Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas Comic Covers - Part 1

Merry Christmas Chums! Throughout December I will, on occasion, be posting various Christmas covers here for your perusal. The choices will be randomly selected from various years and not consecutive so I hope there will be a few surprises along the way, along with a few memories stirred. I won't be going into detail about the contents. The idea is just to present the covers for visual entertainment, with basic info on who drew them, where known.

First up, at the top of this post, is the Buster cover from Christmas 1969. Artwork by Spanish artist Nadal. A simple design but quite striking, and changing the usual logo colour (red on yellow) to yellow on blue really made the issue stand out in the shops.

Next, (above) the cover for Lion and Thunder dated 25th December 1971. Artwork by the superb Geoff Campion illustrating a traditional "slap up feed". Such scenes were common on humour comics, but not so much on adventure comics so this was quite unusual for the times. It features many of the comic's stars, brought together for the first (and only) time, even including cartoon cat Mowser and James the Butler!

The Eagle cover for 1958 has little to do with Christmas in its cover strip but the masthead is nicely decorated and it's a good excuse to show some Frank Hampson artwork. (Or would this be by Keith Watson and Desmond Walduck by this time? Let me know Eagle experts!)

The Joker from Christmas 1934 is a classic pre-war cover, full of fun and slapstick. A real "feelgood" style. The artwork is by John Jukes I think, which once again shows a big feed at the end.

Tiger and Hurricane, from 1968, has a busy logo adorned with presents, and Typhoon Tracy, strongman of the comic, dressed as Father Christmas. The Skid Solo cover strip, suitably snowy, is by John Vernon.

Also from 1968, the Christmas Beano features a nice Biffo the Bear strip by Dudley Watkins from a typically inventive script from the DC Thomson fun factory. (Update: Comment from "Jason. A. Quest" over on Heidi MacDonalds The Beat blog: "No children’s comic is complete without at least one strip in which the character dresses up as a giant erect penis. ")

The Christmas 2002 issue of The Dandy is a wonderfully festive cover by Keith Robson featuring all the Dandy stars of the period.

Finally in this selection, a fantastic TV Express cover by Mike Western from December 1961. The composition and colour of this cover is just perfect, showing what a great artist he was. Mike passed away in May of this year and the comics industry is poorer for his loss.

More Christmas Comic Covers soon! If you have any childhood memories of certain Christmas editions let me know and I'll see if I have a copy to show here.


Vexillia said...

Thanks Lew. Thus cheered me no end on a cold winter's morn.

Peter Gray said...


I always liked the Hoot panto one by Steve Bright...a whole comic given over to make one long story..

Also anything 80's's...Beano liked the carol ones done in Dennis unique verses..

..Dandy..Whoopee..Whizzer and chips..Wow!..etc..

Oink must of done a Christmas cover not seen that one..

Great feature...just like your firework covers blog posts..

Lew Stringer said...

Hi Peter, The Hoot Panto story was actually the New Year issue so won't be included here but I do have the Christmas issue for that period so I'll be featuring that in the next blog.

Steven Henderson said...

You have got to love the use of snow on lettering at Christmas! Its not a Christmas issue without it!

Lew Stringer said...

I agree Steve. Some editors are traditionalists for things like that, whilst others don't bother. Me, I always put snow on my Christmas strip logos!

Lotus666 said...

Lovely to see some examples of Christmas 'toon artwork - great bit of blogging there, Mr Scrooge! ;)

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Cool, cheers for sharing these !!

Robert said...

Gorgeous - love Christmas covers, make me so sentimental. Very keen on the Lion cover, even though I have no idea who these folk are. The Dandy cover's very nice as well.

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