Friday, August 23, 2013
This Week In... 1951 - Sun Comic
Today we head back to 1951, and take a look at the 133rd issue of Sun Comic. Sun had been launched in 1947, and it now cost two pennies, but its glory days had long since passed. It was obvious by the number of revamps Sun went through that it wasn't selling. It had started out with The Swiss Family Robinson on the front cover, and then Voyage to Venus replaced it when the story finished. I won't list every front cover character, but by issue #60 a humour strip character called Young Joey was on the front cover. This soon became Young Joey in Story Book Land, where Joey was seen having adventures in various famous tales. He was replaced on the cover by another adventure strip soon, though. The front cover of this issue featured Buck Jones in an exciting serial entitled Buck Jones and the Red Bandit. Buck wouldn't last long on the cover either, soon to be replaced by Ollie: Our Playful Puss. Ollie was swiftly replaced by Moko The Mischievous Monk. The comic soon went under yet another revamp, with a new logo and another adventure strip, this time Billy the Kid, on the cover. By the end of its run it was dubbed as "The Adventure Picture-Paper", containing no humour strips and completely abandoning its origins. Each new incarnation of Sun was completely different to the previous one, but I'm sure that if it hadn't gone through all of it's changes Sun wouldn't have lasted even half the length it did.
Before I start rambling on too much I'd better move on to the contents. Here we see a strip entitled Harold Hare Goes To Town about the ever-popular Harold Hare by the brilliant Harry Hargreaves, but I'm sure Cuckoo Column on the right hand side will be of just as much interest to readers here, as it was drawn by the late comics historian Denis Gifford. Cuckoo Column would return under the name Kukoo Klub in the first issue of Whizzer and Chips in 1969, and continue there until 1973.
This was followed by Jolly Wally And His Wonder Horse Trix. I'm unsure of the artist, I would say E. H. Banger but it doesn't all look quite right to be him.
There were several text stories in Sun as well. Here is Monte Cristo And The Wreckers, written by John Morton. In the bottom right corner is The Alley Cat: Our Playful Puss. This is just a renamed version of Ollie: Our Playful Puss who appeared on the cover as I mentioned above; apart from the name everything is exactly the same.
And finally, here is Highway Days. Again, I'm unsure who the artist was, but whoever it is, they managed to pack a whopping 23 panels onto a page, each one of them in great detail!
Luckily, Sun Comic found it's audience in the end, and once Billy the Kid had taken over the cover in late 1952 The Sun finally stopped revamping, with the style remaining the same all the way until it folded in October 1959.