Friday, November 04, 2016

Firework comics: FILM FUN (1946)

From my collection, here's a few pages from the "Grand Firework Number" of Film Fun from exactly 70 years ago, this week in 1946. Despite being all in black and white, the 16 page weekly delivered good value for 3d (1p) by packing in lots of detail in its intricately drawn strips. Unlike its large tabloid-sized sister papers published by the Amalgamated Press, Film Fun was the same height as a modern-day Beano.

The Laurel and Hardy strip on the cover was the work of George Wakefield. Here's the continuation on the back page...

I've used the late Denis Gifford's information to identify the artists. I'm not sure if it's all correct as some weeks had fill-in artists ghosting the style but hopefully most, in not all, are accurate. Here's Frank Randle by Harry Parlett (father of artists Reg and George Parlett)...

The popular George Formby takes up the centrespread, also by George Wakefield...

Wakefield is also credited by Gifford as the artist on Joe E. Brown, although I'm not sure this particular one is by him...

...and, again, Gifford credits George Wakefield as the artist of Max Miller, but could one artist really draw six pages a week, every week, of such intricate quality? I guess so, as Dudley Watkins managed even more. I suppose life was more straightforward back then.

Finally, Abbott and Costello, drawn by Walter Bell...

This editorial announcement is interesting. World War 2 had caused paper rationing which presumably affected the print runs of comics, but with the war over, things were starting to improve...

I hope you've enjoyed this look at a comic from 70 years ago. As noted in previous posts, comics had a more carefree depiction of fireworks back then, with numerous instances of characters holding fireworks or being in the midst of the display. (Although in truth there were some fireworks that were designed to be held. They had a wooden, later plastic, handle, and I remember them very clearly from the 1960s.) Whatever you're doing this weekend, I hope you have a happy and safe November 5th (and all the other nights the fireworks are going off).

3 comments:

Ken said...

It baffles me that in today's risk assesement driven world we are still able to buy fireworks. In the 60s I could as an eight year old buy penny bangers over the counter.

James Spiring said...

Ken, an eight year old can't do that any more, you need to be 18!

Lew Stringer said...

I think Ken meant he was baffled that adults could still buy fireworks. The anecdote was just an addition.

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