Monday, May 28, 2012
This week in 1941: COMIC CUTS
The 1940s aren't faring very well so far in the poll but I hope you'll enjoy this posting. Here's a wartime edition of Comic Cuts (No.2,663) which was on sale 71 years ago this week in 1941.
Wartime cutbacks were taking hold and had already caused the end of Larks comic, which had merged into Comic Cuts in 1940. The price of the comic had also risen. No longer the penny comics of the 1930s, Comic Cuts now cost 2d for just 8 tabloid pages.
The cover stars are The Crusoe Kids and this example is a smashing piece of work by Cyril Price. A slick inking style and lots of background detail pull the reader into the story, - and is 'The Pig and Faceache' one of the funniest names for a pub or what? This is top quality work printed on very cheap paper but it has been preserved by some careful owners over the years so is still immaculate. As for the bits of wood chip and greyness of the paper, - that's how it is. The paper is actually as grey as cardboard, but the orange spot colour livens it up considerably.
Inside, one of the various strips across the centre pages was Waddles the Waiter. This strip's first series ran from 1912 to 1925, drawn by Alexander Akerbladh. Later, the editor obviously thought it still had legs so it was revived from 1938 to 1947 by Terry Wakefield.
Here's a typical wartime strip which sees Plum and Duff resourcefully deal with the enemy, in this case, Italian soldiers. Sadly, a sign of the times mean it's any excuse to use offensive nicknames for foreigners. Artwork by Albert Pease.
The League of Ovaltineys was the wartime equivalent of social networking, with kids eager to be a part of it. No video games to partake in back then though of course but instructions on how to make a paper plane would still provide entertainment...
On the back page, Pinhead and Pete drawn by Bertie Brown. Again, there's some racist language used casually here, but Pinhead (the big white guy) and Pete (the little black chap) are clearly good friends and equals, which hopefully was the message that filtered through to readers.
The somewhat surreal strip at the foot of the page, Dizzy, was another fine Cyril Price job. All in all, a great issue with some of Britain's top humour comic artists of the era.