I recently bought a run of issues of The Joker from 1929 so you can expect to see a few more samples on my blog from time to time. This is issue No.86, dated 22nd June 1929, the issue that kids would have been reading 86 years ago this week.
Published by The Amalgamated Press, the comic's format is typical of the early 20th Century: tabloid, no colour, 8 pages equally divided between comic strips and prose stories. Thanks to the research by the late Denis Gifford I'm able to identify the artists of these strips.
Firstly that cover strip. Very racist by today's standards, Jim Crow and Oliver Twitter are a typical twosome of comics of the time, unemployed, sometimes homeless, wandering from one situation to the next. The name Jim Crow is particularly jarring as it derives from the slang term describing anti-black laws in America. Despite some of it being uncomfortable to read today the strip has excellent artwork by Percy Cocking.
Inside, one of the text stories was Burke, Chief of Police, a complete mystery tale.
As with other comics of the time, he centre pages feature an array of short strips. Here are two of them, Our Wandering Boy by Albert Pease...
...and Tilly Tappit the Typist by Louis Briault. Note the blatant plug for two of The Joker's companion comics...On the back page, The Cruise of the Winklepin by H.C. Milburn. It's yet another variation of the wandering twosome that had been popularised by Weary Willie and Tired Tim in Chips. This time the spin on the theme was that the wanderers had a boat.
I know posts on pre-war comics aren't very popular amongst most visitors to this blog but I think it's important to show the history of British comics and to bring the work of those early artists to modern readers. I hope some of you enjoy seeing them anyway. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts/opinions.