Friday, October 05, 2012
This week in 1960: TV EXPRESS
Here's a few pages from the issue of TV Express No.310, that would have been in newsagents this week 52 years ago, in 1960. The cover strip Biggles is illustrated by the excellent Ron Embleton, a few years before he'd draw the initial Stingray strips in TV21.
The strip continued over to the back cover. (You can see more of Ron's work from this year on Steve Holland's Bear Alley blog by clicking here.)
TV Express' 16 pages gives us a good idea of who was popular in the media at the time. Green for Go, "The Amazing Life Story of Hughie Green" revealed a life full of mystery and sinister intrigue. Who'd have guessed?
The cartoons of Hanna-Barbera (or "Hannah Barbara" as I thought they were back then) were just making their mark on TV so Yogi Bear, Mr Jinks and, as we saw on the back cover, Huckleberry Hound had begun appearing in UK comics. I believe these strips were drawn specially for TV Express and are not American reprints. The Yogi strip looks like it might possibly be the work of Bill Mevin or Neville Main.
TV Express featured a mixture of strips and media feature material (a format imitated by Look-In years later). Although some may consider the features to be "filler", they do help to put the comic into the context of the times, such as this Pete Murray feature on music of 1960...
No Hiding Place was a very popular police drama series of the period and the strip in TV Express was illustrated initially by Mike Western...
Finally, TV Express Spotlight was a behind-the-scenes feature on television of the day which included a box out highlighting some programmes of that week. (Another feature that Look-In imitated later.) Programmes such as Billy Smart's Circus, Sooty, and Billy Cotton's Band Show were must-see items of the time.