Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Comics: CHIPS (1942)


We've arrived at our final destination on the long time trip through Christmas comics of the past. It's December 1942 and in the dark days of the war comics are doing their bit to brighten the spirits of the young generation. Illustrated Chips and The Joker modified its logo for issue 2,695 to adorn its cover with a special festive title, the Chips Merry Xmas Number. Underneath the logo, The Christmas Antics of Weary Willie and Tired Tim (Chips' cover stars since Tom Browne created them in 1896) were drawn by Percy Cocking from 1909 until the final issue in 1953!

At this time, Chips, like most wartime comics, had reduced its frequency from weekly to fortnightly. By this stage of the war the comic's humour strips were trying to distract readers from the grimness of warfare but the text story Home for Xmas tried to put an uplifting aspect on the situation.


The Editor's message also tried to be warming and upbeat, reflecting the hopes of many that the war would soon be over.


Dane the Dog Detective was a predecessor to The Dandy's Black Bob and his text story tales ran in Chips for many years. Here he's involved in the Mystery at Mistletoe Manor.


As always, the centre pages of Chips were packed with several short humour strips. Here's a few from this issue. (Apologies for any flaws in the scans of this fragile old comic.) Firstly, Pa Perkins and his Son Percy, drawn by Bertie Brown...


Professor Jolly and his Magic Brolly by H.E. Pease...


Homeless Hector (and his puss pal Moonlight Moggie) also by Bertie Brown...


Dickie Duffer by Albert Pease...


Pages 6 and 7 featured more text stories plus a poem by "Philpot Bottles" Chips' fictional office boy.

The back page provided a great finalé to the issue. I'm sure The Casey Court Xmas Party must have given readers lots of pleasure studying the busy illustration. Beneath, The Merry Skylarks of Alfie the Air Tramp (a strip that Chips had inherited from Joker comic) is by John Jukes I believe.


And that brings us to the end of this series of festive flashbacks. I hope you've enjoyed all the Christmas strips I've shown this past few weeks (all scanned from my own collection, not from books or other sites). If you're not already heartily sick of snow-topped logos and humour involving Christmas puddings there are more Christmas covers and stories in the Blimey archive. (Check the sidebar of this blog for December postings of other years.)


Incidentally, today marks the fifth anniversary of this blog, so I'd like to thank you all for visiting Blimey, whether you're a new visitor or someone who's been following the blog for the last five years. After the frantic pace of the last few days I'm taking a break for a short time now but will return with more comics from the past and present in the not too distant future.

In the meantime may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2012!

11 comments:

Bruce Laing said...

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and safe New Year Lew. :)

Mike Morris said...

Thanks for providing such a great site, Lew.

Brendini said...

Many many thanks, Lew. That was a really enjoyable read. How on earth are you going to top or equal that next year? Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Niblet said...

Thanks for this year's bumper bundle of festive fun, Lew.

Peter Gray said...

Happy Christmas Lew and a Happy Healthy Fun New Year..

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks folks. That's much appreciated. The very best to you all for Christmas and 2012!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this and all the other posts throughout the year, Lew - you've certainly earned your Christmas holiday!

BTW: With my fanboy/geek hat on, I notice the Letter fron the Editor in this issue of Chips is addressed "Fleetway House" - it seems the Fleetway name has a long and chequered history in British comics?

Lew Stringer said...

That's right. Although the publisher back then was 'Amalgamated Press' it's the same company that became Fleetway Publications in 1959 (and later IPC).

More info here:
IPC history

Anonymous said...

Just to add to the other posts on here Lew have a great Christmas and thanks for producing probably the best UK comics blog out there - especially for this excellent trip down memory lane (and History) with the Christmas editions I really loved the Odhams issues but the Radio Fun, Chips etc editions were a real eye opener to myself just wonderful, funny stuff I can see some influences on folk like Leo Baxendale etc in these older books and see how this work cemented the importance of UK comics in errr the UK - McScotty

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks McScotty! Much appreciated. Thanks for your comments. Lots of stuff to blog about in 2012 when I find time. Merry Christmas!

Mark said...

Thanks for lots of great posts in 2011.

Please do more Viz work in 2012 if you don't mind!

I'd love to find out what Felix has been up to lately.

I understand he still has a rather large pair of pants which often result in hijinks.

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