Monday, December 30, 2013

Buster Enters 1982

Firstly, my apologies for not having blogged for a while but the reason for that was because I was moving house. But I'm back now and let's kick-start things again with a celebratory New Year's special Buster comic, celebrating the transition from 1981 to 1982.

Buster's story appeared just inside the front cover with terrific artwork as always by Reg Parlett.

The next page is home to Deadly Headly, who celebrates his New Year by going undercover at the circus! Artwork by Martin Baxendale.

Billy Blow was an interesting strip about a boy with the most incredible lungs in the world. Artwork here is by Rob Lee.

Next up is Master Mind, a fantastic strip by Jack Edward Oliver. I believe this is Jack's personal favourite strip, and it's not hard to see why - it's fun and interactive alongside good quality scripts.

And finally, here's the two-page S.O.S. Squad from this issue, with absolutely fantastic artwork coming from the pen of Mike Lacey.

That wraps up the look at this comic and probably also Wacky Comics for the year, seeing as we've only one full day of 2013 left. So I wish all of the readers of my blog a very happy New Year and I'll see you all again when normal blogging service resumes in 2014!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jet Annual 1973

There was no Christmas issue of Jet because the comic folded before it was able to reach the December of 1971 so the only Jet comic a child was likely to receive on Christmas morning was the one and only Jet annual, would have found its way in stockings and under trees on the Christmas day of 1972 (the annual was dated 1973).

I won't be showing any adventure strips from the annual due to their length but I will show you the two-page Faceache strip illustrated by Ken Reid.

I'll also show the four-page Kids Of Stalag 41 strip. In the weekly this strip was normally illustrated by Tony Goffe (except in issue 1) but he isn't the artist here I don't think, but is instead the work of a "ghost artist" trying to imitate his style (even though Tony himself was told to imitate the style of Leo Baxendale).

I'd recommend trying to pick up a copy of this annual if you can. Although it's not the easiest annual to find there are some good strips in there, one or two with festive themes. A good buy if you can come across it at a good price.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Christmas Jackpots

Jackpot was a great but short-lived comic that ran from 1979 - 1982. In that time three Christmas issues were produced, the first had (in my opinion) the best cover with artwork by Sid Burgon.

Although not actually the Christmas issue this issue of Jackpot dated 13th December 1980 did have a Christmas theme on it. The Laser Eraser strip inside had nothing to do with the cover. I'm unsure who the artist is here; Robert Nixon illustrated the strip but this cover definitely isn't by him.

The 1980 Christmas cover was again illustrated by Sid Burgon and featured Jack Pott (actually a character originally from Cor and surprisingly not the main character in Jackpot) and Angel from Angel's "Proper" Charlies (a spoof of Charlie's Angles) pulling a cracker.

The final Christmas issue came out in 1981 and had a very similar cover design to the 1980 cover above, with two people, this time pulling a wishbone, surrounded by holly and other Christmas decorations. Robert Nixon replaced Sid Burgon for this final Christmas cover.

Jackpot was a great comic but sadly folded only a few weeks later in January 1982. During it's time it was a fantastic comic though with some interesting features including a 'design the cover' competition, some of which were actually used! But that's all a tale for another time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wow! It's Christmas (1982)

It's about time to kick-start the festive fun this year so let's do so with none other than the one and only Wow Christmas issue. The front cover was illustrated by Mike Lacey and linked with the two-page Shipwreck School story inside, also illustrated by Mike. Mike is one of my favourite artists so seeing a front cover like this one by him is always a joy to behold.

I've already shown a few Creepy Comix pages and this issue also has one, but with a festive twist. Colin Whittock was the artist for this page.

The Bill and Coo page is absolutely amazing to look at; artist Trevor Metcalfe has done a superb job on it! Trevor is a brilliant artist who is still working today, though sadly not on comic strips but more on basic cartoons for colour in books etc. You can see more of his work at his website:

Nigel Edwards is another fantastic artist and for this special issue produced a lovely festive "When He Was Young" strip. And who better to put in the spotlight this week than Santa Claus himself!

As much as I would love to show you the entire comic here I won't so instead I'll wrap up the post with this full colour Barney's Badges strip illustrated by Terry Bave.

Monday, December 9, 2013

It Snows In The Beano!

It's almost time for the Beano Christmas issue but the snow has returned to The Beano already in the latest fun-filled issue! This week's Dennis the Menace strip was a favourite of mine; it was funny, clever and just plain good! Congratulations to Nigel Auchterlounie and Nigel Parkinson are in order for creating this brilliant strip!

Minnie the Minx also has some fun in the snow, but sadly is the only character beside Dennis to do so (I'm sure it'll pick up next week). Once again a fantastic strip this one being about a snowball fight between Minnie and her dad!

There's all this and much more inside, including a surprise twist in the Billy Whizz strip, all in the latest Beano. It's out now in all good stores for just £2!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lunar Launcher and Splashdown Capsule

Alongside the Instant Disguise Kit another free gift was given away with Whizzer and Chips in the February of 1970. This gift was given away the week before the Disguise Kit and was called 'The Lunar Launched and Splashdown Capsule'! As you can see above, both Sid and Slippy can be seen testing it out, as well as a group of "readers".

A small box of instructions appeared over the page, alongside a short message from the Editor.

Shiner also got up to an adventure with the toy over on the front cover of Chips. 

And here is what the free gift looked like. Quite a nice looking thing it is too, something I wouldn't mind getting today with the Beano.

And whilst we're on the topic, I thought that the Shiner strip above looked familiar. Or at least - one of the panels did. Turns out that the 4th and 5th boxes had been used to create the cover of a Chips coming library over a decade and a half later!

Phoenix #100

Don't forget to grab a copy of the 100th issue of The Phoenix before the week is out! It's a great issue with loads of double length stories. Some of the highlights include an 8 page Pirates of Pangaea adventure by Neill Cameron and Daniel Hartwell, a four page Bunny Vs. Monkey by Jamie Smart and a four page Gary's Garden strip by Gary Northfield.

Personally I thought that the Phoenix green arrows mystery adventure had a particularly week ending, but that aside this is a top quality comic.

The issue has 50% more pages yet still costs £2.99, so there's no excuse for not buying a copy! Out now in all good stores (and a few bad ones).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A 1984 Annual Gallery

Let's look at 1984, not the novel by George Orwell but the selection of annuals Fleetway had on the shelves. We'll start with this advertisement from Whoopee from October 1983.

Yes - in just the humour section Fleetway released eleven different annuals, many for comics that hadn't been around for several years! They each came at one of two prices - £1.95 or £2.50, meaning that if you wanted all of them you had to separate with £24.75! Phew!

I don't own the Whoopee, Buster or Shiver and Shake annuals but I do all the others, and I've managed to find the scans of ones I'm missing so links are at the bottom of the post.

I could be wrong about this but it looks to me as though Mike Lacey illustrated almost all the covers here, so he must have had a heavy workload over the summer.

And of course, these weren't the only annuals for 1984 as there were also some for Fleetway's adventure titles and D.C Thomson also published their regular annuals. Here are the covers to the Beano and Dandy books for 1984 and unlike the Fleetway annuals these had different pictures on the front and back covers.

It's amazing to see that there was so many annuals on the stalls every year back then but hardly any today. You can currently buy The Beano, The Dandy, Broons/Oor Wullie (alternate years) and the combined books though, so we're not completely drained of annuals just yet. The latest D.C Thomson annuals are on sale right now - so be sure to pick them up for Christmas!




Shiver and Shake: