Saturday, January 01, 2011

Wham! It's New Year 1966

Here's the issue of Wham! that would have been on sale 45 years ago. As one would expect it's the New Year celebratory issue which gets off to a fine start with The Tiddlers on the front and back covers. Leo Baxendale was initially the artist of this strip but this week's is definitely not his work but that of one of the several "ghost" artists that Odhams encouraged to imitate Leo's style. I'm guessing that this might be early work by Mike Lacey.

Inside, the New Year theme continued, but in some cases only in a tenuous way. Here for example The Wacks merely use New Year as an excuse to write a song, but it's a funny script so worth showing here. Artwork by Gordon Hogg.

Wham! ran a regular pop page every week for readers to win an autographed record, and this issue saw the turn of The Moody Blues. Here they are reading an issue of the comic...

As ever, the centre pages saw another chapter in the Eagle-Eye Junior Spy serial. Artwork by Leo Baxendale. Once again Eagle-Eye is pitted against Grimly Feendish. Soon, Grimly would graduate to his own strip on the back page of Odham's new Smash! comic, but that was a month in the future at this point...

This was the period when Ken Reid was producing flawless slapstick comedy-horror and Frankie Stein was the triumph of his Sixties strips.

We all know that corporal punishment was the norm in British comics of this time but this issue of Wham! seems to relish in it. No less than three characters receive a beating from their parents...

Biff (artwork by either Artie Jackson or Graham Allen)...

The Humbugs (possibly Mike Lacey art)...

Danny Dare (Artie Jackson artwork)...

Wham! was mostly a humour comic but it did feature a couple of adventure pages. Here's a World of Adventure strip with artwork by John M. Burns (or possibly Eric Kincaid)...


On another topic, the polls I've been running on my sidebar are now closed. Thanks to all of you who took time to vote. Here are the results:

Which era of British comics would you like to see covered more often on this blog?
Prewar (1900 - 1939)
10 (5%)
Wartime/postwar (1940-1959)
20 (11%)
105 (61%)
25 (14%)
Recent years 2000 - present
10 (5%)
Total votes: 170

What would you like to see BLIMEY! cover in 2011?
Only old British comics
22 (20%)
More features on old American comics
10 (9%)
Stay the same (Old & new UK comics)
75 (70%)
Total votes: 107

I'll be taking the results into account for future postings on this blog, so your input is appreciated.

Just for fun, I asked:
Which of the following has been your favourite new regular UK title of 2010?
Comic Heroes
38 (28%)
14 (10%)
The new look Dandy
83 (61%)
Total votes: 135

It's great to see The Dandy the outright winner, and Comic Heroes a reasonable second. Poor old Clint though. Not much love for that title, and issue 5 is currently running late having not been published this week as advertised.

For 2011 I'm hoping to update Blimey! on a weekly basis, possibly more often if I have time (or important news breaks). I hope you'll continue to follow the blog and enjoy it. Once again, a Happy New Year!


Gareth said...

A happy new year to to you too Lew.I'm just catching up with your blogging.Those old copies of Wham look like they were fun to have.There's nothing QUITE like that around now.

Peter Gray said...

I voted for pre war..
But anyway I'm glad the 60's won as I don't have many comics from that era..

Love the Leo Baxendale one..those creepy hooded no face creatures..
Its also great seeing Leo and Ken being free to do what they like and sign there work..nothing like comic horror:)

Have a great new year Lew,,

Lew Stringer said...

It wasn't a race Peter. No one "won". :-) I'll still feature comics from all eras, but 60s/70s will take priority, which is good as that's mostly what I have.

I'll be cutting back on previews of current comics though as that seems the least popular, and many other sites cover that. People seem to come here for nostalgia/history so that'll be the main direction. I'll still preview the Commando comics though, as I know people like to see those.

David said...

I wouldn't be a commando subscriber and my kids wouldn't be mad about the new Dandy without your previews.

I have NO comic shops near me and only hear about many titles/relaunches due to your fantastic work publicizing them here.

Please keep up the good work

Lew Stringer said...

David, I'll still be publicizing new mainstream British comics here, and will be running the regular Commando updates when I receive them from DC Thomson. It's just that I'd rather spend the rest of my blog time on older UK comics, as they're not covered so much elsewhere. I'm also going by the poll results, and most readers would prefer to see nostalgia items, which is what this blog has mainly been about since day one really.

For updates on new indie comics the best sources are sites like Forbidden Planet International, Comic Bits Online, Down the Tubes etc.

boo909 said...

Happy New Year Lew, thanks for the Eagle Eye, always up for some Baxendale I haven't read, made me chuckle.

I think you're doing a great job here, one of the most interesting blogs on the net, comics or otherwise, thanks a lot, here's to another year of interesting posts.


Shaqui said...

Are you sure that 'World of Adventure' is by John M. Burns, Lew? Looks more like Eric Kincaid to me...

Lew Stringer said...

I see what you mean Shaqui. The figure in the penultimate panel looked like John Burns' work to me but now you mention it the rest does look like Eric Kincaid. I'll make an amendment to the text. Thanks.

Shaqui said...

I take your point. While whether it is Eric Kincaid is moot (he usually signs his work) it definitely isn't John M. Burns in this instance.

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