Monday, April 09, 2012
Here's another Easter classic for you to enjoy. It's Bimbo No.59 from 50 years ago with Tom Thumb drawn by Dudley D. Watkins.
The skill of Dudley Watkins was astonishing, particularly when you consider how prolific he was at this time. As well as producing two pages of Tom Thumb every week, his other weekly output was Desperate Dan, Lord Snooty, Ginger, Mickey the Monkey, The Broons, Oor Wullie, plus numerous pages he contributed to annuals. Over eight pages a week on a regular basis! I really find it incredible that he could manage such an output and maintain such high quality. What a remarkable artist he was.
Bimbo was a 20 page glossy comic for very young children, published by DC Thomson. This was a time way before "activity magazines" replaced comics for pre-schoolers and the main activity encouraged was the art of reading. How depressing that such wonderfully crafted comics as Bimbo (and others such as Jack and Jill and Playhour) that introduced children to the pleasures of reading for fun have been supplanted by cheap magazines with pages to colour or simple puzzles. It's no wonder that less 7 to 10 year olds are buying comics today, because they haven't already developed the skill of reading comics from titles such as Bimbo.
Bimbo also featured one of The Beezer's stars, Baby Crockett, in brand new strips drawn by his regular artist Bill Ritchie...
This issue was full of Easter themed strips but I won't feature them all. Here's one more though; The Teddy Bears. Interestingly, although all the other strips in Bimbo had the dialogue as part of the text beneath the panels, The Teddy Bears used the standard convention of word balloons. The final panel of every episode was a full page splash which served as an activity page. See if you can find all the hidden objects. Go on. You know you want to.
For more Easter comic fun pick up the latest issue of The Beano. Out now with 44 pages and a cover mounted catapult for £2.50.