Saturday, November 22, 2014

Funny Monsters Comic No.2 - It's Christmas!

Yes, it may only be November but the Christmas issue of Funny Monsters Comic is out now! As mentioned in an earlier post, this independent comic is produced and published by long-established cartoonist Joe Matthews. Fed up with the lack of new British humour comics being published by the major publishers he went out and did his own!

Funny Monsters Comic No.2 is another 16 pages of Christmas full colour fun including pages of comic strips featuring Zackster Kid Zombie, Scary Monsters, the Bed Bugs, and Werewolf Growl. There's also a two page text story featuring Milly, Monster Hunter, and several activity pages. It's a very nice package for kids and would be a good stocking stuffer for Christmas. The comic also has free gifts in the form of three character stickers and two trading cards. 

You can visit the comic's official Facebook page to find out more:

Funny Monsters Comic only has limited distribution so far, so you won't find it in Smiths or Asda! However, you can buy a copy from Joe himself when he appears at various locations selling the comics (see the Facebook page for updates about this). Alternatively you can send for a copy by post simply by using PayPal ( £2 including p&p - or £3 for issues 1 & 2).

There's no mention of when No.3 will appear, but it'll be early next year hopefully. Give Funny Monsters Comic your support and let's make it a regular comic!

Friday, November 21, 2014


A new comic magazine appeared on the shelves a few weeks ago, - Football Galaxy, a 40 page glossy all-colour publication for £3.99. It's bagged with gifts, as these mags usually are now, but amongst its features you'll find nine pages of brand new comic strips. 

All the strips are by Nigel Parkinson (with some scripts by Paul Palmer) and take place 'far away in time and space', centering around a football team on another planet. Here you'll meet cyborg soccer star Billy Basher...
...the fans of Space Kop...
...Old-time intergalactic groundsman Pop...
...and others including a tentacled alien in a sheepskin coat. The rest of the magazine is taken up with football features such as this...
The tone of the mag is very lighthearted and irreverent in the vein of Toxic and Mega, although there are also informative features on today's footie stars for the young fan.

Football Galaxy is published by Shubrook Bros. Media LLP, and I think the frequency is every three weeks. Issue 2 is in the shops now.

Nigel Parkinson's blog: 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Nits of the Round Table (Tiger, 1966)

I'm insanely busy at the moment so this blog post will be brief. In 1966, Leo Baxendale had been working for Odhams for a couple of years on Wham! and Smash! but then moved to Fleetway to freelance on The Nits of the Round Table for Tiger weekly, starting in the issue dated 26th November 1966. Here's a few examples of that short run strip. (It ended in 1967.) Some of these strips look like Mike Brown may have collaborated with Leo on them but I'm not sure. (I think Leo explained the situation in his autobiography, but I've mislaid it at present.) Anyway, classic 1960s fun! (The strip was reprinted in Buster in 1973.) Click on pages to see them much bigger. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Commando Nos.4759 to 4762 out this week

Directly from Commando HQ, here's the intel on the four issues of Commando that will be in the shops on Thursday (or even Wednesday in some areas)...
Commando Issues 4759-4762 – On sale 20 November 2014

Commando No 4759 – Assault In The Alps
On the morning of the 28th of June 1914, two pistol shots fired in a Sarajevo street plunged the world into war.
   Four years later battles raged across the globe with some of the hardest fighting in the mountains between Italy and Austria. Lieutenant Roger Walton was sent to Italy as a liaison officer because someone in authority wanted to keep him away from the deadly trenches in France. They could have no idea that he was being sent to a far more lethal theatre of war.

As a tribute to those who served during the years 1914-1918 — on the Home Front or at the Front Line — Commando has produced a series of stories of characters caught up in the tumult of the First World War. None of them are real people but we’d like to think that their experiences will not be a million miles from what actually happened to so many across the globe.
   Last time, we saw how the tank changed the face of the battlefield forever. This time we are in Italy where the terrain so dominated warfare that armies fought as they had since time immemorial — face-to-face.
   I hope you enjoy this and the other stories in the series as much as we have.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

The series concludes in four weeks with Armistice! Commando No 4767

Story: George Low
Art: Keith Page
Cover: Ian Kennedy

Commando No 4760 – Vultures Over Malta

When Sir Francis Drake sailed into Cadiz harbour and attacked the Spanish fleet they said he had singed the King of Spain’s beard.
   Now meet Nick Corrigan, who sailed into an enemy-held harbour and burned the black whiskers off Hitler’s face. And all he had to do it with was the “Nelly”, a rusty old minesweeper.
   At least that’s what she looked like. Pound for pound, though, this vicious little tub was the most heavily-armed ship in the Royal Navy.


I don’t want you to be misled by this cover so I’m telling you now that this ISN’T an air story. That, though, is the end of the bad news because this is a smashing (pun intended) naval story to rival any pirate yarn from any age. Add in a classic “stuffed shirt” as a second enemy and you have a classic.
   Sostres art I have commented on before, pointing out that his treatment of line and shading makes for as excellent night scenes as daylight ones. Once again he doesn’t disappoint.
   Ken Barr’s cover is the icing on the cake of this mini-classic. But that’s just my opinion, you can decide for yourself.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Vultures Over Malta, originally Commando No 130 (August 1964), re-issued as No 683 (October 1972)

Story: McOwan
Art: Sostres
Cover: Ken Barr

Commando No 4761 – Battle-Carrier!

Near the end of the Second World War, Flight Lieutenant Frank Mason and his photo-reconnaissance Mosquito bomber were sent to the Aleutian Islands to assist the USAAF’s search for Japanese vessels.
   There Frank found himself in the middle of a desperate battle for survival against a fanatical group of Japanese who refused to accept that Emperor had surrendered. To make matters even worse, they were in charge of an absolute monster — a Yamato-class superbattleship that had been converted into an aircraft carrier…to make a fearsome

Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Carlos Pino
Cover: Carlos Pino

Commando No 4762 – Walrus To The Rescue

With complete disregard for himself and his navigator, Colin Hamble threw his Mosquito around the sky like a madman. His only thought was to ruthlessly kill his enemy.
   Well, the day came when he was given something a lot slower than a Mossie — a Walrus amphibian with a top speed of about 130mph. Colin soon found that saving lives needed a lot more guts and skill than taking them!


Mention a Commando air story to someone and there’s a good chance they’ll describe aerial action involving sleek fighters like Spitfires, Me109s, Corsairs or Zeroes — and they’d be right to, of course.
   However, it’s good when a tale does something different, focussing on a lesser-known aircraft — like the Supermarine Walrus, for example. These trusty amphibian bi-planes were a sight for sore eyes for many a downed pilot — for they were used for vital RAF air-sea rescue missions, their brave crews saving many lives. Proving once again that Commando’s format has the scope to tell stories that can be a little less obvious than what might be expected.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Walrus To The Rescue!, originally Commando No 913 (February 1975), re-issued as No 2252 (February 1989)

Story: R.A. “Monty” Montague
Art: Mira
Cover: Ian Kennedy

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ads of the past (1970/71)

I know some find them intrusive, but I've always liked advertisements in comics. They place the comic into a larger cultural context, and years later can evoke as many nostalgic memories as the stories themselves. Plus they help finance the comics, which can't be a bad thing. 

Here's a bunch of ads that appeared in IPC comics in 1970 and early 1971. Kicking off above with a promotion for space stickers that were free in boxes of Sugar Smacks. Back when cereals were allowed to carry incentives like free gifts. Back when there were Sugar Smacks! (Which I personally always found tastier than their rivals Sugar Puffs.)

Next, an ad for a very slim Cadbury bar which carried free cards. In fact the bar wasn't much bigger than the cards as I recall.  
Spacex! I barely remember this toy brand, but I think I had one of the models.
A full page promo for The Sun from the pages of Scorcher comic. A blatant way to encourage kids to get their parents to buy that newspaper...

Corgi Rockets were a rival to Hot Wheels. I had a Corgi Rockets Triple-loop set, because I was familiar with Corgi cars so the advertising didn't have to work too hard to convince me. 
Puffa Puffa Rice was another cereal that's no longer around, as far as I know. In 1970 they were giving away various plastic warriors. Nice little toy figures. I still have a couple of them, as you can see in the photo after the ad...

Spears Games produced several stocking fillers, - relatively cheap but well made games for the Christmas market. Here's their 1970 ad, alongside small ads for Jacoskates and Subbuteo!
This View-Master ad reads like something Don Draper might create in Mad Men. It really sells the product well. View-Master was incredibly popular back in the sixties and seventies...
Brooke Bond tea regularly gave away free cards, changing the subject matter on a yearly basis. In 1971, with the Moon landing still relatively fresh in the memory, The Race Into Space was the subject...
Free cards were considered a good incentive to sell products, and were comparatively cheap to produce. Even Walls Sausages were at it!
I'll post more old ads at a later date. By the way, if you're new to this blog, click on each image to see it larger. 

Some previous blog entries about ads in comics:

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