Thursday, March 13, 2014
Ken Reid's final pages for Beano and Dandy
According to the book The History of The Beano, Ken Reid's final Roger the Dodger strip appeared in The Beano No.1152, dated August 15th 1964. I don't have many Beanos I've held onto from the sixties but luckily I do have that one, - and here is that very story! Ken Reid's last Roger the Dodger strip from 50 years ago!
Ken Reid had been the original artist of Roger the Dodger since its beginning in 1953 (although I've seen at least one fill-in by Gordon Bell). Robert Nixon took over the strip when Ken left The Beano, and did an excellent job for many years, but it's Ken's manic version that many of us first encountered.
The following week saw Ken Reid's last ever strip for a DC Thomson weekly with his final Big Head and Thick Head on the back page of The Dandy No.1187 (August 22nd 1964). Here it is...
Frank McDiarmid took over Big Head and Thick Head from the following week, doing a great 'ghosting' of Ken's style.
As Ken was a freelancer, Leo Baxendale encouraged him to quit DC Thomson to work for Odhams on Wham! Obviously Thomsons worked further ahead than Odhams because Ken's new strip, Frankie Stein, had debuted in Wham! a month before his last work for Thomsons saw print. I blogged about that very first Frankie Stein strip several years ago and you can see my post by clicking this link:
The actual last work of Ken Reid's that Thomsons printed was in The Dandy Book for 1965, (and possibly in The Beano Book for that year, but I don't have that). However, as annuals (and summer specials) are drawn many months before publication, Ken would have drawn those strips before the two weekly ones I've shown here.