Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Week In... 1971 - Knockout


It's time to head back to 1971 and take a look in to the issue of Knockout that went on sale this week 42 years ago. This is the second version of Knockout, the first was published by Amalgamated Press from 1939 through until 1963 but this second version was published by IPC from 1971 to 1973, a far less successful run compared to its predecessor. Knockout was bright, each of its 24 pages had colour, even if it was only simple spot yellow, red, green or blue. The front cover, as can be seen above, was filled by The Full House, a simple idea which took place in a house with something happening in each room, and each room affecting the other rooms!

Moving on inside and the strip that caught my eye is Pete's Pockets by Mike Lacey, a fantastic strip about a lad named Pete who has anything and everything hidden away inside his pockets - even an elephant, as you will soon see!


One strange strip had to be Moose, a story about a hunter trying to catch a moose, yet this particular moose always fights back. The odd thing about this strip is that Moose can use his antlers like human hands! I'm afraid I don't know the artist, but it looks like a style that comes from mainland Europe, possibly Spain but I can't be sure.


Another equally strange strip is Boney, which follows a similar idea to Moose. Boney is a skeleton who escaped from a ghost train and is ever on the run to evade capture from the owner of the ghost train, whose attempts end in failure week after week!


Knockout also had one adventure strip that went by the name of Barry and Boing, Boing being a robot under the control of Barry. Boing gets his name from the springs in his feet that allow him to bounce to incredible heights, which always seem to come in handy every week.



And finally, we finish with Fuss Pot, an easily dislikable character who somehow remained popular for many years, appearing week in week out in Knockout, Whizzer and Chips and Buster, right up until the last issue in 2000 (although to be fair, she did sometimes have some funny adventures)! Art by Norman Mansbridge.


10 comments:

Kid said...

I've got a full set of them. I liked Knockout, but I made the mistake of lending a bundle of my original issues to a friend (back in the early '70s), and when I got them back they were in a terrible state - pages missing, ripped, creased, etc. I acquired a new set quite a few years back.

It was also one of Terry Bave's favourite comics to work on, and he wishes they'd kept it going instead of merging it with W&C.

Lew Stringer said...

Sorry to be pedantic George but I've just noticed that your 'This week in' posts are a week out. If you look at the ones when I did it previously on my blog you'll see that they're ahead of the cover date. That's because, up until several years ago, the cover dates on weekly UK comics referred to the upcoming Saturday, not the date they went on sale. So this issue of Knockout was on sale from the 16th to 22nd October. The following issue would have been the one that went on sale on Oct 23rd. (Dated Oct 30th).

Raven said...

Pete's Pockets was the strip Mike Lacey used to really let rip on, and it got better and better and more outlandish as time went on - it's probably the standout humour strip in the merged Whizzer and Chips Incorporating Knockout title, with some really impressive sets.

As a kid, I loved and was fascinated by the concept of Pete's TARDIS-like pockets, which even seemed to have keepers and human and animal populations.

George Shiers said...

@ Kid - It wasn't the strongest comic in my opinion, they had some very strange and poor characters, but as with all comics it's a shame to see it went so soon.

@Lew - Oh yes, thanks for that. Do you know when they changed the dating system? Presumably they gradually changed it otherwise there'd be two Beano comics with the same date.

Lew Stringer said...

I can't remember when they changed it unfortunately George, sorry. Sometime this century I think.

I had all 105 issues of Knockout but threw most of them out later and I've never regretted it. They were very samey. Some excellent work in there though from Reg Partlett, Mike Lacey, and others. I hated Barry and Boing though, but I guess that, at 12, I was a little too old for it back in 1971.

Raven said...

I thought there was some very stylish and distinctive artwork in Knockout, on the likes of Hot Dog and Cool Cat, Little Devil, Boney, Shrimp, Moose and Copy Kate, and it's nice to see Sid Burgon's style develop on Joker and The Haunted Wood. The Full House provided some of the IPC funnies' most striking and inventive front covers, also.

So, overall, a somewhat underrated title, I think.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Never seen Full House before, and it's fantastic! I'll need to find more of those, somehow...

Always remember a Pete's Pockets story where one of his mates fell into the pocket, so the fire brigade had to come over and save him or something. Might've been the lad's mum, when I think about it.

Raven said...

"TwoHeadedBoy said...

Never seen Full House before, and it's fantastic! I'll need to find more of those, somehow..."

Pssst, TwoHeadedBoy, take a look here:

http://knockoutcomic1970s.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/knockout-covers-no28-to-no54.html

Paul said...

I sent a joke in and recived a postal order and a letter. The real shame was that I never got to see it in print.

Paul said...

I sent a joke in and recived a postal order and a letter. The real shame was that I never got to see it in print.