Friday, June 20, 2014
Wham Turns 50!
It was 50 years ago today that the first issue of Wham was dated for sale. Wham was the first of the five power comics, followed by 'Smash' and 'Pow' as humour comics and 'Fantastic' and 'Terrific' as adventure comics. Wham was a fantastic comic, created mostly by Leo Baxendale who was commissioned by Odhams to create a "super-Beano". The comic also includes some fantastic artwork by the great Ken Reid, most notably in the form of Frankie Stein, which arrived with Ken in #4.
My first taste of Wham was in the form of the 1968 annual, which I picked up soon after I started reading comics in a nearby antiques shop. This and issue #4 are my only two Wham comics (the image at the top of this post comes from Phil-Comics' website).
For me, Wham will always be the best of the Power comics (even if it wasn't called a "power comic" from the start). I've never been a fan of either Fantastic or Terrific, and Smash and Pow seem to lack something Wham had, regardless of the quality of Ken Reid's Queen of the Seas or whatever else was in the others. Despite their short runs (Wham would produce just 187 issues) the impact of the power comics is huge, and remains memorable to this day.
After posting this it's good to see a few other people joining in with the birthday celebrations. Here are some links (in order of time posted):
Scans of the complete first issue of Wham (in two parts) by Kid:
Part 1 - http://kidr77.blogspot.co.nz/2014/06/super-free-birthday-gift-wham-1-part-one.html
Part 2 - http://kidr77.blogspot.co.nz/2014/06/part-two-of-wham-1-super-birthday-free.html
Advertisements for the first two issues by Irmantas:
Birthday celebration post by Lew Stringer: