Thursday, August 30, 2012

This Weeks Beano - 25th August 2012

This weeks Beano is a very intresting issue, with the cover advertising a new look for Fred's Bed. However, I personally don't think the new artist suits Fred's Bed, as the strip has always been more detailed when I've read it (and I don't like Fred's new bowl-cut haircut), but I'm sure the artist would suit a different strip.

Also inside wimpy Walter has fired his pet Foo-Foo, and has instead hired Claudius, who is still going to be here for a long time yet! Is Claudius going to go down in history along with other Beano characters? I'd say so!

The comic also comes with the final Golden Ticket, lightly glued to one of the inside pages!

All this and much more fun, out now for only £1.50!
The new look Fred.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bang! Bang!

At the start of the month I wrote a post about my favourite free gift - the paper banger (which you can find here)! Well since then Clive Huckstepp has made me reproductions of two of those free gifts! The first can be seen above - The free gun which came with Smash! no. 1! This wasn't the first paper banger gun which came free with a comic - the oldest I've found was called the 'Beano Big Bang Fun Gun' which came with Beano #36 in 1939. 

The second banger was the Gnasher Snapper, which came with The Beano in 1984. This one is much louder than the gun - but the Smash! gift definatly has a cooler design!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stopping the Spam

I've gotten several hundred (yes, hundred!!) spam comments over the past week - but fortunatly none of them have gotten through Blogger's spam filter. However, because of this I am adding the code form to the comments section - so you'll have to type in a code when you post a comment. Comments will still be published automatically though. :)

Sorry guys!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This Week In 2003... The Dandy! (Updated)

The early years of this century are rarely covered on this blog, or other comics blogs for that matter! A few years ago I managed to pick up an unbroken run of about 3 years of Dandy comics from 2002 -  2004. On the cover of this issue from 23rd August 2003, Desperate Dan beats the indians at hide 'n' seek, by shaking them out of a tree.

Inside, Tom Paterson does an incredible job with Bananaman, who accidentally defeats Doctor Gloom and General Blight whilst admiring himself in the mirror!

There's still some good old classic characters in there too, such as this Cuddles and Dimples strip, who originally began in Hoot in the 1980's.
Karl Dixon's Ollie Fliptrick was a very popular strip with readers, and this two page strip is a perfect example why!

Despite having a story on the front cover, Desperate Dan also had another full page strip inside, and this one is about the fun fair!

The best strip in the comic hass to be Dandy Days in Beanotown, where the Dandy characters are having an ongoing mission to defeat the Beano characters! If you look closely, you can see Corporal Clott in there too! 

Blinky is a strip I've always enjoyed, all about the worlds most short-sighted (and long-sighted) kid!
Korky the Cat is an intresting strip, our friendly feline seems to have made friends with a blue alien from outer-space! 
Another classic strip is Puss 'n' Boots, a classic cat vs dog strip, which debuted in Sparky.

Pinky's Crackpot Circus, drawn by Blinky (and now Billy Whizz) artist Nick Brennan. The title pretty much explains this strip - its a circus owned by Pinky who always face strange problems, and come up with wacky solutions!
As well as drawing Ollie Fliptrick, Karl Dixon also drew the classic Beryl the Peril, originally created by David 'Davy' Law for Topper.

I really like this Owen Goal strip by Nigel Parkinson. It has lots of hidden detail, such as the "Don't Lose Your Head" motto on the statue!
There are quite a lot of adverts in this comic (seven in total), but the most intresting one is this comic strip and puzzle for Kellogs Coco Pops!

Monday, August 20, 2012

370,000 Free Beano's!

A recent issue of The Beano.
With the saddening news that The Dandy is folding in December, comics haven't recieved this much media coverage in decades. But through all the doom and gloom, it was good to see a happy post come through.

D.C. Thomson will be giving away 370,000 free Beano comics to every single primary school pupil in Scotland. Popular charaters such as Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx and The Bash Street Kids will teach pupils on money saving, eating healthy and encouraging pupils to improve their homework.

The free comic will be given away at the end of August, and hopefully it will also increase sales of The Beano.

Kult Creations

Kult Creations is an excellent small comics press who have produced some brilliant comics including The Clock Strikes, Savage the Jungle Princess and The Sixpenny Murder!

I highly recommend you check them out, you can find the site by clicking here:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

May I reMIND you...

ReMind is an amazing graphic novel that was started in 2006, and now, after six long years, the two books are finally ready to go to print together (book one was printed last year)! Illustrated by Jason Brubaker in his spare time, reMind is about a lizard man who had his brain put into the body of a cat, and is forced to rise to the surface of the ocean. But he wants to find his way back home, and does so using a suit that the cat's previous owner, Sonja, designed and built.

It's a terribly exciting story, and if you want to see what it's like head over to and click on the archive button - and begin at chapter one - you can read the entire first volume there (although there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end)!

The books are going to be printed in full colour, hard bound copies with cloth binding, and the final product looks amazing.

But it's an expensive project, and it is something that definatly needs supporting, so if you have a little change to spare, please go and support the book over at kickstarter!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Want to read some Early Comics?

Of course you do, so be sure to check out the early comics website, there's dozens of pages from 1800's and early 1900's comics up there, so there's a lot to check out! You can find them at:

75 Years of the World's Greatest Comic

D.C. Thomson have written their official statement as to The Dandy's future over on Twitter. They say that they will keep the publication in print until it's 75th birthday, and the comic will then go digital. 

Here is their statement:

"A lot of people have tweeted us regarding news reports surrounding the future of The Dandy. A statement follows:

DC Thomson is continuing to develop its magazines operation & portfolio to create an efficient business model that will build on the strength of our existing brands and products. There are many challenges within the industry at present, but we’re excited that the digital revolution has also given us an opportunity to innovate and develop. We’re celebrating the fact that The Dandy has been in print for 75 years and we’re doing a lot of planning to ensure that our brands and characters can live on in other platforms for future generations to enjoy.

We will release a special edition of The Dandy to mark its 75th anniversary on 4 DEC 12.  This issue will be the last printed and will include a reprint of issue #1. There’s still a healthy appetite for The Dandy so we’re making it relevant for a new generation. There are exciting plans in the pipeline to take the title in a different direction & ensure that the next 75 yrs are just as popular. 

We’re counting down 110 days until the 75th anniversary bash & we’re working on some tremendously exciting things for The Dandy's future. What comes online then that will set the tone for the future. We’re excited that the digital revolution has given us an opportunity to innovate and develop and we’re confident that future generations will continue to enjoy The Dandy.

If you want to be the first to know about exciting new future of The Dandy, visit our website or follow @DandyComic."

If you head over to The Dandy website you will find a picture of Desperate Dan eating a cow pie, and a countdown to their 75th Birthday, and the final print issue.

I doubt there is much that will change their minds, but why don't you send them a tweet, email, letter or anything you can, and see what they say.

And remember - Always Keep A Dandy Handy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tom Paterson returns to The Beano!

Tom Paterson, the great artist of Sweeny Toddler, Fiddle O' Diddle and Clamity James, returns to The Beano with the latest issue! Tom has taken over from Nigel Parkinson on Fred's Bed, and this weeks episode is about the planet of the hamsters!

Be sure to pick up your copy of Beano #3648, out now for only £1.50! (And whilst your at it, why not grab a Dandy?)
With thanks to Harry Rickard for the photo - be sure to check out his blog here!

Back Cover Board Games

From the 1956 Radio Fun annual.
If you ever pick up an old Radio Fun, Film Fun or any other old annual from or before the early 50's, the chances are that you'll find an old board game on the back cover.
Two very tatty games from the 1952 Radio Fun (left) and Knockout (right) annuals.
These board games were usually an advertisement for Cadbury's chocolate, and the same games appeared on the annuals for that year (as seen above and below).
The same game used on both the Film Fun (left) and Tiger Tim (right) books for 1953.
Sometimes though, they were made specially for the annual, such as this one from the 1970 TV Comic annual.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Bumpkins meet Loch Ness - Part 2!

In a recent post (which can be found by clicking here), I left you with hanging when the Bumpkin Billionaires selling Wurzel butties to try and make some money, after feeding all their notes to the Loch Ness monster! Well readers, here is the thrilling conclusion!

And if you want to find out how the Bumpkins got their billions, click here or here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Is The Dandy Doomed To Die?

The Dandy, launched on 4th December 1937 is the world's longest running comic, bringing laughter and smiles into the homes of millions of children around the world. In it's heyday, the comic sold two million copies a week, featuring characters such as Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat and Brassneck.

When The Dandy relaunched two years ago, D.C. Thomson were taking a bold move, taking in new artists to handle a majority of the comic. Artists like Andy Fanton, Stu Munro and Nik Holmes

But now D.C. Thomson have come forwards, and it's time to face the worst - the end of The Dandy. A spokesperson stated: "We are carrying out a review of our magazines business to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing publishing industry. There are many challenges within the industry at present, but we're excited that the digital revolution has also given us an opportunity to innovate and develop. We're confident that future generations will continue to enjoy our much-loved products and characters."

They went on to say: "The major difficulty comics have is their distribution, kids have other things to spend their time and money on these days like playing computer games and things like that, We do workshops and lots of kids want to create their own stories and do enjoy reading them, but there are definitely challenges." 
They stated that whilst they may close the comic itself, the stories would continue to survive online, and popular characters such as Desperate Dan would appear in it's sister comic - The Beano.

I'm sure that nobody reading this wants The Dandy to be fade away, but what can you do to change Thomson's minds? The answer is simple - buy a Dandy!

And maybe send them an email or two. Or three.

The Dandy - out every Wednesday, only £1.99!

Jamie Smart has written an excelent blog piece here:

And you can read more here:

Themes in Comics: The Loch Ness Monster

Recently, a skipper claims to finally have evidence that proves the existence of the Loch Ness monster! Reading this, I wondered how many British comic characters have actually come face to face with the monster, so I took a look through my comics, and it turns out - quite a few of them have seen it!

This Bumpkin Billionaires strip is concluded here:

From the 1977 Frankie Stein annual (reprinted from Wham!).
 Art by Ken Reid.

Joke from the 1977 Monster Fun annual.
The first Willy the Kid book by Leo Baxendale was massive on the Loch Ness theme, with it's covers featuring  the monster, a drawing competition and a 13 page story in the middle!

Here's a few Loch Ness monster background details from Willie's Highland Holiday.

And here's the 13 page story where Willy and his pals meet the Loch Ness Monster!

The Loch Ness (or Loch Mess) monster also appeared in the other two Willy the Kid books - Baxendale seems to have quite a fascination with the monster!