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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The third Frankie Stein Holiday Special (the first one to be called a holiday special after two summer specials in 1975 and 1976) was the fifth Frankie Stein publication. It cost 30 p. and was 64 pages thick. The front cover artwork was by Robert Nixon whose only other contribution was the pull-out poster. Like in the first FS Special, the poster was actually a reprint of the drawing for the front cover of SHIVER AND SHAKE (28th September, 1974 – the penultimate issue of the paper):

There were 40 pages of Frankie Stein and 24 pages of other stuff. The central story was Frankie Stein in Jolly Holidays (Who’s Kidding Who?) consisting of 5 parts (4 pages each), spread across the paper. Frankie and Prof. Cube are off on holiday again but their flight to Spain is delayed. Frankie spends the time examining various stickers on his travel suitcase and reminiscing about their previous holidays which all turned out to be a disaster for poor Dad. 

The memories of the holidays past take up the first 4 parts until they are finally called to board their flight and arrive in sunny Spain:

In part 5 of the story Frankie wastes no time getting into trouble which prompts his desperate parent to make the only attempt to get rid of the ‘big oaf’ in this long 20-page story by signing him up as a matador for a bull-fight.

All 20 pages of the story were drawn by Andy Christine who had illustrated Grizzly Bearhug… Giant and a few early episodes of Tom Thumbscrew in MONSTER FUN COMIC in 1975. Unexpectedly, Andy Christine was the biggest contributor in this WHOOPEE! FRANKIE STEIN HOLIDAY SPECIAL 1977 – he also drew Odd Men Out (a puzzle) and a 2-page set of Ghoul Getters Ltd. which I will mention later on.

The 4-page episode of Monster Movie Makers was unusual in the sense that it featured the star of the paper – Frankie Stein! In this episode assistant director is having a hard time finding a suitable monster to shoot until he runs into Frankie. Illustrated by the artist who signed his work as Mr. Hill (the episode isn't signed though):

If I were to pick my personal highlight in this magazine, it would certainly have to be The Curse of Dr. Jackal by Mike Brown. The one-off story not only featured Frankie Stein as the presenter/story-teller but also the artist himself. I showed the whole set in Part 8 of my series of artist self-portraits some time ago, you can find it HERE (I highly recommend that you check it out!). 

Speaking of non-comic-strip Frankie Stein features, it is worthwhile mentioning Frankie’s Fun Break and Prof. Cube: Inventor – two sets of 2 pages filled with gags by the same artist who drew a few Frankie Stein stories in the earlier FS publications (including Robinson Frankie and Frankie Stein Super-Freak in the second FS annual). The artwork is rather poor but the artist identified himself by signing a couple of gags so I can now confirm him as a Doug Baker:

There were a few strips that were new to FS publications. In the mid-seventies Fun-Fear and Ghoul Getters Ltd. ran side-by-side with Frankie Stein in WHOOPEE! weeklies, so readers probably weren’t too surprised to see them in this WHOOPEE! FRANKIE STEIN HOLIDAY SPECIAL 1977 for the first time. As was often the case, other artists were invited to do the job for the regular ones. I am not sure who substituted Bob Nixon on Fun-Fear but the place of Trevor Metcalfe – the regular illustrator of Ghoul Getters Ltd. in the weeklies, was taken by Andy Christine – the champion of this Holiday Special in terms of the page count (23 all in all): 

Like the previous FS publications, this one included reprints of The Haunts of Headless Harry (5 episodes) and Ghost Ship (3 episodes):

The lineup of reprints was revised by dropping Crabbe's Crusaders and adding two 2-page sets of Barney’s Brainbox – a short-lived strip from COR!! comic, and two 4-pagers of Patch-Eye Hooker Terror of the Seas – a pirate tale from BUSTER of the late 60s (reprints of the strip can also be found in COR!! Holiday Specials and Annuals in 1978 – 1980).

A few years ago original cover artwork for this magazine was offered by Compal Comic Book Auctions. Here is how it was described (please, note that they got the date and the name of the publication wrong once again):  Frankie Stein original cover artwork (1980) drawn and signed by Robert Nixon for Monster Fun Annual 1980 Frankie's fright is menacingly magnified! Poster colour on board. 16 x 15 ins. The winner paid £280; here is the image of the front cover artwork taken from Compal Auctions website:

Images 2014 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Monday, July 28, 2014


I will take a short break from Frankie Stein and Monster Fun Comic and show something else instead. It is not very often that one gets to see original Ken Reid artwork offered on eBay and last week fans had one of those rare opportunities, actually, two of them. Two pages of sketches were up for auction. I can recognise Big Head and Thick Head as well as Jonah’s sister Jinx in the first one, so it must be from 1963 or 1964. The page with artwork on both sides sold for £108.23:

Fudge the Elf is the centre-figure of the second page which was offered in a separate auction. I think I can also recongise a policeman and a thief from Ali-Ha-Ha and the 40 Thieves. I will take a guess that the page is from the early 60s before Ken had given up drawing Fudge the Elf for Manchester Evening News. There is also a possibility that the page is from a later period, perhaps 1963, after Ken recovered from his nervous breakdown. If that’s the case, the artist probably sketched Fudge the Elf for his own pleasure, reminiscing about the character that he had created and drawn for so many years. Oh, and isn’t that Ken Reid’s self-portrait on the other side? The page sold for £173.00: