Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas comics: LION (1971)


Considering it was mainly an adventure comic, Lion still managed to squeeze in a lot of festive cheer for its 25th December 1971 issue. The stage was set with the front cover by Geoff Campion featuring several of Lion's characters gathered for Christmas dinner.

For long running serials that had made no mention of the festivities in previous weeks it seemed a little jarring for the story to suddenly go off at a seasonal tangent. However, for Lion's young readers it all added to the excitement of the season. In the conclusion to this Black Max story it even starts snowing on cue. Art by Alfonso Font...



The most bizarre Christmas inclusion was in the Fury's Family episode, where the animals celebrate Christmas because Fury "told them what it is all about", and apparently it's about elephants wearing paper hats and tigers pulling crackers. Art by Denis McCloughlin...


One of the nice things about these old adventure weeklies is that editors knew how to pace a comic, running a couple of humour strips in between the serials so the whole package didn't become too unrelenting. Here's The Spooks of St.Lukes. (The name of the artist escapes me at present, but he also filled in for Ken Reid on Frankie Stein in the 1960s)...


The Steel Commando was a strip I never cared for, and I usually skipped it. The closing scenes of this episode are very strange though, and quite touching for a boys comic. Ironsides the robot getting broody? Bizarre! (Art by Alex Henderson according to Steve Holland's Fleetway Companion book.)


It's snow on the logo and a party hat on the skull for the Adam Eterno story, which concludes with a Christmas scene. Artwork by the great Solano Lopez...




Finally, Reg Parlett's superb Mowser strip rounds off the issue. Considering Reg's long career in comics (over 60 years) and how prolific he was it's staggering to imagine the number of Christmas pages he must have drawn. Yet each one is as fresh as any other. Wonderful stuff.


There'll be another look back at a Christmas comic soon!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its a nice way to finish a adventure with a Christmas cheer and a lovely meal..lots of celebrations..

Mowser is just great..

Peter Gray

Graham Exton said...

I'd forgotten about Mowser. Mr Parlett's style never became stiff or too stylised. (I would argue that Ken Reid's and Jack Kirby's art did these as they got older.) Elegant stuff.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...