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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


The hardcover book came with a poorly drawn cover that had nothing to do with the Frankie Stein story inside; it was 112 pages thick and cost £2.25.

Contents: The Abominable Ho-Ho Man (gags in full colour on front endpapers by Artie Jackson), Draculass (3 two-pagers by Terry Bave, including one in colour), Freaky Farm (2 three-pagers by Russel Brooke, including one in colour), King Arthur and His Frights of the Round Table (a three-pager and 2 two-pagers, reprints from WHOOPEE!, two by Robert Nixon and one by a ghost artist), The Little Monsters (three sets by Martin Baxendale: at The Zoo; at the Sports Day; at the Garden Centre), Kid Kong (a four-pager and a three-pager (reprint) by Robert Nixon), Art’s Gallery (2 two-pagers by Mike Lacey, probably reprints), Brainy and His Monster Maker (a two-pager by Tom Williams and 2 two-pagers by someone else), Mummy’s Boy (2 two-pagers by Norman Mansbridge), Hot Rod (2 two-pagers of reprints from WHIZZER AND CHIPS, artwork by Alf Saporito), Major Jump (a two-pager and a one-pager, both reprints from MFC weeklies, artwork by Ian Knox), The Ghost Train (2 three-pagers reprinted from WHOOPEE, artwork by Brian Walker), Frankie Stein (a 6-pager by Robert Nixon), X-Ray Specs (3 three-pagers, all reprints, artwork by Mike Lacey), Terror TV (a 4-pager and a 3-pager, artwork by Barrie Appleby), Monster Mirth (1 page of gags by Artie Jackson and 1 page of gags in colour by Tom Paterson (reprints)), Badtime Bedtime Story: One Billion Years B.C. (an 8-page set by Mike Brown); Frankie’s Fun Pages (2 two-pagers of puzzles), Ronnie’s Robot (a 2-pager by Mike Brown), Gums (a 2-pager by Robert Nixon); Tom Thumbscrew (a 2-pager by Norman Mansbridge), Strong Silent Type (Frankie Stein strip cartoons by Sid Burgon, reprints from Shiver and Shake), Dough Nut and Rusty (a 3-pager in colour by Jim Crocker), Teddy Scare (a 3-pager in colour by Barrie Appleby).

Russel Broke was put in charge of Freaky Farm for the second year in a row. In the first episode two treasure seekers visit Freaky Farm armed with their metal detectors and run into a giant worm with a machine gun, a speaking tree, a monster queen bee and a freaky tractor:

In the second episode the army pick Freaky Farm for their exercise:

In Kid Kong Gran’s uncle Bert comes to visit from Australia:

Robert Nixon’s other contribution was a new 6-page episode of Frankie Stein. In it Prof. Cube tries to get rid of the ‘gormless goon’ by building a swing with rubber ropes and using it to catapult Frankie out of his life, but ends up with more repair and damage bills. He becomes a street artist and musician to raise money. Frankie decides to help him and proves to be so good at it that a record company offers him a big contract:

In one of her three stories in this Annual Draculass finds her chamber of horrors in a French restaurant:

The two shows featured in the double-helping of Terror TV in this Annual were The Ghoul Old Days and Some Monsters Do ‘ave ‘em. Both were drawn by Barrie Appleby who also illustrated the episode of Teddy Scare:

It’s good to see a new Badtime Bedtime Story after a two-year break. In One Billion Years. B.C. school boy Terry shares a story of how he went back in time. Here are the opening two pages:

This was the last Badtime Bedtime Story ever but it wasn’t Mike Brown’s only work in this Annual:

Mike Brown isn’t the only disciple of Leo Baxendale whose work features in this book - Martin Baxendale provided three panoramas of the Little Monsters and here’s one:

There are two more MFC Annuals  remaining …

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


The Annual contained a few nice surprises. I will start with the episode of Kid Kong by Frank McDiarmid. I can’t remember ever seeing another one by him before. The story isn’t particularly original: it’s almost Christmas and Kid has no money for Gran’s present so he takes a job with the post office. This is the third MF Annual with Kid Kong facing a cash problem before X-mas, and the second time he takes a postie’s job to solve it, but Mr. McDiarmid’s work really makes it shine:

After all the chaos and destruction, everybody’s happy in the end:

There are two episodes of Freaky Farm in this Annual, neither by the regular artist Jim Watson. In the first one Jousting Society hold a tournament on Farmer’s land. Artwork by Russel Brooke. Here is the first page:

The four-pager by Ian Knox is my favourite one:

And finally, here’s a set of The Little Monsters by Martin Baxendale who clearly took a few lessons from his Dad. There are two installments of the feature in this Annual and the other one is called The Little Monsters Down on the Farm! Make sure you click on the image below to enlarge it and have fun examining all the fine detail!

All Images 2015 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


In comparison with the previous Annual, the page count shrunk even further from 128 to 112 and the price came up to £1.95.

CONTENTS: Martha’s Monster Make-Up (two 2-pagers by Ken Reid, including one in colour), Kid Kong (a 4-pager in full colour by Frank McDiarmid), Monster Mirths (2 pages of gag cartoons by Artie Jackson, one in colour), The Ghost Train (8 pages of reprints from WHOOPEE!, artwork by Brian Walker),  Hot Rod (6 pages of reprints from WHIZZER AND CHIPS, artwork by Alf Saporito), Gums (two 2-pagers by John Geering), Tom Thumbscrew (two 2-pagers by Barrie Appleby), Freaky Farm (a 3-pager by Russel Brooke and a 4-pager by Ian Knox), Fiery Fun (1 page of gags by Artie Jackson), Creature Teacher (two 3-pagers by Tom Williams), Major Jump Horror Hunter (2 reprints from MFC comic, artwork by Barrie Appleby), Draculass (two 2-pagers by Terry Bave, including one in colour), Mummy’s Boy (a 2-pager and one reprint from MFC, both by Norman Mansbridge), Frankie Stein (three 2-pagers reprinted from WHOOPEE!, artwork by Robert Nixon), Ghostly Giggles (1 page of gags by Artie Jackson), King Arthur and His Frights of the Round Table (three 3-pagers reprinted from WHOOPEE!, artwork by Robert Nixon), X-Ray Specs (two 2-pagers by Mike Lacey and a 3-pager by Paul Ailey), Doug Nut and Rusty (a 3-pager and a 2-pager in colour on back endpapers, both by Jim Crocker), Brainy and His Monster Maker (two 2-pagers by Tom Williams), George ‘n his Magic Dragon (a 4-pager by Alan Rogers), Frankie’s Monster Mountain Game (reprint from MFC), Art’s Gallery (a 3-pager), Little Monsters (two 2-page sets by Martin Baxendale), Monster Mind (2 pages of puzzles), Terror TV (a 4-pager by Barrie Appleby), Teddy Scare (a 2-pager by Barrie Appleby).

As had become a custom in MF Annuals, a large proportion of the book was filled with reprints - I can confirm 36 pages but there are probably more. The majority is first-class material from the hands of Alf Saporito (on Hot Rod), Brian Walker (on Ghost Train):

… and Bob Nixon on Frankie Stein and King Arthur and His Frights of the Round Table).  They even did a good job processing one episode into a full-colour affair; check out both versions side-by-side. The b/w one is from WHOOPEE! No. 5 (click to enlarge):

Barrie Appleby was once again the champion in terms of page-count, but I am unsure how many were new and how many were reprints. I know for sure that both sets of Major Jump were reprinted from MONSTER FUN COMIC weeklies (Nos. 33 and 37) but Tom Thumbscrew, Teddy Scare and Terror TV may very well be new material. Here is the opening page of Terror TV:

Barrie Appleby mastered a prefect imitation of Reg Parlett’s monsters, don’t you think?:

Ken Reid provided two double-page episodes of Martha’s Monster Make-Up. This is a third year in a row (!!) that one of the stories involves bullies whom Martha teaches a lesson with the help of a monsterized snowman and some snowballs:

In the second story Martha uses her cream on a tramp for a change and helps him prove he’s not useless because he can now take a job as a scarecrow…

Tom Williams, another regular contributor in MF Annuals, provided two sets of Brainy and his Monster Maker and two sets of Creature Teacher. In one Teach takes class 3X to visit the local fire-station:

… while the other one comes with this dramatic logo:

… and shows class 3X get medieval on the poor woodwork teacher:

… and build a coffin for Teach:

John Geering’s input is four pages of Gums. In the first episode Bluey tricks Gums out of his false teeth by making him get rid of the old set and replace it with one made of steel, and then using a super-strong magnet to pull it out of the shark’s jaws. Bluey smashes the old false teeth to bits but two fossil collectors reconstruct the set. Gums ambushes them and is back in business again. Here are the opening pages of both episodes. I like the way Mr. Geering experimented with his layouts in this Annul:

There is quite a lot of X-Ray Specs this time: although Mike Lacey was the regular illustrator of the feature in MFC and later BUSTER weeklies, he rarely did X-Ray Specs for MF Annuals. Here is one of the two sets by Mr. Lacey:

There is also one by another artist who I believe is Paul Ailey:

In George ‘n his Magic Dragon by Alan Rogers George and Cedric the dragon deal with Bully Bloggs:

And before I finish this first part of the overview, here are two out of the 4 pages of gags drawn in this annual by Artie Jackson:

In Part Two I will look at some of the pleasant surprises contained in this Annual, such as Frank McDiarmid’s take on Kid Kong, two episodes of Freaky Farm by illustrators who’d never worked on the feature before and some super-nice artwork by an artist who’d learned from the best....

All Images 2015 © Egmont UK Ltd.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.