Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Closer Look - Good Guy

Here's something for you to enjoy - a Good Guy strip illustrated by Terry Bave. If you take a closer look at the flower in the bottom right in both panels one and two - you can see it has an expression that changes! The sun also has a face, although that is a bit more obvious. Two funny additional touches that I bet passed unnoticed by many!

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Dandy Game

Just a short post today, showing you a board game that appeared in the 1951 Dandy annual, one of the last Dandy books to go by the name of 'The Dandy Monster Comic'.

The actual board features a lot of characters, many of which haven't been seen for years. Some of them are obvious - such as Korky the Cat and Desperate Dan, but how many of the others can you name?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Back To 1929 - Crackers is Launched!

Here's a comic you might not have heard of before - Crackers. It was launched this week all the way back in 1929, and came with some sort of free gift, although whatever it was is now long gone. For 2D you got 12 pages, with a full colour front cover, and a red back cover and a red centre spread.

The comic is tabloid so won't fit into my scanner, but hopefully these photos are readable. The first two pages consisted of long text stories, which were hugely popular up until the 1950's, and take up a vast majority of the comic. Unfortunately the text is too small to be readable from photos, but here is a photo of four of the six text pages.

Crackers replaced Lot-O'-Fun, which folded after 1,196 issues. The competition results from a previous Lot-O'-Fun issue featured in this issue.

This appeared above a letter from the editor.

The centre pages featured a collection of humour strips. These were - Sammy Smiles in fat at Folly Farm, Winkle and Binkle - The Jolly Boys of Tophole College, Monty Mixup and His Happy Outlaws, Wopsy and Popsy in Lively Larks Out Of School and Sunny Jim and Jolly Jeff - The Merry Zoo Boys. All of these had very old-fashioned names - "larks" and "jolly boys" aren't phrases we'd tend to use today!

There were also two adventure style strips inside the comic; the first was Trooper Tex On The Lone Trail! ...

Followed by The Call From The Wild or The Jungle S.O.S!

The back page featured another humour strip - Tubby and Trot - Tramping The World For Fun. This strip was cashing in on the popular fat and thin tramps theme, which started with Weary Willy and Tired Tim in Chips!

My copy of this first issue is falling apart, so I thought I'd get the pages preserved online before it crumbles into dust. I'm also lucky enough to own the second issue, which I may cover some other time - possibly next week.

I'm not sure how many issues Crackers ran for, although I do know it lasted at the very least for 165 issues as I've seen a run of eight issues for sale from 1932.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Another New Logo!

The very bright logo you used at the top of this blog was created for me by Clive Huckstepp, and I thought I'd also give him a quick shout-out here too! Thanks Clive!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

This Week In ... 1968 - The Dandy!

We head back to the 1960's for this post, to take a look at the Dandy that was released this week, with a cover date of 17th February. The Dandy was excellent at this stage, with a fantastic line-up of artists including Jack Prout (Black Bob), Davy law (Corporal Clott) and Dudley Watkins (Desperate Dan).

The first strip inside the comics is good old Desperate Dan, and this episode is very wacky and random, and it all starts with Dan kicking back a football to a group of school kids!

A very popular strip was Winker Watson, following the "wangles" of an extra crafty school kid! The strip was illustrated by Eric Roberts.

Unfortunately we only get one page of excellent Black Bob artwork, which is illustrated by the amazing Jack Prout!

The weirdest strip in the comic would probably go to Spunky and His Spider, a strip I'd never heard of before. Basically, Spunky has a giant pet spider called Scamper who, although he doesn't talk, is a lot smarter than your average spider! It was illustrated by Bill Holroyd.

A nice, classic humour strip in the comic was The Smasher, or Smasher for short, who appeared on the same spread as the equally popular Greedy Pigg. The Smasher was usually drawn by Hugh Morren, but strangely this episode is by James Hughes! (Thanks Andy!)

One feature I enjoy reading in old Dandy's are the 'My Home Town' articles, which always prove a fascinating read about a town voted in by a reader! This time it is Farnham, which is located in Surrey.

And finally, the back page is taken up by Bully Beef and Chips, a very funny strip and is very well illustrated, and was illustrated by James Hughes (Thanks Lew!).

Monday, February 18, 2013

X-Ray Specs by Mike Lacey

Some time around November of last year I was asked which comic characters were my favourite, and up in that list was X-Ray Specs, which was illustrated by the fantastic Mike Lacey. Shortly afterwards, I was overwhelmed to receive some original artwork for one of the strips as a Christmas present from my dad! This is my first, and currently only, original artwork that appeared in a British comic that I am lucky enough to own!

Original art is huge and there's no way I could scan the full boards in my A4 scanner, so I've scanned it panel by panel instead. The numbers at the top of the board reveal the size the page was printed at - 209mm across, but the actual artwork is about 38cm x 52cm. I'm not sure what the 66.3 in the bottom right corner is.

Here they are, and as always, click on the images, and then again, to view in full size!

Although I don't own the issue it appeared in, although I have tried to hunt down a copy, you can find it in Buster dated 6th August 1988.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ken Reid's Forgotten Masterpiece?

Here's and interesting comic strip by the late Ken Reid, Gramp and Scamp - They're On The Tramp! It is a story about a young lad named Scamp who goes to join his Grandpa, a tramp who lives a simple life on the road. 

I'd never heard of this strip before, and searching through various comics and on the Internet revealed nothing, so unfortunately I can't give you any more information.

Despite the fact this is the only one I've ever read, it is, for some reason unknown even to me, one of my favourite Ken Reid strips! 

Click on the images, and then
again for maximum size!

And if you're wondering where it appeared, you'll find it towards to back of the 1980 Buster Holiday special!