Saturday, July 12, 2014

Larks No.22 (1928)

As promised last Friday I said I'd take a look at an issue of Larks from the Amalgamated Press version, published from 1927 - 1940, only cancelled due to the outbreak of World War Two. My earliest issue comes from 1928 and is #22. As you can see from the front cover above the cover stars were not a fat 'n' thin tramp duo as was so popular at the time, but instead was 'The Merry Adventures of Dad Walker and His Son, Wally'. Illustrated by Bertie Brown, this duo would enjoy tremendous success, appearing on the front cover of all 656 issues, although the title soon lost 'the merry adventures of' part.

Like just about all comics of the time Larks had half of its pages featuring text stories and the other half with comic strips and illustrations  - the covers and centre spread featuring the strips. This issue features the first episode of a new text story Neddy, Nobby, and Nan, as advertised in the strapline on the cover. This page also includes a letter from the editor, or 'The Editor's Corner', as they called it. In the letter the editor, Stanley Gooch, talks about a new "Wild West adventure" tale entitled 'The Smiling Kid Arrives' beginning in the following issue.

On the opposite page at the end of another text story (entitled Just Like His Dad) was a small advert for Champion, advertising a "free war card" to be given away in every issue for the next month. World War One had of course ended just less than ten years earlier but Britain was still affected by it so no doubt readers, even if they didn't remember the war itself, would be interested in such gifts.

The back page stars Reggie and Roger, or 'The Rollicking Rambles of Reggie and Roger', to give it its full title. Although actually illustrated by Alexander Akerbladh it looks as though he was, like so many other artists of the day, told to draw in the style of Roy Wilson. Reggie and Roger would enjoy long lives in Larks, leaving its pages only two years before it came to an end itself.

1 comment:

Kib Lloyd said...

Bertie Brown was an amazing cartoonist. Such panache. Distinctive, too - seems rare for a comic of this era to have front-cover art so different from the prevailing Newhouse/Wilson style you mentioned. Thanks for posting this.