a… fox. The sneaky crafty animal was running back and forth between German (sometimes Italian) and British (sometimes Aussie or French Foreign Legion’s) camps raiding army grub stores. Occasionally he wandered off into an Arab town and pinched food from the natives too.

The Desert Fox didn’t take sides and lived by the motto “All is Fair in Grub and War” but his thieving plots sometimes had side effects such as preventing an enemy attack or causing commotion that the enemy mistook for a surprise attack.

On rare occasions the Fox got rewarded (with food of course) for bringing about an unexpected outcome, but most of the time troops on both sides were busy trying to catch the notorious trickster. Their efforts, however, were usually doomed, as were their rations, because The Desert Fox just couldn’t be outfoxed. 

The feature appeared in the first issue of SHIVER AND SHAKE and continued until issue 74, missing three weeks inbetween (it was not included in issues 55, 71 and 72). Tom Williams was the original artist until issue 19 when Terry Bave took charge (Terry Bave also illustrated the episodes in issues 12 and 17). Starting from issue 32 it was moved from the inside pages of SHAKE to the back cover of the section and given the privilege of full colour presentation (except in issues 34, 53 and 54 when it turned b/w for a while).

Saturday, April 20, 2013


The first inside pages of SHAKE section were reserved for Lolly Pop, a strip named after one of the two main characters – billionaire owner of countless factories and businesses of all kinds, forever anxious to make more ‘brass’. Pop was the perfect miser and penny-pincher as far as other people were concerned and he’d never spare a penny for the modest needs of his lad Archie. Judging by his own words, Pop had lived a rough childhood of deprivation and was reluctant to share his wealth with anyone, not even his son.

Weekly episodes usually followed the same basic pattern: Archie would ask Lolly Pop to buy him something he desperately needed (like a pair of new shoes so that he could go to a friend’s party because his old pair leaked) but skinflint Pop would refuse, telling him that he’d never had the luxury when he was a lad. Archie would then try to do without the goods or secretly help himself to tiny bits of Pop’s wealth but would inevitably find himself in situations that resulted in disproportionate damages to Pop. The damages could have been easily avoided, had the meanie forked out at the very start. In the end Pop usually bought Archie a lot more than he had initially asked for, in hope to avoid trouble in the future.

Archie never caused trouble deliberately: he was kind of jinxed with bad luck and could always be trusted to accidentally pull the wrong lever that put factory machinery in some crazy mode, etc. Pop didn’t take long to realize that allowing Archie to set foot in any of his factories and business premises was a sure recipe to disaster. Therefore he tried to prevent Archie from getting anywhere near by using alarms, hiring private detectives and even the army to keep the lad away. Since his precautions usually led to nothing, more and more weekly episodes ended with enraged Pop’s attempts to get physical on Archie.


As can be seen from the three examples shown above, Lolly Pop was illustrated by as many as three different artists. Reg Parlett (although initially I assumed it was Arthur Martin but the comments below and some further research confirmed I was mistaken), Robert Nixon and Sid Burgon took turns drawing the strip for nearly a year until issue 43 that marked the point from which Sid Burgon took over as the sole illustrator (except for one occasion when he was ghosted by someone else in issue 62). Among the things that I like about Sid Burgon’s Lolly Pop are the large detailed panels depicting the catastrophic effects of Archie’s meddling. They became an attribute of the strip later on in WHOOPEE! but some early examples can also be found in SHIVER AND SHAKE:

Lolly Pop belonged to the category of class warfare strips that were so common in IPC comics of the 70s. The feature occupied the first two inside pages of SHAKE section (except in issues 53-56 when the regular order was upset by Frankie Stein Mini pull-out booklet and Lolly Pop suddenly found itself in SHIVER section towards the end of the paper), so presumably the editors had high expectations for the strip. They proved to be correct: Lolly Pop continued throughout the run of SHIVER AND SHAKE and migrated to the combined WHOOPEE! AND SHIVER & SHAKE where it appeared regularly until 1985 when WHOOPEE was absorbed by WHIZZER AND CHIPS which then became its third home, although I don’t know for how long.

I will sign off with a couple of oddities from the SHIVER AND SHAKE run of Lolly Pop. The lovely set from issue 71 is unusual because Archie proves to have inherited some of Pop’s entrepreneurial skills: 

... while the fragment with the rude finger from SHIVER AND SHAKE issue 47 speaks for itself: