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.

Showing posts with label Badtime Bedtime Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Badtime Bedtime Books. Show all posts

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, February 17, 2015


I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that Barrie Appleby was not available to contribute to MONSTER FUN Annual 1980 and the strips which would have been drawn by him were given to another artist (or other artists) to illustrate. I can’t decide whether it was Joe McCaffrey or Reg Parlett, or maybe both of them on different strips. Or perhaps it was Barrie Appleby all along, imitating Reg Parlett?

They include both sets of Terror TV. The first one featured The Multi-Horror Swap Shock! show and the other one – All Creatures Big and Small. Here it is in full:

Two episodes of Teddy Scare also fall within the category:


… as do both episodes of Tom Thumbscrew:

… as does Brainy and His Monster Maker. One of the two episodes is called Brainy’s Monster Maker. I can see traces of Barrie Appleby, Reg Parlett/Joe McCaffrey and even Frank McDiarmid in this one, here it is in full:

So, who do you think illustrated these?

The Annual contains a fair share or reprints, including the second Badtime Bedtime Book (Robinson Gruesome by Leo Baxendale) from the second issue of Monster Fun Comic weekly. The reprint is twice the size of the original BBB and is printed in b/w:

Now for the highlights, which, for me, are the strips from the hand of Mike Brown. I believe he was responsible for three in this Annual, although none were signed. A Christmas Phanto-Mime is first in line and the only one I have some doubts about regarding artwork credits. I tend to think it is by Mike Brown, but drawn a few years earlier when he was just starting to work on Badtime Bedtime Books in MONSTER FUN COMIC. See for yourselves and let me know what you think:

Alfie’s Alphabet is a hilarious one-off:

And finally, here is the indispensable new Badtime Bedtime StoryAladdin - a mad combination of the oriental tale, Star Wars and whatnot. There's even the artist's self-portrait on page two. Enjoy!

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


The third Monster Fun Annual was 144 pages thick and cost £1.25. The unusual cover design with just the large portrait of Kid Kong by Bob Nixon is not the only thing that makes it stand out amongst other MF Annuals: unusually for the times, it was printed on quality white paper which doesn’t look like it is prone to browning. Unlike the previous two editions, this one has no adventure stories.

Contents: Draculass (two 2-page stories by Terry Bave, one in b/w and one in colour on front endpapers), Monster Mirth feature (2 pages, including one in full colour), Kid Kong (three 4-pagers: two by Bob Nixon (UPDATE: They were probably by Rob Lee - thanks, Andy, for pointing this out!)), including one in colour, and one by another artist), The Ghost Train (7 pages (2 episodes) of reprints from the early issues of WHOOPEE!, art by Brian Walker), Hot Rod (4 episodes, all reprints from WHIZZER AND CHIPS, art by Alf Saporito), Rex (a 6-pager by Alan Rogers), Ticklish Allsorts feature (2 installments by Les Barton), King Arthur and his Frights of the Round Table (reprints from the early issues of WHOOPEE!, art by Bob Nixon, three 3-pagers), Lunchin’ Vulture (3 episodes reprinted from the early issues of WHOOPEE!, art by Frank McDiarmid), Boggles Super Ace Detective (Badtime Bedtime Story by Mike Brown, 8 pages), The Little Monsters (3 spot-the-difference puzzles, 2 full pages each by Tom Williams, and two 2-pagers by Sid Burgon), Mucky Mick (3 episodes – two 2-pagers and one single page episode by an artist whose name  I don’t know),  Brainy and His Monster Maker (two 2-pagers by Barrie Appleby), Gums (a 4-pager by John Geering), X-Ray Specs (two episodes – a 3-pager featuring Mummy’s Boy and a 4-pager, both by Tom Williams), Martha’s Monster Make-Up (a 2-pager by Ken Reid), Freaky Farm (a 4-pager by Jim Watson), Dough Nut and Rusty (two episodes – a 4-pager and a 3-pager in full colour by Jim Crocker) , Croc (reprint from WHIZZER AND CHIPS, art by Mike Lacey), Frankie Stein (two 2-pagers - reprints from the early issues of WHOOPEE!, art by Bob Nixon), It’s a Scream feature (2 pages of gags by Jim Crocker), Fun Fear (a 2-pager, probably by Mr. Hill), Ghost Town (a 2-pager reprinted from WHIZZER AND CHIPS, artwork by Tom Williams), Art’s Gallery (a 4-pager by an artist whose name I don’t know), Tom Thumbscrew (a 6-pager by Barrie Appleby), Terror TV (a 4-pager by Barrie Appleby), Creature Teacher (a 4-pager by Tom Williams), Major Jump (a 4-pager by Barrie Appleby), Teddy Scare (a 2-pager in colour by Barrie Appleby), Mummy’s Boy (a 2-pager in colour on back endpapers by Trevor Metcalfe, possibly a reprint).

The Annual is a bit on the heavy side of reprints but Hot Rod is the only reprint strip seen in earlier MF books. The list of reprints was expanded with first rate artwork by some of IPC’s top talent from the early issues of WHOOPEE! and includes The Ghost Train by Brian Walker, Lunchin’ Vulture by Frank McDiarmid:

... Frankie Stein by Bob Nixon and the absolutely beautiful King Arthur and his Frights of the Round Table, also by Bob Nixon:

All in all, that's 23 pages of reprints of early WHOOPEE! strips. Looking at them I couldn’t help pulling out the box with my early WHOOPEE! comics and admiring the quality artwork that the paper was chock-full from cover to cover in the mid-seventies. I really must get round to doing that detailed review of WHOOPEE! I’ve been meaning to do for so long…

Mr. Nixon’s early work in the reprints is a lot more detailed in comparison with his new strips. Looking at his two Kid Kong sets in this annual, I even wonder if they are indeed Mr. Nixon’s work (UPDATE: they aren't. In all likelihood both episodes were illustrated by by Rob Lee - thanks, Andy, for pointing this out in your comment below!): 

In the first of the two episodes that I believe are by Robert Nixon, Kid enjoys the white Christmas and in the second one he tries to earn some money to buy Gran a Christmas present. In the 4-pager by another artist Kid and Gran check into a posh hotel and Kid nearly gets them kicked out but the flood caused by Kid’s tears puts out a fire in the kitchen. As a reward, the hotel manger allows them to stay and the chef treats them to the Christmas dinner of Kid’s dreams:

The style looks familiar but I can’t put a name to it:

The episode of Gums was illustrated by John Geering. In it Bluey tricks Gums into taking a bite on his surfboard made of sticky toffee and pulls his false teeth out.  The shark resorts to playing dead in order to get his choppers back.

There are two completely new stories in this book.  Rex is about a gluttonous baby Tyrannosaurus Rex who hatches from the egg found in an ancient box labelled “not to be opened until 1978” buried deep under the ground. First he wins a fancy dress competition, then a short-sighted kid takes him to school:

Mucky Mick is about a boy whose “gimmick” is getting dirty and hating to wash. I don’t know the name of the artist but wasn’t he the one who illustrated Goon Platoon in the early issues of WHOOPEE! ? UPDATE: the character originally appeared in KNOCKOUT in the early 70s, so in all likelihood it is a reprint rather than new material drawn especially for this MF Annual 1979.

Fun Fear was a regular strip in WHOOPEE! (usually drawn by Bob Nixon and occasionally by Brian Walker) and is seen for the first time in a MF publication. I wouldn’t bet mo money on it, but I think the episode in this book may have been drawn by Mr. Hill:

Group Captain Brown (aka Mike Brown) contributed a classic 8-page Badtime Bedtime Story Boggles Super Ace Detective about Airborne Division of Police Air H.Q. and the daft aces Boggles and Wingco. 

The pair are sent on a mission to fight the fiendish Doktor Grotti who bombards London with his giant mushroom missiles and infests the city with toadstools. 

More by accident than by design, the villain and his henchman end up in the soup… 

Like many classic BBBs, this one had side gags, loony advertisements, jokey riddles and interruptions by the reader’s adviser and of course ‘the Amazing Leonard Rottingsocks’.

Santa Claus calls at Freaky Farm to give Farmer his present but quickly comes to regret it:

In Martha’s Monster Make-Up Martha ‘monstrifies’ a snowman and a pile of snowballs to teach the trickster a lesson:

Tom Williams and Barrie Appleby were the two artists who were particularly busy drawing stuff for this book: the former illustrated 19 pages, while the latter – as many as 20, all new material. This is where I’ll take a break and leave the rest for part two.

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