Friday, May 17, 2019

Recommended Reading: LEO BAXENDALE'S SWEENY TODDLER

My thanks to Rebellion for sending me a copy of Leo Baxendale's Sweeny Toddler, a very nice 100 page hardback collection. The book covers the start of the strip from Shiver and Shake No.1 (10th March 1973) up to Whoopee! dated 7th June 1975 which I think are all the Sweeny Toddler strips that Leo drew before Tom Paterson took over. There are also six "ghosted" pages that I noticed which the book mentions. I wasn't able to identify all the "ghost" artists although I'm pretty sure at least one is by Barrie Appleby.
As well as being a very funny collection, the book is significant because it's some of Leo's last work for mainstream comics before he went independent with Willy the Kid and Baby Basil. It's interesting that Rebellion have chosen to start their Leo Baxendale books with this one, but Sweeny Toddler was such a popular character that it's the obvious choice. I hope in future we'll see collections of Clever Dick, The Swots and the Blots (from when Leo took over the strip in March 1969) and selected highlights from Wham! A Grimly Feendish collection would be good too, but as Leo only drew about 20 of those, credits would have to be shared with Stan McMurtry and others. 

For the moment though, we have the Sweeny Toddler book, and very welcome it is too. Hopefully it'll sell well enough to guarantee more Leo Baxendale books... and a few reprinting Tom Paterson's Sweeny Toddler strips too!

Leo Baxendale's Sweeny Toddler is released on 25th July and will be ready to order soon from the Treasury of British Comics shop:
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/

You can read my review of the book here:
https://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2019/04/preview-leo-baxendales-sweeny-toddler.html

Which humour strips of Leo's (and other artists) from Odhams, Fleetway, and IPC would YOU like to see collected? Post your thoughts below! 

2 comments:

Idstone said...

Ooh - it's a hardback? Looks lovely as well from the photos here. I'm glad the Treasury are starting to broaden their humour offerings a little, and while it's understandable that they're starting with the more popular/well-known characters and creators, I hope they'll find enough success to experiment with some deeper cuts from the archives.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, I think certain books deserve the hardback treatment and the works of Leo and Ken certainly do.

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