Thursday, December 04, 2014

Any requests?

For some reason not so many people seem to post comments on this blog as there used to be. This could be because a lot of you comment about the posts on Facebook instead when I post links there. Or perhaps you're losing interest in my choice of subjects? Or perhaps another reason?

I still have lots of topics regarding British comics that I want to cover here, but I was just wondering if any of you have any preferences? Are there any comics, characters, or artists you'd like to see me yapping about? (Bearing in mind I may already have covered them, if you enter the words in the search windows.) 

Anyway, please let me know. Is there anything specific you'd like to see me blog about or, after 8 years, has this blog had its day? Post a comment below and let's discuss it. 

56 comments:

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I am so jealous of that Scorcher collection (drooooooool all that Ken Reid art and other great strips) - Personally I love reading your blog and visit it (and about 3 others) every couple of days or more (depending on work etc) - very happy with it as it is and love most of the the older (golden age) stuff, obviously the 60s/70S as thats my era - but if suggestions - well seeing as you have all those Scorchers some more Ken Reid would be more that fun ( especially" Harry Hammertoe" and the "Triptoe Triers" as only have a handful of the former and 1 of the latter) anything by Leo Baxendale, Odhams, forgotten comics (Jet, Thunder etc) and if possible something on 70s Fanzines ( you were one of the leading lights and it was such a great time) and UK Marvel/ DC etc . But happy with what you do already

Big D said...

I can't think of a topic off the top of my head but I always enjoy the Commando posts and anything about British adventure comics 70s-80s.

paddykool said...

I'm still here Lew...just busier at the moment . I enjoyed the Ken Reid pages you uploaded a couple of days ago .More of him please!!I'm sure I'm not alone .Sometimes there isn't enough time in the day.Keep it up .

Staz Johnson said...

Hi Lew,

How about something on my own personal favorite Brit comic character when I was a wee nipper.... Billy The Cat! I always thought he was a terrific character (kinda like a British version of Robin, without the Batman bit...)& the artwork on his strip in the Beano in the early 70's was top notch (I still have a few of the annuals from that period to refer back to, so I know it's not just nostalgia tinted glasses telling me how good the art was). That said, I know nothing about who the artists or writers were on the strip, & there seems to be very little about the character online. Over to you.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks for your comments so far folks. Good one, Staz. I thought I'd blogged about Billy the Cat but looking back I've hardly mentioned him. I don't have a lot of his strips but I'll see what I can do. The artist was Dave Sutherland by the way, who's been drawing the Bash Street Kids most weeks for 52 years. A skilled artist who can draw in both humour and adventure styles.

Paddykool, yes more Ken Reid coming up in a few weeks.

Thanks Big D. I'll be showing a very interesting 1970s strip soon that I think you'll enjoy.

Paul, I did a post on fanzines a few years ago but it's an area worth exploring further. Thanks for the suggestion.

Staz Johnson said...

Hi Lew,

If you like I could scan & send you the Billy' strips I have from the annuals, I know that won't mean adding to my own collection, but regardless of that, I think the material should be out there, & your blog would seem the perfect home for it.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Staz but I have the annual strips so no need to go to any trouble there. I have enough weekly ones to do a short feature. I can't risk uploading too many of course as it'll annoy DCT. Publishers tend to be ok as long as blogs don't push it too far.

Steve B said...

Hi Lew,
Keep up the good work! I try and 'pop over' to your site every day (work permitting!) and like the format as is - keep on with the UK stuff! (Not sure if you've covered Sid Burgon, but some info about him (and Mike Lacey, Terry Bave etc!) would be nice! :)

TwoHeadedBoy said...

It's a double-edge sort of thing... Ever since I started linking to my blog on Facebook, views have gone up but comments have gone down, can't win!

How about some stuff on Sonic The Comic? Almost every history of UK comics I've read seems to ignore it, despite it lasting for nine years and being so much more than one of those "cash-in" comics.

Nigel Kitching's Decap Attack was a comedy masterpiece, and Mark Millar (of Kick-Ass fame) got his start in there too!

Lew Stringer said...

Hi Steve, I did a short piece of Sid Burgon when he retired but little else:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/sid-burgon-retires.html

I don't really have a great deal of IPC funnies from the 70s/80s but there'll be enough to cover some artists.

Ryan, I haven't covered STC much because it felt a bit self-indulgent to review comics I worked for and it seems to be covered by the Sonic fanbase quite thoroughly. (They probably remember more about the comic than I do.) I featured the 1996 Christmas issue a few years ago though...

http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/christmas-comics-sonic-comic-1996.html

...but, yeah, I'll have to post more about it soon.

Raven said...

I really liked your post on Jag comic a mere seven years or so(!) back, Lew, and, as quite a fan of Tom Kerr, who I thought was a good boys' adventure artist, I'd like to see more of how Boy Bandit developed - that looked like it featured some of his best artwork. I'd like to get some of his 'King of Keg Island' serial from Lion, or discover any other little known strips by him.

Something on '60s Tiger (before it became all sports)would be nice, too, or any little gems hidden away in old weeklies or annuals.

I think articles on very good but less celebrated artists and strips (and comics) are always welcome, and have especially liked features like your piece on the Gibbs Arrow toothpaste comic, and the Esso petrol station comic - those obscure corners of British comicdom that are, nonetheless, very interesting, and worth seeking out.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks for the suggestions Raven. I intend to do something else about Jag soon. Yes, Tom Kerr deserves a spotlight feature, although there are a lot of his pages on my blog already if you put in a search for his name.

I'm doing a post about a very obscure IPC publication soon.

Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions so far.

Mark Carter said...

Hi Lew

I'd love to see more on the mid-60s comics; Smash! Wham! etc. This is just a personal choice 'cos they're the titles I grew up with (I was mad about The Swots And The Blots!), but, really, pretty much anything you cover on your blog is okay with me.
Cheers, mate.

Mark Carter.

Raven said...

Yes, I've enjoyed lots of your mentions of Tom over the years, Lew, though I've only ever seen those two pages of Boy Bandit. (Jag seems to be a bit rarer than many comics and when it does turn up on eBay, tends to be quite expensive, too!)

How well I remembered those Clark's Commandos ads - but his spooky '60s work was completely new to me and very interesting. It's always great to discover new things, so the more obscure the things you highlight the better!

Incidentally, I've also always enjoyed your features on those very old British comics too - 1930s and '40s.

Colin Jones said...

I read the Beezer and the Topper every week from about 1971 to 1974 and my favourite character was Nick Kelly and his assistant Cedric so anything on them or the Topper & Beezer in general would be nice. In November 1974 I discovered Planet of the Apes and Marvel UK and from then on I was a huge Marvel fan but you've already covered the Marvel UK weeklies. I only look at a handful of blogs including this one so I hope it continues - Blimey certainly hasn't "had its' day" Lew !!

Lew Stringer said...

I'm always happy to blog about the Odhams comics Mark (my favourite comics) but as I've already done a lot of posts about them I sometimes wonder if it might put people off. Perhaps not. There's always something new so say about those great comics.

Raven, I have about half of the Jags published I think so I'll see what I can do. You're right. They do command higher prices these days,

Gary K said...

Hi Lew

I don't normally post comments anywhere but just wanted to show support for the blog which is one of the few I visit regularly. Keep trusting your instincts on the content, you're forever highlighting great stuff. If you really want a request or two...ok...personally I'd would love to read more about Simon Test in Smash and the Countdown strip (which is surely a contender for the best-ever art in a Brit comic?)

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Gary. Your support is much appreciated. Yes, I should do more about those strips. Good idea.

Keep the suggestions coming, folks. If they don't appear straight away, don't worry, as I'll be out for a while but will approve them for publication on my return.

Dr Andy Oliver said...

I would always cast a vote for more Ken Reid or the early 70s IPC humour comics. But to be honest I like your blogs as they are. Im always checking via feeds for recent posts and settle down with anticipation when a new one is highlighted. I would say keep the content is, as otherwise I would not get to know about other comics strips, artists etc. After all it was your enthusiasm which got me started on buying Oldham comics for Ken's works.

Peter Gray said...

Hi Lew I often like or comment on facebook...
liked the sub post recently..

I always like your old comics feature...fun seeing Reg Parletts work...

Maybe some posts on Buster comic..

Anonymous said...

Keep on doing what your doing Lew. Good to see any article on comics of seventies. Good that you ignore the troll now. Best of luck. Phil

Simon said...

some ideas...
- Famous collectors and collections of British comics
- Who manufactured free gifts and what was the process of designing and making them?
- Origins of formats, font-styles, character types, gift types in British comics
- “Key issues” of British comics (a bit like those appearing on ‘Total Comics Mayhem’)
- The tools of the trade – the different kinds of pen, brush, ink, etc used by artists to get different effects in comic strips.
- comics-related merchandise
- British comics around the world (e.g. the IPC comics always had prices on the cover for Australia, New Zealand, etc. but how did they get there, who read them, are they still enjoyed now?)
- puzzle pages
- fan clubs and memberships

Hibernia Comics said...

I have no real suggestions Lew, just keep up the good work, I enjoy the eclectic mix of posts. I check in a couple of time a week, its part of my comic viewing routine!

peter bangs said...

I'd like to see more on Johnny Cougar and Skid Solo from Tiger and Zip Nolan of the Highway Patrol. I was always a big fan of the adventure strips. I tend to read a lot of your posts but rarely comment. . I feel bad now for my lack of comment. Blimey has far from had its day and I really appreciate the time and effort you put into helping me remember my childhood.

Lew Stringer said...

Some great suggestions there, thanks everyone. Simon, the free gifts of old would usually be devised by the editor and art editor and if they needed specific art they'd sometimes commission a freelancer. (I've provided art for a handful of free gifts over the years.) However, these days unfortunately the gifts are usually bought in from a manufacturer who supplies various comics with similar gifts.

Anonymous said...

Lew, really appreciate the blog and am a regular visitor..how about the Adventure comics..Victor, Hotspur..what happened to the original artwork of Tough of the Track, what about the history of giveaways
Best from a Brit in Detroit

Lorne said...

I always read your posts but never comment.
I prefer articles on 70's British comics, especially Marvel UK, which is probably how I first found your site.

An odd comic I remember when I was very young was Yogi And His Toy. Anyone got any insight into it?, what is was competing with, why it finished etc?!

Dr Andy Oliver said...

Just a thought. With Crimbo coming up, how's about a focus on Xmas comics of the past?

Lew Stringer said...

Hi Lorne, Thanks for commenting. According to Denis Gifford's 'Complete Guide to British Comics' Yogi and His Toy ran for 45 weeks in 1972 and merged into Fun-Time. I think it was unique at the time in that it was the only comic that had a 'free' gift every issue, but if memory serves me right it only had about 16 pages or less. I don't know much more about it I'm afraid as I never had nursery comics apart from a few issues of Bimbo. I guess it finished simply because it wasn't selling as well as anticipated.

Anon, I would think the original art for Tough of the Track is in the DC Thomson archives. They tend to hold onto all the artwork they received. (Although these days we e-mail art to them of course.)

Regarding giveaways, I did several blog posts about old free gifts a few years ago. If you type free gifts into the search window you should find them.

Anonymous said...

I thought the blog had finished. Maybe many others did too.

Lew Stringer said...

And yet here you are Anon. ;)

Andy, I've blogged about numerous Christmas comics over the years and almost exhausted my collection of them but I will no doubt dig out some festive strips soon. In the meantime if you type Christmas into the search window you'll find links to old posts about Christmas comics.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lew,

I check your blog most nights to see if there is a new post. It's a very enjoyable read and you have such a broad knowledge and sizeable collection it's always a surprise.

At the moment I'd love to learn more about Odhams. I've realised that just as commercial pressures have slimmed Annuals down over time, I can get more worthwhile tomes by buying second hand going back in time. I've picked up some of the Odham's --- Book of Comics hardbacks, and they're a great mix of written stories, strips and little puzzles and things.

I'd also be interested in some articles on the Tony Hancock and Goodies comic strips, also The Leopard from Lime Street and Sweeny Toddler.

I hope you will keep blogging!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lew,

How about an article on your recommended or 'essential' books for a collector of British comics, e.g. books by Gifford etc?

Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Lew,

One last request. I'd love to see a copy of a print ad for the old Yogi Bear chocolates - "Start at the knees, please!"

Cheers!

Lew Stringer said...

I'm not familiar with that ad, Anon. Is it from the early sixties?

Agreed, a feature on books about comics is well overdue. I did one on The Penguin Book of Comics a while ago but I need to do more.

Gareth said...

Spike.

Lew Stringer said...

Yep, one of these days Gareth. (I know. I've been saying that for years haven't I?)

Blaze said...

Can you clarify what you mean by "the search window"? It is not a term I am familiar with, search window?!? Sounds like gibberish.

John Pitt said...

I have only ONE request - please don't stop! There was an empty space during your hiatus.It was the right decision to restart Blimey, stopping it again would disappoint many followers.
With regard to comments, rightly or wrongly, I tend to hold off a bit when you say you're very busy for obvious reasons.
As for requests, I'd like to see posts on the very first 4 comics I was ever bought:- Playhour, Jack & Jill, Harold Hare's Own Paper and Huckleberry Hound Weekly.Any chance?

Lew Stringer said...

One of those for sure, John!

Blaze, it's not gibberish. 'Search window' is a common phrase. Here's how to look for old posts:

http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/searching-this-blog.html

Niblet said...

As others have mentioned, an insight into the techniques of drawing comics would be great – maybe highlighting the way the illustration process has changed over the years. One thing that always intrigued me was the term 'mechanically reduced', referring (I think) to the process of shrinking a page to its printed size – something that can be easily achieved in this digital age, but I don't know how it was done in days of old. Don't explain it now, but include it in a post. PS what were you saying about not getting many comments!

Lew Stringer said...

I'm not sure Niblet, never having worked in a printers. I know that when Fleetway and Marvel returned my artwork the pages had a percentage marked on them for what they needed to be reduced to, but how they actually did it, I don't know.

As for drawing techniques, I've posted a few things like that on my other blog.

Barry said...

I would dearly love to see entire scans of comics here or links to downloads. My suggestions based on my childhood are the complete Knockout, Corr, Monster Fun, Sparky or as many issues as you can manage. They'd make a lovely Christmas present for all the people who have followed your blog. Pretty please?

Lew Stringer said...

A pretty firm 'no' I'm afraid, Barry. I do not indulge in that sort of copyright infringement. As I've said here before, publishers are happy enough with a few sample pages used to illustrate an article but not with a full comic or entire serial uploaded.

Lew Stringer said...

Also, you're presuming I have entire runs of those comics, which I don't. I had every issue of Knockout and Cor!! when they were published but didn't feel I needed to hold onto them forever. I sold most of them about 35 years ago and only have a handful of each now.

Barry said...

Fair enough just upload what you have. I'm sure we'd all be grateful for any complete scans.

John Pitt said...

Lew, this might come across as being nosey, but I'd like to see a couple of posts on your entire Beano and Dandy collections. I imagine them to be huge and I've always been curious to know just what you've managed to collect, if you didn't object to sharing your private information to the general public?

Lew Stringer said...

I don't have that many Beano comics John. The ones I've been in outnumber the others. I read The Beano from 1964 to 1975 but threw most of them out many years ago. (No regrets. I knew I'd never re-read them.)

Same with The Dandy, but I did reacquire all the 1964 issues as I had fond memories of it. I have a few other issues I've kept from the sixties to mid seventies, and a few I've kept since, but not an extensive collection. (I read The Dandy from 1964 to 1968, stopped a year, started again in 1969 to '75, stopped until 1980, then most weeks until 2010. So if I'd kept every issue my house would be even fuller than it is.)

***************

Barry, you didn't read my first reply to you did you?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lew,

I've always been interested in The Nutty and John Geering in particular. Anything you can mention of that time would be great. I've had stories told by Mr Heggie of how Bananaman came about, so anything of those similar lines would be fabulous. Especially how your own strip of Super School introduced Bananaman to The Beano, which in itself makes you part of the whole journey.

Anyhow, that's my tuppence worth!

Mark McIlmail

Lew Stringer said...

Hi Mark, You probably know more than I do about the creation of Bananaman. I had every issue of Nutty but only kept one or two. I'll see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lew,

Never left a comment before, partly because I read your two blogs via the Pulse App which does not have the facility to comment but thought I should take this opportunity to add my ‘two pence worth'.

I subscribe to a number of comic related and cartoonist blogs and ‘Blimey' is in my opinion the most professional out there. Well researched and informative, it was a big miss when it was temporarily halted some time back and it was great to see it return. I am sure there are many appreciative readers out there like me who for one reason or another don't comment.

One of the things I weirdly enjoyed in the 70's DCT and Fleetway comics was the anticipation of seeing the quarter or half page adverts for a future free gift or new comic title, were these designed in-house or farmed out to freelancers, they always drummed up the excitement levels in the young me and made me spend more of my pocket money!

I look forward to future articles and thanks for putting your time and effort into this.

Steve.

Lew Stringer said...

Hi Steve, Good to hear from you and thanks for commenting. Glad you like the blogs.

The house ads for free gifts / other comics would have been designed by the art department in-house. You're right, - they always seemed so exciting and engaging, particularly the DC Thomson ones with hand lettering. Those pink paper inserts in The Dandy and Beano always grabbed my attention as they always meant a new comic launch, free gifts, or a revamp. Happy days.

Phil Boyce said...

I don't think I need to say that I'm a very regular reader Lew, and read every post. I think you're right though, Facebook does appear to be where most of the comments are left these days. I certainly find that too.

Back in the 80s IPC had several great comics I loved which didn't last very long but my two favourites were Wildcat and Ring Raiders. The former was initially marketed as a 'younger' Eagle but from what I have been able to find out it was better received than its big brother at the time, so it was strange it didn't last long and was merged into it.

The latter was a tie-in to the Matchbox toys and I hold it very dear to my heart as I was a huge fan of the toys, and was thrilled when a comic appeared. Only six issues and a huge special to round up the stories, it was extremely well written and the artwork was superb! Especially Kennedy's covers! I've collected them all again now as an adult and they hold up superbly. Such a shame. I can find very little about these two titles, but I'm not sure if there's an audience out there for them now.

Lew Stringer said...

Hi Phil,
I'm afraid I don't have any of those comics. I did buy a few at the time but I'm afraid with 1980s comics if I wasn't in them I rarely kept them. Yes, they had some top class artwork as I recall, but the scripts seemed a letdown compared to 2000AD. (Of course, that's an unfair comparison as they were pitched at different ages but I didn't think of that back then.)

Thanks for all of your suggestions, folks. Plenty for me to think about there! I'll see what I can do to blog about the subjects you mentioned. (Time willing, so it'll be next year when most of them appear.)

I have a few current comics to plug this week, and then I'll be posting a few Christmas strips soon, but I'll get around to your ideas as soon as possible! Thanks again, and it's good to know people are still enjoying the blog.

Karlos N said...

Just wanted to say, love the blog!

It really is an indespensible read and you constantly impress me with your incredible knowledge.

Keep up the good, nay, superb work, Lew - and Happy new year!

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Karlos. Much appreciated. It's not so much an incredible knowledge. Just memory and a lot of comics for reference! Happy New Year!

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