Saturday, 21 July 2012

75 Years -The Dandy's Ken Reid's Ali Ha-Ha 1961


What I like about this strip and Jonah is the development of other characters that come into the strip
..also they reveal there thoughts and dreams so they are not just one dimension and brings the strip world to life..it was a done a bit in Calamity James...and The Beano's Johnny Bean...
The Simpsons also do this..




Also like the story giving extra endings so a double gag at the end..


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Ken Reid's The Beano's Jonah in large size..The whole world should know about Ken Reid..

If there ever is a complete Jonah book by DC Thomson which could happen...hopefully they will reproduce it extra large...like the Legend of Desperate Dan book..
I was inspired by Lew's post and the extra large panel of Fatty from the Nervs with his eyes popping out through his glasses!!!



 Great lettering and very clear seeing Jonah in shadow..I love title panels which are different each week..

 Ken is great at drawing ships of all types..also nice determined Jonah at the 3D ships wheel..





Every panel is worth looking at extra large...
Great pen effect for the ghostly Jonah


Look at this frame!! 



All hand lettered by Ken


Theres real depth to the figures...and extreem expressions and nice hands..also lots of depth in each picture..
its been a revelation seeing them super sized..
.I can see why people say he is our best UK comic artist..
Also great writing on scrolls throughout. 
Thank goodness its a comic and nobody got hurt or died..:)


Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Ultimate Beano Summer Special No.3!!

Well this was a lovely surprise thanks to Digi at comicsuk forum for the heads up..
This still has pages from the Beano summer specials of the past But the older material is from the Beano comic..which is really nice to see. See examples below..



 They reproduce old comics so well in this glossy format...all the colours are clear.
 I also love the black and white and red tone ones as well..its a great format for old comics..

I really hope this becomes more regular..Monthly?
.it could even be a replacement for Classics from the comics which I miss a lot.

Anyway its really good news and I recommend it..
It has more older material from the Beano comic then last time.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Valiant comic's The last boys in the world thanks to dwitefry

This strip seems to rings true of what would happen if boys were on there own...
from http://www.comicsuk.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=148&t=1992&p=59990#p59990

 Post subject: Re: Valiant in the 60's/70's chat getting the right mix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:59 pm 

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The Last Boys on Earth was fantastic Peter Gray, these kids came out of school and found that them and their science teacher (Mr Watts) were the last people left in the country, they later found a Professor Harrison in American and went there, it turned out the Earth had been invaded by alien machines from the planet Urallius, but it was exceptionally atmospheric and quite creative, plus everyone became a complete badass by the story's end - there was empty towns, floods, shipwrecks, battles with robots - it started about May 1966 and lasted until mid '67 (anyone has the correct dates? I have very little, it's going to be a problem with everything i post for the next month or so until the indexes I've ordered arrive).

here's an earlyish strip (about the second or third) from the 7th May 1966 issue of Valiant proving that the first thing British kids think of after the apocalypse is nicking stuff:

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I don't have the complete strip sadly but it's easily my favourite of the Valiant serials I've read. Though I liked The Lurking Menace a fair bit, but i like those 'monster rampages, fairly attractive man tries to stop it' stories like the Planet Z strips or The Sludge.

Monday, 9 July 2012

MORE ADDED!! Early Ken Reid comic work at comicsuk forum..thanks to klakadak-ploobadoof- stevezodiac and Phil Rushton






 Post subject: Re: Becoming Ken...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:26 pm 
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I was meaning to post a few images here for some time now but didn’t get round to it until now. Since this thread is dedicated to Ken‘s genesis, here are some sample pages from his second Fudge book (Frolics with Fudge) first printed in 1941. There is little to suggest what was to become of the young artist in the future (he was just 18 when Fudge first appeared in Manchester Evening News and 22 when the book was printed).

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Here is the cover and a couple of pages from the third Fudge volume (Fudge’s Trip to the Moon) published in 1947. It is my favourite Fudge cover.

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Dilly Duckling booklet came out in 1948:

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Fudge in Toffee Town (Fudge book No. 6) was first printed in 1950:


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As far as I understand, Ken had a completely free hand writing and drawing both Fudge and Dilly Duckling. 

Ken’s comics career began in Comic Cuts – an Amalgamated Press publication where he drew Foxy of his own creation and ghosted Super Sam for another artist (which he is said to have hated doing). Here are examples of both strips from Comic Cuts issue No 2976 from 1953.

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And here is a very early example of Angel Face from Dandy No. 683 (Dec. 25th, 1954)
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In the 50s and 60s Ken also drew competition pages for the Irish paper Sunday Express. Information about this part of Ken’s work is very scarce indeed, all I know is that the competitions were entitled Horse Clues, Horse Pics, Titles, Inn Signs, etc. but I have no idea how they worked or when exactly they appeared. Sadly, no library in the World appears to have collected editions of the paper. Here are a couple of examples of the original artwork. The scans were kindly sent to me by Ken’s son Antony:

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Check out my blog about comics from other peoples' childhood: http://kazoop.blogspot.com
 

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming Ken...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Here are two more characters Ken Reid drew for DC Thomson during the 1950s.

'Grandpa' originally ran in Beano from July 1955 to Nov 1957, and must have been quite popular as it was subsequently revived by Robert Nixon in a series that lasted from 1971 until 1984. One imagines that the first series would have lasted far longer if Ken hadn't been slated to begin drawing 'Jonah' in early 1958.

In many ways Grandpa represented the standard comic type of a 'geriatric delinquent' who, having entered into his second childhood, starts to behave like a naughty schoolboy ('Bad Grandad' in the current Dandy is a similar character). The thing that made Grandpa stand out from all the others is the fact that, incredibly, he still lived with an even more ancient father ready to administer a 'damn good thrashing' whenever his latest antics came to light!

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While Grandpa was simply a novel variation on DC Thomson's large contingent of juvenile japesters set in some obscure British 'Anytown', however, 'Bing-Bang Benny' gave Ken his first opportunity to experiment with catastrophic events on a grander scale. This strip ran in the pages of Dandy from June 1956 to October 1960 and featured the misadventures of a junior explosives 'expert' set against the expansive backdrop of the Wild West. Needless to say, Benny's attempts to help the local sheriff in his never-ending war of nerves with the indigenous natives inevitably backfired. Sadly, Ken's imagination was all too often cramped by the fact that many episodes were confined to just half a page, but when he was allowed more space to work with this series gave him almost as much scope for pyrotechnic mayhem as Jonah! As the example below shows, the only thing Ken liked more than drawing gigantic explosions was drawing a disastrous chain reaction which involved lots and lots of them! :) 

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- Phil Rushton

 Post subject: Re: Becoming Ken...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Though Roger the Dodger rarely presented Ken with the sort of epic subject matter that Jonah did it's worth remembering that he stuck with the character right through his time at DC Thomson. Bearing this in mind it's interesting to contrast these two examples taken from opposite ends of that period.

The first page comes from 13th Feb. 1954. Though Reid had already been drawing Roger for several months by then, and Davey Law's Dennis the Menace had been around since 1951, it could nevertheless be argued that this particular week marked the real beginning of the Beano's golden age as it was the same issue that introduced Leo Baxendale's Bash Street Kids to the world in the very first episode of 'When the Bell Rings!' Indeed, Ken's style looks remarkably developed when compared with Leo's very early (and barely recognizable) version of Little Plum. It's also noticeable that he was already adept at cramming vast amounts of detail into each tiny panel - in spite of being lumbered with a dauntingly verbose script. 

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By contrast the second example comes from July 1964 - over ten years later and just weeks before his departure for pastures new in the pages of Odhams'Wham! Though the panels are larger and the style is more confident Ken had clearly perfected his depiction of grotesque expressions and hysterical action: from here it was just a short step to Frankie Stein and the World Wide Weirdies!

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- Phil Rushton


 Post subject: Re: Becoming Ken...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:31 am 

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You are, of course, quite right that Ken was evolving his distinctively manic style in most of the pre-Jonah humour strips he worked on during the 1950s Peter. As you say, even Roger the Dodger (arguably his most successful creation, at least in terms of longevity) shows glimpses of it from time to time - though I've always felt that it tended to be one of his least characteristic pieces of work. While explosions and 'scrunging' faces are slightly less in evidence, however, the element of sheer absurdity often shines out - as in this example from 1956 where we're asked to accept that inexplicably tall school chimneys towered over the countryside, and that teachers had never even heard of Health & Safety:

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- Phil Rushton




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 Post subject: Becoming Ken...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:08 pm 
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klakadak-ploobadoof has mentioned that his enviable collection of Ken Reid's comic strips starts in earnest with the first appearance of 'Jonah' in March 1958, and this set me to wondering where that electrifyingly original style of over-the-top absurdity that Ken went on to display throughout the 1960s could have come from.

As this example from 1960 demonstrates the 'Jonah' strip didn't depend on the titular character for its peculiarly brilliant blending of the grotesque and hysterical: it was as though Reid had invented an entirely new comic language all of his own that could be applied to any scenario!

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Once this language had been perfected it enabled him to take the world of British comics by storm with a succession of outstanding strips that, in a few short years, introduced us to the likes of Ali Ha-Ha, Frankie Stein, Jasper the Grasper and Queen of the Seas. Personally I feel that this astonishing body of work places Ken on a level with comic virtuosos like Spike Milligan, Tony Hancock and Kenneth Williams, and that the lack of any readily available collected edition counts as something of a national disgrace.

And yet if one were to go back just a few years before Jonah made his debut it'd be hard to imagine that Ken would ever turn out to be any more than a solid practitioner of the traditional DC Thomson style. What's more, it wasn't even certain that he would specialize in humour at all; here, for example, is a story from the 1957 Beano Book that gives some indication of his possible career as an adventure artist along the lines of Paddy Brennan:

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At first sight it's hard to believe this is a Ken Reid strip at all!

So where did it come from, this unique voice that suddenly seemed to appear out of nowhere with Jonah? Was it inspired by some unfairly neglected scriptwriter, or did the Goon Show open Ken's eyes to a new form of humour?

...Or had there been a gibbering maniac lurking inside him all his life, just waiting for a chance to burst out to cries of "...Aaaaaggghhh! It's 'im!!!!!"

- Phil Rushton



 Post subject: Re: Becoming Ken...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:37 pm 
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Here's a teaser for Angel Face which I think was his first work for DC Thomson? This is from the Dandy 675 dated 30 October 1954. oddly the first three panels look like a different artist to the second three.

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http://www.comicsuk.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=127&t=5017

Has said at the forum..
Ken Reid deserves his own book...
I'm sure DC Thomson could do this with his Beano and Dandy comic work for them...Roger the Dodger..Angel Face..Jonah..Bing Bang Benny..Ali Ha Ha..Jinx..Grandpa..Big Head and Thick Head..
I think it has a good chance due to there being by DC Thomson -Black Bob the wonder dog best of book by Waverly....so if that was possible then there could be a Ken Reid book. Heres hoping..:) I hoped there be a Black Bob book and I was proved right..



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