Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BLIGHTY CHRISTMAS EXTRA (1952)

It's not a comic but it features strips and cartoons that hopefully may appeal to those of you who appreciate good illustration. We're in December 1952 when humour magazines for men were all the rage. Sexist and cheesy by modern standards, but Blighty was one of the best magazines of its type and its excellent artwork stands the test of time. Take the cover above for example, by Scottish artist Arthur Ferrier (1891 - 1973). Women doing the job of reindeer is a bit dodgy, and Santa's being a little too handy with that whip but the artwork is superb. 

I covered the humour mag craze of the 1950s/60s on this blog a while ago, but just to clarify, Blighty contained a mixture of short humourous text stories, jokes, and cartoons aimed mostly at men.

Here's one of the opening pages featuring one of the few strips in the mag...

A page of cartoons by Tom Cottrell (1890 - 1969). You can read more about this artist here:
https://www.cartoons.ac.uk/artists/tomcottrell/biography   


Numerous top quality UK cartoonists worked on this Christmas special issue, including Phil Millar, who later drew Willie Gettaway and Sam's Snake for Sparky...


I'm not sure who drew this page (Arthur Ferrier again perhaps?) but it's a great illustration...


The artists never missed a chance to show women in revealing outfits, whether it related to the gag or not...


An untitled full page strip, signed by 'DLG'. Anyone know his identity?


Another page of Arthur Ferrier's work...


Another Phil Millar cartoon, with a double entendre, brightening up (but unrelated to) a short story...


Blighty eventually became the top shelf nude mag Parade, but back in 1952 its pin-ups were far more discreet. Here's Hollywood star Cyd Charisse in festive mood...


Jack Greenall, who did Useless Eustace for the Daily Mirror, was another contributor to Blighty...


It's interesting to look at the advertisements in this magazine. They promote various items including clothes and drink but they also play into the insecurities of some of their readers, with ads for hair loss remedies, height increase gimmicks, and self-help books to help cure the 'Inferiority Complex'. Perhaps a better confidence builder would have been to go out and talk to women as equals.



I'm sure that, like me, some of you will remember these practical jokes being sold in seaside joke shops decades ago. My dad bought the 'Snow Storm Tablets' and I had the 'King Tut' trick (all done with a magnet). In fact I still have it. 

These are just a sample of pages from this 56 page magazine but you get the idea of what it was like. Considered 'saucy' in its day but quite a dated curiosity today. If you're interested in more about these mags, see my blog post from a few months ago here:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/post-war-joke-books-kind-that-men-like.html


We're nearing the end of my selection of Christmas comics. Which title will I cover next? Find out tomorrow!

6 comments:

mj said...

Very festive blogs, a great read. I remember those practical jokes etc, indoor fireworks I recall...not snow tablets, did you see them in action Lew?

Manic Man said...

still never figured out how women can't be drawn like that without being called sexist, but men can all the time and no-one makes as much as a frown ¬_¬

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I suppose this was of its time but some really lovely art here - really enjoying reading the Chritsmas issues and look forward to the next one (maybe Wham or the Valiant etc?):)

Lew Stringer said...

I covered the Christmas issues of Wham in previous years if you recall, Paul. Also a few Valiants.

Manic, it's not necessarily the figure drawing that's sexist, but the context they're in.

MJ, yes, my dad had a packet. Created a 'snowstorm' in the room of the Blackpool guest house we were staying at in the sixties. We had to open the window to try and get the stuff out.

Anonymous said...

I must have missed the Christmas whams Lew so when you have time a repost would be a nice Christmas Pressy for those of us who came in late happy Christmas to you and yours John

Lew Stringer said...

The beauty of the Internet is that everything is still live unless it's deleted. There's no point in doing a repost because all my old blog posts are still active, John. Have a quick search by typing Christmas Wham in the search window and you'll find them. Alternatively scroll down the old post list on the right to check out postings from December in earlier years.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...