Friday, December 12, 2008
Christmas Comic Covers - Part 6
Thanks to those of you who said you enjoyed seeing these old covers. I don't intend running them right up to Christmas, - only a few more blogs on this theme to go, - but there's still some crackers to come, if you'll pardon the pun. Starting off this session is the cover to Knockout from 1971 featuring a host of the comic's characters joining the Full House family for the festive edition. The artwork is, I think, by Joe McCaffery.
The Christmas Beano for 1966 is a wonderful piece by Dudley Watkins who managed to include almost every Christmas comic iconography on one cover: decorated tree, pud, Santa, crackers, pressies, reindeer, mistletoe, holly, turkey, mince pies, snow, and even a robin on a Yuletide log! Incidentally, the reason my name's on the top of the cover isn't due to some weird compulsion to scrawl my name on everything I own, it's because I had The Beano reserved at my local newsagent in the Sixties.
Compare that Beano to The Hornet from the same week in 1966, which, apart from the logo, has no reference to Christmas on its cover at all.
The Jester from 1919, quite expensive at penny ha'penny at a time when most other comics were a third of that price, wasn't very festive either, except for the Harry Coe, The Priceless Old Bean strip on the bottom half of the cover. Artist unknown. Perhaps a more dedicated Christmas issue appeared the week after, which would be dated December 27th?
The Christmas Whoopee! from 1984 is a lively Frankie Stein cover by Robert Nixon, who also designed the special logo for this issue. Nixon clearly relished drawing his Christmas pages as he always decorated them so well.
Alan Davis is the artist for the 1985 festive edition of 2000AD featuring D.R. and Quinch. Some adventure comics such as Countdown or Action didn't bother with Christmas covers, but 2000AD often showed how it could be done without looking too juvenile, - a tradition it upholds to this day.
Cor!! was IPC's second humour comic launch after Whizzer and Chips and this 1970 edition drawn by Alf Saporito was its first Christmas cover. Mike Lacey was the artist who drew the Gus Gorilla head shot though, and no doubt the festive adornments were added by an IPC staff artist.
Finally for this selection, two Playhour covers, both from 1956, kindly sent in by blog reader John Wigmans. Depending on which day of the week Christmas falls, some comics in the past have published two celebratory issues, as is the case here. The sumptous artwork is by Harold McCready and a short article on the artist including scans of his original artwork can be read on Steve Holland's Bear Alley blog at this link:
Another Christmas cover gallery soon!