Monday, August 27, 2012

Comic Oddities: NODDY'S TALL BOOKS (1960)

  
Although The Dandy was the first comic I had regularly it wasn't the first comic I actually read. For years I've thought it was a Christmas 1963 issue of Yogi Bear's Own that was my introduction to comics, but recently I realised that I must have read Huckleberry Hound Chuckleberry Time before that. 

However, after sorting out some old stuff to throw out / sell I found a couple of comics that I remembered having even before the aforementioned titles. Dated 1960 (when I was just a year old) I must have had them a couple of years later, when I was 2 or 3. I think it's safe to say that Noddy's Tall Red Book and the Tall Yellow Book were the first comics I read (or had read to me). I recall there was also a Tall Green Book, that seems to have been lost in the time stream. Sorry about the condition of the books in these photos, but I was only a toddler at the time...


Make no mistake, these are comics, not picture books, using Enid Blyton's famous Noddy character in what I think are new stories. An unusual format, but definitely all-comic strip material. Each "book" measures 7.5cm wide by 26cm high and has just 12 pages. Each spread features a complete comic strip, so there are five stories in all. Each page is read from top to bottom before doing the same with the corresponding page. Here's the opening strip from the Red Book which must be the first in the series as it introduces Noddy...


In typical British comics subversive fashion, Noddy almost drives into a policeman, and that's the end of the story so he gets away with it. In another strip, the residents of Toytown think Noddy himself has been run over. It's panic in the streets until Noddy reassures them he's ok...


In the next story, Noddy has his car nicked by a bad goblin, but luckily Big Ears is around to dish out some instant justice. I'm not sure what the sailor's doing in the background...


In the Yellow Book, Noddy doesn't show an ounce of gratitude to Big Ears for rescuing his car. Buying a gun from a grinning merchant in a backstreet shop he shoots Big Ears in the face and gut, laughing while he commits the foul deed, making The Joker look like an amateur in comparison...


Ok, it was a pop-gun, but being shot in the face by a cork would still hurt. Sadistic little git isn't he? You could take someones eye out with that. 

I don't know how many of these comics were published. As I said, I had three, but if they were based on basic colours there couldn't have been many more. Anyone else out there remember these comics?

To read the strips, click on the images to open in another page, then click again to see them larger.

2 comments:

Manic Man said...

Lets see now.. First published in 1960 by Sampson Low, Illustrated by Robert Tyndall. The Series was:
Noddy's Tall Red Book
Noddy's Tall Yellow Book
Noddy's Tall Green Book
Noddy's Tall Orange Book
Noddy's Tall Blue Book
Noddy's Tall Pink Book

Tyndall did a number of Noddy books, and is now a Fine Art Painter. He also did the artwork for the Adventures of Twizzle Comic, Larry the Lamb strips from TV Land Magazine (it's a shame only one episode of Twizzle is around there days...). He also has appeared at the Enid Blyton day event in 2006.

Information mostly from http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk
and
http://www.heathersblytonpages.com

Howzats?

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Manic! I should have looked it up myself really.

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