Saturday, December 17, 2011
Christmas Comics: THE COMET (1947)
The Comet was originally launched in 1946 by J.B. Allen on Manchester and in 1949 was taken over by the Amalgamated Press of London to go on to greater glories featuring strips such as Battler Britton and Jet Ace Logan before merging into Tiger in 1958.
Here's one of the early J.B. Allen issues from Christmas 1947. The after effects of World War 2 were still being felt in the paper industry and the comic was on a fortnightly instead of weekly frequency. It only had eight pages (as did many comics of the time) and was printed in deep orange and dark green ink; a way of standing out on the shelves without the expense of full colour.
A seasonal logo but no festive aspect to the serial strip on the cover. Jungle Lord was drawn by R.Baumont, using the signature "Beau". White men taking charge of black natives was a common theme in British comics of the day, as was the name Dick for the hero.
Inside, the contents had the traditional split of 50% comics/50% text pages like most British comics. Here's page three, featuring a seasonal greeting from the anonymous "The Editor" plus a few curious pieces of a bygone era. Note the article about the amateur radio enthusiasts who spend "night after night, talking to other amateurs in other parts of the globe". Hah! Can you imagine the people of our modern 21st Century using technology for such pursuits? The very idea. ;-)
You may also have noted a pious attitude to other races in the other items on that page. Sadly that's something else that still exists today.
On page four were the only humour strips in the comic, and also the only ones that had Christmas themes. The artwork is fairly basic compared to material seen in DC Thomson and A.P. comics of the time, and the gags are ancient even for 1947, but they do the job. That's a nicely festive decorated border too.
There's another time-trip to a bygone Christmas scheduled soon. What year will we arrive at next?