Sunday, January 22, 2017


You've probably heard of The Ovaltineys, the children's club of the 1930s formed to promote the hot drink. It even had its own radio show and theme song. (Ask anyone over who was around back then and they'll probably sing it for you.) As an early example of a merchandise tie-in, it had a comic too. The Ovaltiney's Own Comic, published by Target Publications of London, who also published weekly comics such as Rattler and Rocket.

According to Ray Moore when this was discussed on the Comics UK Forum several years ago, "It should also be pointed out that four of the seven titles mentioned were made further value for money, namely Rattler, Dazzler, Chuckler and Rocket, by the inclusion of the free four page supplement 'The Ovaltiney's Own Comic'. A supplement that ran to 128 issues between 1935 and 1938 which is still a record run for a giveaway comic of its kind."

I recently bought an issue of Ovaltiney's Own Comic so I thought I'd show some pages here. Again, using Ray Moore's words; "On the artistic side the Target comics were pretty exclusively the work of the same five artists, Henry Louis Diamond [who was also the publisher], Harry Banger, Bert Hill, S K Perkins and G Larkman."

Target Publications were eventually bought out by The Amalgamated Press. I'll show another of their comics here at a later date.


Mikeodee said...

Yes indeed, my late mother would occasionally burst into the chorus of the theme - "we are the Ovaltinies, happy girls and boys" is all I can remember though!

Lew Stringer said...

That's all I've heard too, but I found the full song online:

Theme from the Radio Luxembourg show "The Ovaltineys" (1935-1950)
(Harry Hemsley)

We are the Ovaltineys, little girls and boys
Make your requests, we'll not refuse you
We are here just to amuse you
Would you like a song or story?
Will you share our joys?
At games and sports we're more than keen
No merrier children could be seen
Because we all drink Ovaltine
We're happy girls and boys.

Peter Gray said...

the clown wasn't very funny! ;)
Glad you show old xomics on the blog,,,

Lew Stringer said...

From what I've seen, Target Publications weren't as polished or witty as the A.P. comics that they were obviously trying to imitate. They were ok though. I'll be showing one of their comics here soon.

Mikeodee said...

Thanks, Lew. It's all come back to me now,including the tune (without actually having listened to it again).

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Over Christmas, I happened upon the fact that Ovaltine (and also Horlicks!) is essentially gruel - they obviously don't advertise it as that what with all the connotations.

Interesting all the same though.

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