Saturday 27 February 2010

Ken Hunter's Doctor Q and the Jellymen from the Beezer 1966..

The Beezer 15th October 1966.

Heres the sequel to the Jellymen...what was such a horrible creature becomes a helper and friend to the boy....
This also happened to The Goon who became a friend to Popeye and became Alice the Goon wearing a dress and hat.

Still nice drama to see..
I only have the one example so don't know if all the Jellymen are this friendly in this second outing..

Thursday 25 February 2010

Ken Hunter's The Jellymen from the Beezer 1960..

Did you have nightmares reading this as a kid?

Thanks to PHIL RUSHTON for scans
and Spy for saving them from comicsuk forum

The Jellymen are a super creepy creation...with good use of the large pages...strong layouts..every page is different..

The image of the Jellymen are up there with Popeye's The Goon..they have a unworldly look..

Look at picture two seeing the Jellymen marching in large numbers what an amazing image..
these should be colour!

Friday 19 February 2010

Jack Glass's work in The Dandy

1964 Dandy Annual The Bobcat Boy

Dandy 1967.

Reprinted in 1974 Dandy

From 1968 Dandy

from 1961
set in the 30's

Jack Glass was in the first Beano comic so a very long career..
also read that his detailled etching made it impossible/difficult to colour..
from The Beano coffee book..
Though The Beezer had his drawing The Black Sapper printed in a few colours..which I'll show in another post..

Its great his work was used..its just very interesting to look at...the figures do run in a unusual way...looking stiff..But that only adds to the charm of his work..a unique style.
See the Stinging Swarm and The Crimson Ball also from The Dandy by Jack Glass at Lews blog..

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Paddy Brennan's The Crackaway Twins The Dandy 1960

This has a real pace to it full of action and drama.
Those twins are terrible:) always getting into fights and trouble...poor Crackaway Jack!! :)

Rushing water is drawn really well and some nice breakaway panels bursting out of the frame. I also like the two rocks at the top of the waterfall which misleads you into thinking the canoe will get wedged up the top stopping it falling over..

I also like the villian of the Red Hood..
these characters always work when you don't see there face it adds to the mystery..
As this only has two colours its just as well he is the red hood and not the green hood!! Adventure strips often used the limited colours the comic was printed in..
The Red Wrecker.The Purple Cloud..for example..

To read please use the magnifying glass in the bottom corner of your computer to 150%
I'm using less memory for each image due to lack of space on this blog..using 75 resolution now..

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Paddy Brennan's Willie Wilkin's Pobble The Dandy 1952.

This is a strange strip...the creatures really do look like they are from another world..mins you a kangaroo is pretty strange to look at as well if we weren't used to seeing it. Again the different angles of the kangroo in each panel is superbly well as everything else. I wonder what John Row and Son was about? Is it based on a real shop?

Its so hard to read more of these strips due to the cost of early Dandys...But will definitely get some more when money comes my way again..what a gem!!

Thanks to Kashgar for the list of Paddy's work..see more info at the link..

Dandy Strips

Sir Solomon Snoozer, Rusty, Fighting Forkbeard, Willie Willikin's Pobble, The Galloping Glory Boys, Westward Ho! with Prince Charlie's Gold, Young Drake, Mickey's Tick-Tock Men, Crackaway Jack*, Turtle Boy, Robin Hood, Around the World in Eighty Days. Kashgar

Monday 15 February 2010

Ken Hunter's The Year of Bedlam ........The Beezer 1961

What a cracking fun page layout.
the fairground is out of control!!!!
From the Beezer 1961.

I was alway taught make every page different to each other. This page is very different!

It was the Year of the Robotguns. It was the Year of the Robotwrecker. It was the Year of the Robotrain, the Robotcar, the Robotown - it was the year of the Robotmine. And when all the Robots ran amok, it was the Year of Bedlam..."

As a sequel to The Jellymen, The Year of Bedlam was more than a bit peculiar. The basic story was set in a futuristic Britain where fantastic robot machines directed by electronic brains had taken over all manual work, leaving the human population free to enjoy lives of untroubled leisure (believe it or not that really was the way we saw the future back in the 1960s!). Unfortunately a freak electrical storm caused all these mechanical wonders to go out of control, and the series followed 'Potassium' Roberts (now Sir William Roberts) and his young ally Jock McLaren as they trekked from Scotland to London through a Britain "crumbling under the onslaught of machines gone mad."

During the course of their journey they encountered a range of ingenious creations that had each turned against their masters in unpredictable ways (though I don't think they developed personalities of any kind). The scene below shows the machines of Unit 14 which had been designed to build new railway lines through any terrain - until they went haywire and started laying tracks over rooftops and through people's houses!

In some ways this theme of 'Man vs. Robot' had a great deal in common with later strips like Russ Manning's Magnus Robot Fighter, as well as Sam Slade and Ro-Busters from 2000AD - and the sense of wonder evoked by all the super-machines is also surprisingly reminiscent of the format of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds which regularly introduced some fresh technological wonder every week, just in time for it to go disasterously wrong.

The odd thing about all of this is that there's never any attempt to explain how Britain could have suddenly experienced a hundred years of scientific progress while the lead character has barely aged at all! I suspect the real answer is that 'Potassium' Roberts was simply shoehorned into a series that had originally been intended to be set in the future, all in an optimistic attempt to capitalize on the popularity of The Jellymen; in reality it could just as easily have featured any 'scientist hero'.

Although The Year of Bedlam started out in colour on the centre pages it was quickly relegated to a single page printed in blue & black as pride of place was given instead to a new series called The Heroes of Paradise Road - a feature that I'm in complete agreement with Kashgar in rating as one of the best war stories ever to appear in comic strip form (possibly only ever equalled by Charley's War!).

But, of course, that's another story....

- Phil Rushton

The last image is from Phil...taken from the comicsuk forum..
Thanka to Phil for his thoughts on this strip..

Sunday 14 February 2010

Ron Smith's The Giants from the Sea.....The Topper

The Giants from the Sea 653-677 (1965)

I am pleased, proud,and very, very chuffed indeed to include these following images: firstly, I have to thank educated PHIL RUSHTON, aka 'Philcom55' over on ace site COMICS UK......Phil placed these striking images on that site last year, but sadly they were lost during the notorious 'COMICS UK CRASH' that hit the site deeply early this year. (Also Geocities websites closing down!)

Thankfully, the resourceful COMICS FAN PETER GRAY tracked down these essential, evocative images recently, and I proudly present these 'BEEZER' gems which are a delight to behold..Quote from Spy at dennis the menace forum..

Phil has also provided some Jellymen pictures by Ken hunter which I'll put up again..the last ones got lost due to geocities closing...that is why on my blog there are missing pictures..which I'm sorting it out slowly..

You can't go wrong with huge crabs on the rampage!!! What an amazing sight!!

Ron sure drew some great dramatic strips..

Both Topper and Beezer used their tabloid, colour pages to the full in the late 1950's and early 1960's whether it was for sci-fi, adventure or war-time strips like 'The Heroes of Paradise Road' or the great viking quest saga 'The Dragon's Teeth' both drawn by Ron Smith. In fact Ron Smith, to me, never bettered the work he did for the Thomson tabloid titles. Try to track down examples of either of the above or his adaptation of Jack London's 'White Fang' or his pirate strip 'Blood Brothers of the Spanish Main' and see what I mean! from Kashgar
from comicsuk forum..

Friday 12 February 2010

Ken Hunter's Mr Flippy and Mighty Mik from Late 60's Beezer

Brilliantly surrealistic KEN HUNTER masterwork:
a quote from Spy thanks so much for these scans..
taken from dennis the menace forum

These two stories have the same type of idea ..of the out of this world character who misunderstands our everyday life for comical effect..

I like the breakaway circle panel in the middle of the two frames in the Mighty Mik story where the character is shown with his hands over his eyes..the image is perfect and no words needed...the expression is spot on..

Ron Smith's Jack.a.Lantern from Topper 24th Jan 1959

Jack-a-Lantern 301-315 (1958)thanks to Kashgar for info..

Just really dramatic stuff..not kids stuff at all...this has real feels so real..the fear of the panther creeping up the stairs...
Nice seeing books illustrated in this way..

Thursday 11 February 2010

UPDATED ...George Martin's unusual comic gems

Topper 8th Dec 1973..Whistling Billy is new to me and Harry and William from Hoot comic 11th October 1986.
Its always great to find new characters by an artist you like

Its funny seeing Prince William and Harry as kids in this strip.they have grown up a lot since!!:)

Smart Art is from an early 60's Topper annual. Quiite a surreal strip.even the comic characters thoughts are not there own But drawn in by the artist..drawn by an artist...whoah!! Far out man!!:)

I found one examples of each while sorting through the new comics I've bought. George sure loved drawing policeman and also vehicles of different types..

George Martin

Though George drew Smart Art this is the version by Tom Bannister thanks to Andy and Lew for the correction.

The scan above is from Phil Rushton at comicsuk forum...thanks Phil..

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Reg Parlett's The Beaver's Patrol Knockout 1953.

I love the poster page as you know if you follow my blog..and Reg has done a great one here..your eye moves round in a zig zag..
He has filled the page and gives you so much to see and make you smile..he he he I do like the Girls boarding school good looking girls as the Beavers try to get there observers badge...maybe as a guess the page does a different badge each week..

Its a good feature in Cheeky comic instead of trying to disguise the reprint in the comic it is celebrated..I always prefer this in comics..Its funny that the Cheeky comic itself is now old and could be in a attic..Cheeky comic 1st April 1978.

Thanks to Phil Rushton for confirming it to me that it is Reg Parletts work..

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