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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Something really (summer) special

Copyright D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.
Over on the Phil-Comics Facebook page there's an item I'd never seen before. Presumably this is the original mock up of the cover to The Dandy Summer Special 1968 with art by Charlie Grigg. As you can see, it depicts a rather more unpleasant looking Korky the Cat than we're accustomed to! I'm surprised it even reached the completed stage. 

Perhaps considered inappropriate for the cover, it was never used and Charlie was asked to redraw it. Here's the published version. A definite improvement I think!
Copyright D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.
It's worth noting that with changing tolerances of acceptability even that published cover wouldn't be used today. A children's character smoking? And a cat at that? Modern society would have a fit. The strip on the back cover did show Korky puffing on his cigar but with a much friendlier expression than in the rejected cover.
Copyright D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.
You can see more images of various old comics at the aforementioned Facebook page here:  

You can also visit the Phil-Comics website to follow the latest comics auctions:

Phil Shrimpton has written an article about his collecting over at the Rareburg site here:

My thanks to Peter Gray for giving me the heads up on this rare Dandy artifact. You can visit Peter's blog on British comics here:


@MLPasterisk said...

Not surprised it was rejected, Korky looks stoned in the first version !

Irmantas said...

I just love such things! I've got pictures of Bill Ritchie's first versions of two Sparky annual covers and will show them on my blog at some point.

Peter Gray said...

I knew you would flip out in a funny way when you saw this thanks for the links and to my blog..

Its almost like a student drug t shirt which someone had made up... :)

Lew Stringer said...

It's such a strange image of Korky that I had wondered if it was a private commission done AFTER the published version, but I'll take Phil's word for it that it precedes the published cover.

Simon Bromley said...

Perhaps Korky is supposed to look sleepy or about have a nap, but just comes across as sleazy. Though I'm also more inclined to think that it was private, and never actually intended for publication.

Lew Stringer said...

Yeah, the more I look at it I'm wondering that too. A few things about it bother me. For a start, covers to specials and annuals would be approved at a rough sketch stage. Not only has this reached completed art stage but it's also had the logo and price added. Surely the rejection would have happened long before that? Also, the submitted art would have a white border, margin notes and crop marks.

The other thing is the style looks more like Charlie's later work, when he was drawing seaside postcards.

I could be mistaken, but... I dunno. What do others think?

paddykool said...

Hi Lew...Yes the Korky "cover" looks like a spoof to me .It would have worked really well in an underground comic setting.It was probably done as a laugh although it is really well finished. I can't imagine it ever being considered for children though. It is funny how the smoking reference would be totally expunged for today's tastes. We have to protect the little dears at all costs now.

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