Friday, 5 February 2010

Bill Ritchie's Supporting Life from Plug comic 1977/78 and early Beezer characters from 1958.

I like the use of the scalf used in the title lettering and different in these three examples..great it gave fun facts about each team..the lead character is Plug's little Brother..I like the zaniness of this..very cartooney and silly. Also it uses photos to a great effect..they print well on the high quality paper of Plug comic..
The Roll of Honour at the end is also given a bit of added cartoon fun different each time..

One of the joys of The Beezer book is the pages are all in colour and mostly handpainted..and Bill is great at this..with lovely shading...

Charlie Chick was the first character Bill drew for The Beezer..the one above is from the first Beezer annual. It feels to me an early version of Baby Crockett..the chick became a baby has more can be done in the storytelling and visuals..
Bill also drew many one offs in The Beezer annuals which are always nice to read..
The seven day Weekly is also from the first Beezer book 1958..the ripped out pages of a diary works great as panels on a page..nice to see the frames used in a creative way..

Bill and the Beezer

Bill was proud of the fact that he was the only comic artist to have had his work published in every issue and every related publication of the Beezer. Every weekly issue (including the combined Beezer & Topper), every annual and every summer special devoted to the comic carried an example of Bill's work.
Here is a brief list of what that work consisted of

Charlie Chick 1-33
Baby Crockett 34-1809 Beezer & Topper 1-153
Wooly West 196-218
Smiffy 577-1685
Dicky Burd 684-853 1158-1181
Hairy Dan Football Fan 854-1307
Hungry Hoss 1315-1650
Pam (Positively a Menace) 1686-1744
Scratcher 1759-1809 B&T 6

Beezer & Topper

Gnatasha 3-152
On the News 58-148
Madverts 117-123

He also did a lot of feature art and one off strips for the Beezer Books and Summer Specials.

Re Bill's work in Thomson comics other than the Beezer from memory I can't think of anything significant that he contributed to the Dandy although he did draw Beryl the Peril in the early years of the Dandy Comic Library along with issues featuring Baby Crockett.
Similarly he did very little for the Topper except in 1980 reviving Barney Bulldog from Sparky for a short time and Kong in 1989.
John Bull Dogg (Barney Bulldog) and the Moonsters obviously spring to mind.
Clumsy Claude - the blunder boy 653-696
Uncle Windbag - that story teller feller 744-763
Pooch 767-799
Two-Gun Tony - the King Street Cowboy 1818-1891
Sweet Sue 1892-1969
Simple Spyman
Twitz of the Ritz
Supporting Life
Thanks to Kashgar for the list of Bill's work at DC Thomson..more to come as Bill also drew for Girls and Boys comics other than just the humour ones


Anonymous said...

more great cartoon work from this very versatile artist, Peter:; SIMPLE SPYMAN is like a 'friendly' version of I SPY!

I always loved the BEEZER stuff the best, however.....great stuff, mate!

cheers, SPY.

Simon Mackie said...

I've never seen this colour work of Bill's before which is from the first Beezer Book in 1958, right? Even though he was so young back then his style was already so developed. Like you, Peter, I loved his use of colour which we so rarely got to see.

Chico said...

Thank you for these wonderful pictures.

Supporting Life charachter is very similar to an Italian TV charachter named Provolino, which was issued also on Italian comics during the '70s from publisher Bianconi.