Friday, December 30, 2016

VALIANT celebrates the New Year (in 1965)

For my final post for this year, here are a few pages from the New Year issue of Valiant for 1965. Cover by the excellent Mike Western.

Valiant was mainly an adventure comic but it featured a healthy amount of humour strips too, and they were all celebrating the New Year. Here's Sporty by Reg Wooton (the only cartoonist at Fleetway back then to have a credit in the title box)...

The Nutts, drawn by Angel Nadal...

Billy Bunter, with art by Reg Parlett...


The Crows, also by Reg Parlett, next to one of the many ads back then trying to encourage readers to join the armed forces when they left school. Thankfully such adverts were phased out as British comics became increasingly aimed at a younger audience...

The adventure strips in this issue didn't bother shoehorning New Year into the ongoing storylines but it wouldn't be right blogging about Valiant without showing a taste of the dramatic strips. Here's that week's episode of The Steel Claw, drawn by Jesus Blasco...



Mytek the Mighty, drawn by Eric Bradbury...



Finally, the back page featured It's A Dog's Life, a European reprint of the Boulle and Bill series by Roba. You can read more about this strip in an older article I did here:
https://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/boule-bill-billy-buddy-or-pete-larry.html


All that's left to say is to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year, and to thank you for following this blog. Here's to good things for 2017!

18 comments:

Peter Gray said...

Happy New Year Lew..

Valiant was a great comic...prefer adventure stories like this...

Lew Stringer said...

Agreed. I think it was Fleetway's best comic in the 1960s, although Buster and Lion were top comics too from that publisher.

Paul McScotty Muir said...

Going out on a classic at the end of a pretty bad year for the world Lew, great stuff. Valiant was indeed a top comic , I would also add "Smash" into the list of possibly the best of the 1960s. I remember as a kid reading "Its a dogs life" and not liking it at all as it seemed so different to the other strips (not realising it was a European reprint of "Boulle and Bill") and when I saw it again a few years ago after picking up a batch of 60's Valiant's (including this one) I was surprised how beautifully drawn it was ....I still think it looked out of place though but it is cute and funny. Have a happy Hogmanay / New year and lets hope 2017 is a better one for us all.

Lew Stringer said...

Smash! was indeed a great comic, and my favourite of the 1960s, but it wasn't a Fleetway comic, which is the company I was talking about in this context Paul. (Although it was taken under IPC's wing, as was Valiant, in 1969.) All the best to you for 2017!

Paul McScotty Muir said...

Arghhhh I forgot "Smash" was an Odhams comic, all the more unacceptable of me to make that error as I love Odhams comics - sorry about that Lew - have a good one.

DaveW said...

Best wishes for the New Year, Lew.
I love the new logo, by the way

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks, Dave! Yes, I wanted a blog logo that looked like it was ripped from a 1960s comic that never was. The topline and logo fonts were ones I bought from Comicraft, the best comic book letterers in the biz. Then I designed it myself of course. All the best to you for 2017.

Anonymous said...

Thanks lew. From what you said last week I thought all this archive stuff was no more. I love the billy bunter strip. Morecambe and wise in buster who knew? Happy new year

Lew Stringer said...

Not sure what you mean about archive material, anon.

Regarding the Morcambe and Wise strip in Buster, it was drawn by Ron Wilson, and was his last work. There's an example of it on my blog somewhere.

John Kerry said...

Thank you for this look at a 1960s Valiant. One question, where the artists doing The Nutts and Billy Bunter still doing those strips in 1973. I am indexing some issues from that year and if I can add in at least the art credits it would be nice.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, same artists. Probably reprints in some weeks by then.

Cole Burden said...

This took me by surprise: the Boule & Bill re-prints! I hadn't seen your previous post on them, so this took me back to my very young days during the early 70s...

My mother was Belgian and we used to return to Ghent to see my gramdmother fairly regularly. Having a love of comics, I used to lap up the Belgian titles, but one in particular, called Robbedoes, used to stand out (a flemish translation of the French language comic, Spirou). It was printed on better paper and most of the strips were in full colour which gave the whole package a higher quality feel than our British counterparts. Two strips stood out: Bollie & Billie, what they were called in the Flemish version (from memory) and Guust Flater.

I had loads of issues and a lot of the earlier collected Bollie & Billie and Guust Flater omnibus volumes, but - and there's always a but - I had to keep badgering my mum to translate as I didn't understand a word of it, but I still loved looking at the pictures.

Happy New Year.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, the Dutch version of Spirou was called Robbedoes too. Exactly the same format and content, but with a different language. Nice, slick anthology comic (weekly I think).

Thanks for sharing your memories. Happy New Year!

John Pitt said...

Best logo/header yet, Lew!
Ah, - Steel Claw, Mytek, what's not to like?
Anyway, thanks for yet another year's entertainment, Lew and a Happy New Year to you!

John Pitt said...

If I don't see you elsewhere, PM, may I wish you a Happy New Year on here?

Lew Stringer said...

You just did, John, twice. :) So a double Happy New Year back at ya!

Mouro de Lanca said...

Hi, Lew!

Let me comment a couple of things on "It's a Dog's Life" or "Boule et Bill".

I first read this strip as a child in the Spanish version of the magazine Spirou, edited during the 1970s and 1980s. Here it was retitled "Bill y Bolita".
It was a surprise for me knowing that some Belgian (and French) comics were appearing in British publications during the sixties. Belgian comics arrived to Spanish publications maybe a bit later, and too scarcely, but they stood out for their artistic quality and imagination. And it seems they were all over Europe by that time.
On the other hand, British strips were appearing in Spanish magazines for chidren since the 1960s: a few humoristic strips like "Billy Bunter" or "Rent-a-Ghost, Ltd." and some realistic series like "The Steel Claw", "Kelly’s Eye" or "The Spider". But, as I’m learning now, those were just the tip of the iceberg of British comics production. And this production doesn’t lack quality and imagination, either...

By the way, the author-artist of the "It's a Dog's Life" strip is Roba, Jean Roba, not Roma. https://www.lambiek.net/artists/r/roba.htm
And it looks like the British publishers erased Roba’s signature from the page… The original Belgian edition of "Boule et Bill" by Dupuis was always signed and numbered.

One last thing: has anyone noticed in the last panel the head of a Fox Terrier in the middle row, on the right… I’m quite sure it’s Milou (Snowy) from the Tintin strip, by Hergé! A tribute to the master Belgian artist, no doubt.

Well, thank you for your really amazing blog. I’m learning a lot about British comics and enjoying a lot, too!

Greetings from Galicia, NW of Spain!
Mouro de Lanca

Lew Stringer said...

Thank you for the information, Mouro. Very interesting.

Apologies for the typo, calling him Roma. As you can see from the link in the article, I knew it should be Roba so it was just a mistake on my part in this post. I'll correct that.

Yes, some British publishers didn't like artists signing their work in the 1960s and would erase any that appeared. Thankfully, things improved in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

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