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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Classic fun from D.C. Thomson

The August issue of Classics from the Comics (No.173) is on sale this Wednesday (18th Aug.) and it's another good collection of strips from the D.C. Thomson vaults.

Nice to see a comic strip on the cover this time instead of an enlarged interior panel, and it's an edited version of a Dudley Watkins Biffo the Bear cover from an early 1960's Beano. It ties in well with the special feature this issue, which spotlights bears in the comics. The 13 page Bear Essentials section features the first appearance of The Three Bears by Leo Baxendale along with selected later strips by Bob McGrath and Bob Dewar and a snippet of Mike Pearce's more recent version of the characters, proving that it's a strip that's always had quality (and funny) artists.

This month's issue features another text story from the archives. This time it's Nutty the Coal Imp from a 1953 Beano. There are many such stories in the archives so it's good to see them revived for Classics. Material such as text stories, the General Jumbo strip, and the My Home Town feature help to break up the comic, giving a better feeling of variety to it than just 64 relentless pages of funnies.

Speaking of General Jumbo, this issue sees the conclusion of the reprints from Buddy. Next issue Ron Smith's King Cobra from Hotspur replaces it, although with Space Kids currently running which is also by Smith will that be overkill? Time will tell and the regular turnover of strips in Classics may mean that a different adventure strip will be along soon. (Jack Glass' The Stinging Swarm by any chance?)

The rest of this issue is packed with strips from various old comics as usual, with highlights such as a Dudley Watkins Desperate Dan (said to be from 1965 but looks more like a 1950s strip), a 1962 Corporal Clott by Davy Law, a Jonah page by Ken Reid, David Mostyn's Micky the Mouth from 1982 and much more. Classics from the Comics No.173 is £2 from newsagents and supermarkets. If you have difficulty finding it (as distribution is very patchy) you can subscribe here:


Anonymous said...

This BIFFO cover looks very likely bto be the very first BEANO I ever saw, Lew: it definately had a 'helter skelter' theme: but I really need to see the full the whole page reprinted inside? I've been searching for this BEANO cover for decades.


Lew Stringer said...

Unfortunately the full cover isn't shown inside Rab. Perhaps Ray Moore will be able to identity which issue it's from if you ask him via Comics UK?

Unknown said...

I just got my subscription renewal through from DC Thomson. Unfortunately now they seem to class the Republic of Ireland as "Overseas" so the subscription rate has gone up from £24 to £36 which is why I'm going to sadly have to give it a miss.

Anonymous said...

good idea, Lew...if I can locate the date of this BEANO, I would likely buy the original. I'm sure Ray can help on this one.

many thank, Rab Smith.

paul rose said...

Good Evening Lew. That Classics From The Comics FC With Dear Old Biffo At The Fair...Are You Sure That Is By Dudley? It Doesn't Look Like His Work To Me? How I Would LOVE To Get Hold Of These CLASSICS FROM THE COMICS...Anyone Out There Got Any To Sale? Brilliant Blog Lew...Love Em' All Mind You!! Paul.
PS: How About Some Of You Beano Boundah's Talking A Look-See At My CHARLIE'S HUT PAGE? Your All Welcome""

Lew Stringer said...

I assumed it may have been a rush job, as Dudley Watkins was incredibly busy so he'd bound to have an off day sometime.

Where can I find 'Charley's Hut' and what's on it? Got a link?

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