Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas comics: TV COMIC (1977)

In the previous post I showed an issue of TV Comic from 1952. This one is from 1977 and it's significantly different to the one from 25 years earlier. There are obvious changes in the content of course, as the nature of TV Comic was to reflect children's television of the day, but other changes, such as it no longer being a nursery comic, are also evident. 

The biggest change in this period was its format. Although outwardly it looked like an A4 size comic, it actually folded out to a 16 page tabloid-sized A3 comic. This format had been instigated the year before (along with a temporary name change to Mighty TV Comic) and perhaps this was the publisher's way of trying to compete with Thomson's Beezer and Topper. If so, it was an odd, and perhaps misguided, notion. Tabloid comics were very much on their way out by this time and this experiment didn't last.

The cover of this issue isn't particularly Christmassy unfortunately, although the Basil Brush story gets a bit more festive when it continues onto the back page...

Opening the comic to its full A3 size, the first strip inside is Rod Hull and Emu, drawn by Bill Titcombe...

Mighty Moth, by Dick Millington, was never a TV character of course, but he still proved to be a favourite with the readers and ran in TV Comic for many years...

This issue featured various strips, such as Barney Bear, Popeye, Pink Panther, and more. Some new, some reprint from earlier issues. In the centre pages was Star Trek, not exactly using the massive format to its best advantage. By only reprinting two pages from the American Gold Key Star Trek comic every week it would have taken about three months to tell the full story. Art by the brilliant Alberto Giolitti.

The other adventure strip in this issue was Doctor Who, with art by John Canning. It'd be another two years before Marvel UK launched Doctor Who Weekly with a strip more in tune with the TV show...

On the inside back page; Tom and Jerry, one of TV Comic's most popular and long-running strips. Art by Bill Titcombe...

Any thoughts on this issue or Christmas comics in general? Post your opinions below!

3 comments:

Peter Gray said...

Its nice seeing happy endings and Christmas dinners enjoyed..
also like the subversive Dad and moth...who have a funny love for each other!

Lew Stringer said...

Mighty Moth was a really nice strip. Nothing remarkable, but pleasant humour and good cartooning from Dick Millington. It's easy to see why it lasted so long.

Steve said...

My memories of TV Comic are Dr Who and The Avengers as the "adventure strips", (same artist?), Basil Brush being anarchic and Mighty Moth tormenting Dad. Was Dad's kids ever featured in the strip?

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