Tuesday, October 28, 2008
As I covered Firework comics quite extensively last year (see here) I won't be going into them in any depth this time round. However, here are two celebratory "Bonfire night" covers for your amusement.
The 1969 issue of Whizzer and Chips above is not only the first Firework edition of that comic but is only the third issue of the long running title. (You'll notice my ten year old self scribbled "No.3" on the cover as IPC never bothered numbering most of their weeklies.) The artwork is by Mike Lacey. Note the kids recklessly holding fireworks in their hands. Whilst some fireworks could be hand-held (thanks to a wooden handle fitted to the end, - yes, wooden, and painted wood at that) the ones in the strip would burn the hands of anyone holding them that close to the flame. Yet as kids we knew that it was only comic fantasy. It's only in revisiting those strips with adult sensibilities and fears that they seem irresponsible. Real kids knew better than to imitate their comic strip equivalents.
Five years earlier, the cover of the 1964 Firework issue of The Beano (drawn by Dudley Watkins) had fireworks going off in all directions. It's a shame that knee-jerk fears of children copying comics led to the Firework issues fizzling out. A rocket streaming across a cover or "BANG!" sound effect was a good way to brighten up a strip.