Sunday, April 21, 2013
This Week In... 1987 - Nipper!
This week back in 1987 saw the first full-size Nipper! Until this point, Nipper had been, well, a nipper - printed on A5 paper. However, issue six changed all that, with it now appearing the same size as its companions - Buster and Whizzer and Chips.
The first strip was of course based around the comic's main star - Nipper, illustrated by Gordon Bell.
This was followed up by one of Mike Lacey's two contributions, the rather amazing Strong-Arm! Wouldn't it be great fun to have a command kart like this?!
Terry Bave was also to be found multiple times in the pages of Nipper, illustrating Double Trouble, a strip that would continue after Nipper for many years. The two twins did eventually become best friends - on the back cover of the last ever issue of Buster.
Another popular character was Ricky Rainbow, illustrated by the soon-to-become Buster artist Jimmy Hansen. Obviously, since this strip was about a boy who could change colour, the strip had to appear in colour, and whoever was in charge of that did a smashing job.
Vic Neill illustrated School Funds, a school in such bad shape that it constantly needed money for repairs, and was relying on the kids to get those funds.
Tom Paterson was also a part of the Nipper line-up, illustrating the hilarious adventures of a young lad and his pyjama case, a mixture which could save the world... or not. The title, Felix the Pussycat, is of course a spin-off of Felix the Cat, so there's laughs all round with this strip.
Another top-class artist to join in the fun was Trevor Metcalfe, who illustrated Big Game Hunter, a great story about a young lad who would go too far to organise a game for his friends!
And finally, Sid Burgon's strip Roy's Toys appears on the back cover. This superbly illustrated strip showed the adventures some toys got up to when nobody was around - a very similar idea to Toy Story in fact!
Despite it's short run Nipper had an amazing line-up of artists, and I've only mentioned a few of them here. I suppose that this proves that it's not just quality that's the key to a successful comic, but there is something else as well.