Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas comics: SPARKY (1969)


Beginning a seasonal look back at some Christmas comics of the past. Today, DC Thomson's classic comic Sparky No.258, dated December 27th 1969. Although it didn't have the impact of Vic Neill's cover for the 1970 edition, Bill Ritchie's Barney Bulldog strip still has a pleasant festive flavour.

With the exception of the serials and adventure strips every strip in this issue had a Christmas theme. Here's a character who only enjoyed a relatively short run, Esky Mo, with artwork by Robert Nixon...


On the next page was We Are The Sparky People drawn by Jim Petrie. Ideally this page should have appeared before the Esky Mo strip as it sets up the plot of Throgmorton inviting the other Sparky characters to the party...


Keyhole Kate was always a strange strip, being about a voyeur. Despite its limited premise the strip ran for many years, having originated in The Dandy No.1 in 1937! This Sparky page is by Albert Holroyd.


On the colourful back page is the party referred to in the Esky Mo and Sparky People strips, which is also attended by Frederick, Cedric, and the Inspector from L Cars, Hungry Horace, Pansy Potter, Barney Bulldog, Spoofer McGraw (and his pal Bo), Peter Piper, Invisible Dick, I-Spy (and Boss), and characters from Kings of the Castle. The page is drawn by the regular Puss and Boots artist, John Geering...


Also in this issue was a half page advertisement for that year's Sparky Book. A bargain at only 8/6d (42 and a half pence). Note also the reader's letters, which were full of allegedly true anecdotes but, unlike their equivalent in American comics, featured no comments on the strips themselves.


Another flashback to a Christmas comic tomorrow!

7 comments:

Matty B said...

Thank you for another Sparky post, my all time favourite comic. I still remember how annoyed I was when it merged with The Topper!

Peter Gray said...

Love the gag of the Christmas tree on the underground!! in Esky Mo..

Also good fun all the characters getting together throughout the issue..

look forward to the next Christmas comic post:)

Lew Stringer said...

The next one goes live at midnight tonight! :)

Anonymous said...

Looks boring. Got any comics from the eightes?

Lew Stringer said...

Yes thanks.

Graham Exton said...

Sparky was way sassier than the other Thomsons comics. I saved loads of Puss and Boots strips, and still have them, mounted on archive - quality card (offcuts from Staffordshire Record Office!) John Geering was great. I was lucky enough to write many Gums scripts for him.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, Sparky definitely had its own style. It started out aimed at a sort of intermediate age between Bimbo and Beano, but by the late 1960s had turned into something else entirely; quirkier and dafter than the other comics. Good stuff.

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