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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Comics: SMASH! (1967)

I've already covered the 1966 Christmas issues (and blogged about the 1968 one two years ago) so now here's the 1967 Christmas Smash!
The addition of the Smash characters herding Swots towards a fate worse than death livened up the usual Batman cover and that large topline is very effective.

Inside, the Bad Penny strip is by one of the artists who was encouraged to approximate Leo Baxendale's style. At first glance I thought this might be by Mike Lacey (some of the hands and faces are similar to his work) but the overall look of the strip is a little too crude to be Lacey's polished work. Some have suggested it's by Bob Dewar attempting the Baxendale style, but I don't really see much of Dewar's style here, apart from Penny's grin in panel 9. At any rate, it's a busy strip and, as a treat for the Dads, there's a glimpse of Penny's Mum in a see-through nightie, although we discover she wears bigger pants than Bridget Jones.

As an example of how Smash's humour strips literally sat alongside Marvel reprint, here's a spread showing Stan McMurtry's Percy's Pets opposite a page of Wally Wood's Daredevil. Growing up with comics like this is why myself and others have always considered UK humour strips of having equal merit as American comics.

The Man from BUNGLE was usually a serial but for the Christmas Smash! it's a special complete story. Illustrated by Mike Lacey...

A new Brian's Brain serial began this issue. Bert Vandeput had been the original artist but by this time Barrie Mitchell had taken over art duties...

The art on Ronnie Rich is Gordon Hogg's, in a festive story of Golliwogs. (Hey it rhymes.)

Christmas is coming... and so is another festive flashback, - later today!


Andy Boal said...

I agree Bad Penny is definitely not Bob - this time ;) Possibly Stan McMurtry.

Lew Stringer said...

It's definitely not Stan McMurtry's work or any of the regulars.

My guess is it was a new freelancer who for one reason or another didn't work out. He's obviously taken some inspiration from Baxendale, Mike Lacey, and Graham Allen, but it's still not very polished. Perhaps he moved away from comics altogether to have more success in other artistic fields.

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