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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas comics: BUBBLES (1936)

For this penultimate Christmas post I've cranked up the Blimey-Timey Machine to travel back in time 80 years! This is the issue of Bubbles that was published this week in 1936.

Published by The Amalgamated Press (Fleetway), Bubbles was a weekly comic for the very young that ran from 1921 to 1941. As you can see, like many comics of the period, its content was full of racial stereotypes and references that may cause offence. In its defence, the characters are presented as equals to the white children, despite being caricatures. It was trying to promote racial harmony, albeit somewhat clumsily, and I can't help feeling it was more likely to exaggerate the differences between races.

I don't know who drew the cover. Herbert Foxwell was the original artist of The Bunty Boys but he died in August 1936 so this must be by someone ghosting his style.

This issue had 12 pages and was a mixture of prose stories and strips, as was the norm in British comics of the time. Here's one of the text stories; Dick the Boy Inventor. You don't hear anyone named Richard use that an an abbreviation these days do you?

On the facing page were two strips. According to Denis Gifford's books, The Children of the Forest was drawn by Vincent Daniel, and Tony the Orphan Boy by Anton Lock.

Bubbles featured quite a few adventure strips. Lonely Nan was by H.C. Milburn...

The centre pages, using spot colour, had a mixture of short humour strips. Here are some of them, artists unknown. (Did children really receive hedgehogs as Christmas presents in the 1930s?) 

Here's another of the unfortunately-titled strips of the era. Art by P.J. Hayward...

On the back page, Peter the Paleface Brave and his chum Redflower. Art by Anton Lock again. Some of this is cringeworthy today, such as Redflower's pigeon English and the notion that "a White Redskin" should rule over Native Americans, but it is of its time and no malice is intended. That said, I hope we never go back to such stereotyping!

Tomorrow; the final blog post in this series!


John Pitt said...

Enjoyed 'em all, Lew, so, in case I don't get another chance before Sunday, have a great Christmas, mate!

Anonymous said...
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Lew Stringer said...

Thanks, John! Merry Christmas!

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