Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The JOKER - Summer issue, 1934

Back before Summer Specials became a thing, weekly comics would label one issue of their regular run as a summer edition. This very week in 1934, this "Jolly Summer Holiday Number" of The Joker was in the shops. Let's take a breezy coastline stroll through some of its contents...

The cover strip was the popular Alfie the Air Tramp, drawn by John Jukes, ending with a slap-up feed. 

This issue was its regular weekly size (regular then being 8 pages, tabloid size, printed on green paper) and despite being a "Summer Holiday Number" not all the strips had a holiday theme. Here's Monty the Mountie, drawm by Harry Banger, who, years later, illustrated many strips (and quite a few covers) for the independent publisher Swan. 

Midge and Moocher has a beach setting for its slapstick hi-jinks. Art by Arthur Martin.

Perky the Park Keeper uses the standard theme of the hero accidentally thwarting a wrong 'un. In this case, someone stealing flowers! Art by John Turner.

Phil Pott, The Saucy Sea Cook has some nice art by Harry Banger. A pity it's marred by the racial slurs and stereotyping that was around at the time. Sadly, this kind of thing was prevalent everywhere back then in books and periodicals. 

The Joker ran from 1927 to 1940 (when presumably wartime paper restrictions had an impact), merging into Illustrated Chips.

7 comments:

Peter Gray said...

Always love the title panels of comics in this era...could it work for The Beano today? A one off maybe...or series..

Lew Stringer said...

The masthead? It'd be nice to see something like that but the design was very much of its time so I'm not sure if it would work today. They do sometimes have characters around the logo though.

James Spiring said...

The Beano did do something similar to this style once - in the 1950s. The most they do nowadays though is have someone in the O. Of course they're relaunching soon and it remains to be seen what the new cover design will look like, but it needs to be noticeable on the supermarket shelf so I don't think the masthead can be anywhere near as busy as this Joker one.

Anonymous said...

There was a chap called "Joker" in a comic called the Knockout. Do you remember that one?

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, Anon. There are some examples on my blog if you have a quick search via the search window.

The Beano is relaunching? I haven't heard anything about it directly so far.

James Spiring said...

Several sites reported a CGI revamp a couple of months ago, to happen in the autumn.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jun/08/dennis-the-menace-beano-youtube-tv-series-movie-magazine

"Meanwhile, Beano magazine, which sells 38,000 copies a week in the UK, is also set for a makeover.

The magazine brand will come under the auspices of Beano Studios with a promise that it will stay “true to its classic comic-strip roots with a refreshed approach and more wide-ranging characters.”"

Lew Stringer said...

I know that, James. I reported it too, but as I said, I haven't heard anything directly. It might be just a redesign, which isn't a relaunch.

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