Monday, September 16, 2013

Family Trees

Family Trees is a humorous serial that originated in Wow as part of a (very) minor revamp for the new year of 1983. A letter from the editor in this new years issue read:

"Hi, readers! We promised you exciting things in 1983, and some of them are starting right now! You can enjoy the fun with 'Family Trees' and 'The Upper Crusts and the Lazy Loafers' and discover the opinions of WOW! readers in our new feature 'WOW! Top Ten'! Your friend, The Editor".

And just like that, Family Trees was born. Illustrated by Bob Nixon, the first episode appeared spread out over one and a half pages in Wow #32, dated 8th January 1983. 

They continued in their one and a half page format until Wow merged into Whoopee and they were given two pages. They swiftly became one of Whoopee's prominent features, and soon after were given the centre spread where they appeared in glorious full colour.

A typical centre spread from Whoopee, after the
merger with Wow.

In the 500th issue of Whoopee their origin story was reprinted, apparently because many readers had requested to see the first episode, as they hadn't read Wow and therefore had never seen it. Whether or not this is actually true, or it is because they needed to fill a page I don't know. It's interesting to see that the strip was reduced from one and a half pages to just one, and all the trees are named at the side.

The trees kept walking, forever trying to find somewhere safe where they could plant their roots and live happily ever after. They finally found somewhere in the last issue of Whoopee, in the grounds of a mansion.

And that's the story of Family Trees. If, like me, your favourite era of comics is the 1980's (well, for Fleetway's stuff at least), Wow is definitely a comic worth seeking out.

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