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Monday, December 17, 2018

The Christmas KNOCKOUT (1972)

For our latest Christmas flashback we move to the year 1972 for a few pages from Knockout, IPC's 20 page weekly that tried to compete directly with D.C. Thomson's Dandy and Beano. It didn't quite succeed though, only lasting for just over 100 weeks. Still, it was a good, fun comic for its time. Here's some examples from the 1972 Christmas issue.

The cover strip by this time was Joker, who had proven to be very popular, and would continue to be a reader's favourite after Knockout merged into Whizzer and Chips the following year. (Characters that play pranks often seem to be a hit with readers, although personally I can't stand such sadistic brattish characters unless they get their comeuppance in the final panel.) Artwork here is was the brilliant Sid Burgon.

Another Sid Burgon strip inside the comic was The Haunted Wood...
The centrespread strip was The Super Seven, which had been Knockout's original cover strip for the earlier issues. Mike Lacey artwork here. Mike was one of the artists who'd been asked to base his style on that of Leo Baxendale for comics such as Wham! and Smash! but he proved to be so brilliant he became one of IPC's top artists and drew countless pages for the company for years.
Shrimp is a long-forgotten character and this may be his last appearance. I don't know who the artist was but it looks like the same style as the artist who drew Tomboy for Cor!! Note that Sammy Shrink was arriving the following week. Announced as a "new feature" but in fact a revival of a character last seen in Pow! in 1968, and drawn by the same artist, Terry Bave. 
Of course no IPC comic would be complete without a Terry Bave strip, and this issue of Knockout had My Bruvver!...
On the back page, Fuss Pot was being as annoying as ever, but I really liked this strip thanks to the distinctive art of Norman Mansbridge. I remember my editor on Buster telling me that even the baddies should have a happy ending at Christmas (so Tom Thug did, once a year) and here Fuss Pot indeed has a happy ending... albeit due to concussion! 
There'll be another selection of Christmas pages from an old comic again tomorrow. Which will it be? Find out on Tuesday morning!



6 comments:

Kal said...

Believe Mike Atwell was the Tomboy artist, though some sources state it was Brian Lewis.

varszava_vavava said...

The Super Seven were great! I remember Haunted Wood but now anything about it. I remember Fusspot. Not just because it was a good strip. But because it was the first I knew of the word and applied it [correctly] to a neighbour's daughter. You could get away with stuff like that in the Seventies...

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Kal. Brian Lewis was indeed the *original* artist on Tomboy but another artist took over. Mike Atwell then, it seems.

Yep, The Super Seven was a nice strip. I wouldn't want to draw all those characters every week though! Mike Lacey did a great job.

john said...

I first encountered Knockout after it had been merged into Whizzer and Chips... as a 6 year old I puzzled mightily over what on earth an "incorporating Knockout" was. Having subsequently read pre~merger W&C, I think the merger was definitely for the better, especially considering W&C went on to last until 1988 and Joker and Fusspot until 2000 and the very last issue of Buster.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, sometimes mergers strengthend a comic, sometimes they weakened it. Knockout added some good characters to W and C.

James Spiring said...

John, Whizzer and Chips lasted until 1990.

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