Friday, December 24, 2010
Christmas 1960: The Beezer
By 1960 The Beezer was still a relatively young comic compared to its sister titles in the D.C. Thomson stable. It only had 12 pages at this time, but the massive tabloid size, a dying format for comics by the 1960s, was a boon to The Beezer and its companion comic The Topper.
Pop, Dick and Harry are on the cover, drawn by Tom Bannister, wherein Dad's arrogance leads to his comeuppance in a typicaly tightly written script of the period.
Inside, The Black Sapper makes a bid for freedom through a department store, illustrated by Jack Glass, one of my favourite D.C. Thomson adventure artists. I loved the fact that his inkline wasn't too slick and polished, but had a sketchy energy about it.
Ginger, on page 5 a while before he returned to his cover position, is a straightforward but perfectly executed Dudley Watkins job. Ginger's Christmas presents (a trumpet, a Cowboy and Indian outfit, and a toy aeroplane) are a world away from what kids would want today.
The Beezer had quality artwork on every page in 1960, with all contributors at the top of their game. Page 8 in particular, as it features a Leo Baxendale Banana Bunch illustration. This was the start of Leo's most productive decade, which would see his influence reach across all British humour comics. An influence that is still in evidence to this day, 50 year later.
Another Tom Bannister page, Colonel Blink, was always worth a read as it was almost always incredibly funny. Inspired by Mr.Magoo, but a true classic in its own right. I'd venture that it was regularly funnier than Magoo.
On the back page, Bill Ritchie's Baby Crockett was a gentle way to round off such a madcap issue, and what better way to end the Christmas issue than with carol singing?