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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Comic Covers - Part 9

For the penultimate blog in this theme let's kick off with a rarely seen Marvelman cover from Christmas 1954. As most comic fans know, Marvelman was created by Mick Anglo after the UK Captain Marvel reprint comic had to cease because the American original had been canceled. Marvelman was more or less a carbon copy of Captain Marvel, but nevertheless had a loyal following. My thanks to reader Dave Whitwell for sending me this scan.

Dave also sent me the scan above; the festive edition of Ally Sloper's Half Holiday from 1890, making it the oldest comic in this series of blogs. From what I've seen, this comic paper always had an edge to its humour, something British comics later lost somewhat. Artwork is by W.F. Thomas and you can read more about Ally Sloper here:

Over 100 years later, licensed comics were the norm. Egmont's very popular Sonic the Comic always had a bit more depth to its stories than most merchandise-inspired comics though, and a good selection of artists for its 100% British content. This dynamic Christmas 1998 cover is by Richard Elson.

Whist Sonic the Comic was the licensed comic hit of the Nineties, Marvel UK's Transformers was the big seller of the Eighties. This festive 1989 wraparound cover is by Andrew Wildman, just one of the many artists to provide brand new UK content to this title.

For the first five years of publication, Fleetway's Buster was a tabloid sized comic. This issue from 1964 was the last Christmas edition in that large size, and features a lively cover by Nadal.

This Christmas 1972 issue of Valiant is fantastic, summing up Dickens' A Christmas Carol in just four panels! Marvelous artwork as always by Mike Western.

Above, the Christmas Wham! for 1966, with artwork on The Tiddlers strip by Mike Lacey.

The early 21st Century saw Pete Nash use modern technology to the advantage of creating the independent computer generated comic Striker. Sadly, outside of Roy of the Rovers football comics have never had much longevity and Striker was no exception. This issue is from Christmas 2004.

Oink! had a relatively short lifespan too, but still managed to be one of the most memorable and inventive British comics published. This Ian Jackson cover is from Christmas 1987.

As a special Christmas bonus, here's a page that appeared inside that issue of Oink! designed by me. Yes, after 21 years it's your chance to once again cut out and make your very own Skinhead Fairy! Perfect for the top of your tree.

That's all the classic Christmas covers for now. Sorry if your own favourites haven't been included but I hope the diversity and age of the selections have proven popular. This theme isn't quite finished yet though. In Part 10: Christmas covers of today!


Anonymous said...

Glad to see STC on the list. Your 1999 Christmas story with Elson was a great one. (Too bad the rest of the comic was reprint by then.)

Peter Gray said...

love the Ally Sloper cover with the boot...and the babies smiling..a great fun cover..

Neill said...

I remember that skinhead fairy! Gosh that takes me back ;)

Piley said...

don't the old ones just transport you back?! I was always excited about my weekly titles, but a CHRISTMAS comic! You couldn't beat that. I'd even dig them out mid-year to try and give myself a festive spirit boost!

Fantastic selection of covers. Top marks to you and Dave.


Andy Boal said...

What happened on the back page of Wham?

David Baillie said...

Xmas Transformers! I remember that issue so well. Thanks Lew. And a Merry Xmas to you!

Unknown said...

Well would ya look at that. 1989! Yikes. thats 20 years ago. I remember doing that cover. Back in the days before Photoshop and a piece of art paper only just big enough, and Frisk masking film all over the place and airbrushing with whatever I could find. So messy..
And the 'bowl of nuts' ;-) tee hee.

Unknown said...

I was just listening to 'Collings and Herrin' filling in for Adam and Joe when Richard Herring mentioned Oink. I'd totally forgotten about the existence of that comic.

Didn't Oink have a C64 game liscensed, featuring Rubbishman?

Lew Stringer said...

Yes George. It featured several Oink! characters. Follow the link for more info:

Cuebadger said...

Oh Man!

Tom Thug as a fairy was on my little Xmas tree that I've had since the 80's in my room as a kid and lately on my desk at work (sad as I'm 30ish). A few years ago I lost him & had to replace him with random angels. Do you have the xmas page at a higher resolution so I can re-enstate Tom at the top of my tree!!???

Lew Stringer said...

I'm sure that could be arranged cuebadger. Click on my profile to see my e-mail address and send me yours and I'll be in touch.

Sheev said...

I remember Oink having a strip about some aliens in the style of "ten green bottles" getting eaten or killed, on one occasion by a Gronkle Beast!

It was (at the time) the funniest thing I'd read! I've been trying to find an on-line scan of that strip but no luck to date.

I've happened across here and was wondering if anyone could remember that strip and if they had seen it on-line anywhere?

casketsalesman said...

wow, sonic christmas? this is the best comic site i've found yet

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