Monday, December 10, 2018

A classic WHAM! cover

I've always liked this Tiddlers cover by Leo Baxendale, ever since I saw it used as an advert for the weekly back in a Wham! Annual in the 1960s. I recently bought this issue and I like the art even more now I've seen it in its published size. Wham! No.71, dated 23rd October 1965. (There's no way a children's comic today would put a kid dressed as Hitler on the cover, or show such an assault on a teacher. Wham! could be irresponsible but Baxendale always made it look funny.)

As I've mentioned before, you can easily spot Leo's art for Odhams as he signed most of it. Several artists were told to imitate his style, and ones such as Mike Lacey, Mike Brown, and Graham Allen did a superb job (and were funny creatives in their own right) but always look for the signature. If it's absent, chances are it's not by Leo Baxendale. (Also remember that Leo never drew any pages for the Odhams annuals, so eBay sellers claiming otherwise are wrong. And... Leo left Odhams in 1966, so later issues of Wham! - and no issues of Pow! - feature his work, only that of people drawing in his style. 

These days, Rebellion own the rights to these old comics, so maybe they'll collect some classic Wham! material one day. There's nothing scheduled for 2019, but perhaps in the 2020s you'll be able to buy the collected Tiddlers or Eagle-Eye, Junior Spy. Who knows? 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Terry Bave

I've just heard the sad news that the cartoonist Terry Bave has passed away. I received a message from his son which read:

"Hi, it with deep heart to let you know that Terry Bave passed away, after a short illness, on 6th December 2018. He was drawing, despite his illness, right up to the end. His last creation being an wedding anniversary card in October to his wife. They had been married 66 years. He will be missed by all his family and friends, and countless comic followers.
All the best,
Russell Bave (Terry's son)"

Terry was born in Bristol in 1931 and had been freelancing as an illustrator since the 1950s. In the 1960s he approached Odhams for work and was given Sammy Shrink to draw in Wham!, taking over from the original artist David Jenner. Sammy would prove to be a huge hit, and was revived in the early 1970s for Whizzer and Chips and ran for many years.

Terry's clean, pleasant style was always very popular with the readers, as were the scripts, mainly written with his wife Shiela. Terry and Shiela came up with many new characters for the expanding IPC line of comics in the 1970s, having continued success with strips such as Me and my Shadow, Jimmy Jeckle and Master Hyde, The Slimms, Calculator Kid, Donovan's Dad, and many more.

In the 1990s he found work with D.C. Thomson, becoming the new regular artist on Winker Watson for The Dandy, and later he published his autobiography Cartoons and Comic Strips. He retired in 2007. 
My sincere condolences to Terry's family and friends at this sad time. Fans of his work will also be saddened but the best way to remember him is through the thousands of pages he drew over his long career, bringing fun and smiles to millions of children. Here are just a few examples....
Sammy Shrink from POW AND WHAM (1968)
Swots and Blots from SMASH! FUN BOOK 1971
Me and my Shadow from WHIZZER AND CHIPS No.1 (1969)
Bertie Bumpkin from JET no.1 (1971)
Good Guy from BUSTER (1994)
Terry Bave's autobiography, Cartoons and Comic Strips, is available from Lulu here:

John Freeman has written a lengthy memoriam on his Down The Tubes blog:

The second issue of FANSCENE is now available!

Issue 2 of Fanscene is now available to download for free, - and it's a mammoth 212 page edition!

Published by David Hathaway-Price and featuring articles by an array of writers, Fanscene No.2 celebrates 50 years of UK comic cons with articles on various events from the past half decade. The magazine is very nicely designed and features numerous photos and images from over the years. 

It's well worth your time, and even if you've been involved in fandom or the comics industry for years you'll still learn something new from all the personal recollections and history contained within. 

Visit this link to find out more and to download your copy:

The final issue of TV TORNADO

Comics based on TV shows were quite a thing in the mid-20th Century. From TV Comic and TV Fun to Look-In and Beeb, they met with varying degrees of success. in the 1960s City Magazines had joined the party with comics such as Yogi Bear's Own, Huckleberry Hound Weekly, and of course the hugely popular and best remembered TV Century 21

TV21 had a few companion comics that, apart from Lady Penelope weekly, didn't fare as well. Joe 90 Top Secret, Solo, ...and TV Tornado. The odd thing about TV Tornado was that some of its strips were not even based on TV shows, although it might have been great to have watched a Magnus Robot Fighter tv series in the 1960s.

I must confess I didn't think much to TV Tornado when I was a kid. I had the first issue and never bothered with it again. It seemed to be a very bland comic that didn't compare favourably to TV21 or American comics. Some of its content, such as the aforementioned Magnus Robot Fighter, were actually resized, edited reprints from U.S. Gold Key comics, but they lacked the dynamism of the Marvel Comics being reprinted in Fantastic at that time.

Seems that other kids felt the same, as TV Tornado only lasted 88 weeks before merging into TV21. (A merger that arguably weakened TV21.) However, I know that some have a soft spot for this comic so I thought I'd show a few extracts from the final issue...

By the way, TV Tornado was edited by Mick Anglo, who had created Marvelman in the 1950s. TV Tornado's fictional editor, Ed Storm, bore an uncanny resemblance to "The Skipper", the fictional editor of Super DC, which was launched in 1969. Even the page layouts looked similar. Hardly surprising, as the editor of Super DC was also... Mick Anglo! 

Saturday, December 08, 2018

The Christmas 2000AD (2018)

The bumper 100 page Christmas issue of 2000AD arrives in newsagents on Wednesday 12th December, and remains on sale until the New Year. It's a fantastic issue, and the highlight for me is the 20 page first episode of Fiends of the Western Front. Action, intrigue, and surprises! You'll love it!

Here's the info on the issue plus a few preview pages...

UK and DIGITAL: 12th December 2018 £4.99
NORTH AMERICA: 12th January 2018 $9.99

In this issue:

Judge Dredd: Jingle All the Way by TC Eglington (w) Boo Cook (a) Annie Parlhouse (l)

Caballistics, Inc.: Visiting Hour by Gordon Rennie (w) Dom Reardon (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Fall of Deadworld: Running Scared by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Skip Tracer: Louder Than Bombs by James Peaty (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Ellie De Ville (l)

Sláine: The Bogatyr by Pat Mills (w) Chris Weston (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Brink: High Society by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Fiends of the Western Front by Ian Edginton (w) Tiernen Trevallion (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Durham Red: Three Gifts by Alec Worley (w) Ben Willsher (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond
Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10

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