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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Deed-A-Day Danny by Hugh McNeill

Deed-A-Day Danny began as a half-page black and white strip in A.P.'s rival to The Beano, The Knock-Out Comic No.1, dated March 4th 1939. (Later simplified to just Knockout Comic.) The character of Danny was a well-meaning boy scout whose attempts to be helpful usually backfired. 
The first Deed-A-Day Danny strip from Knock-Out No.1 (1939).
The strip proved popular enough to be moved to the front cover of Knock-Out with issue 15. There it remained throughout the war years and a few years beyond. The strip ended in 1954.

The artist was Hugh McNeill, who had created Pansy Potter for The Beano No.1 in 1938 before freelancing for their rival company. He continued to work for A.P. after the war, notably as the main artist on the nursery weekly Jack and Jill in the 1950s, and as the second artist to draw the Buster strip for Buster comic in the early 1960s. He passed away in 1979. You can read more about him at Steve Holland's excellent Bear Alley blog here:

His covers for Knockout in the 1940s were lively and full of fun, so I thought I'd show a handful of them here today. All images are scanned from my collection of the actual comics.


James Spiring said...

I can definitely see the Beano influence on that first cover - same logo colour scheme and layout (with the arched name and the word Comic underneath, and the price at the top right corner), even the red bar at the bottom. At least they'd gained a more distinct look by the time of those later covers.

I notice though, that it was a penny more expensive than the Beano. And was out twice as often during the war too (the 1945 Knockout covers still say Every Wednesday, but Beano was fortnightly at that time due to rationing). Did that higher price help avoid some of the austerity (such as page count reduction) that Beano suffered?

As for the story, those title panels remind me of Buster's Diary.

Lew Stringer said...

A little. Knockout had 28 pages when it started in 1939, but reduced to 16 during WW2, rising to 20 pages in the late fifties and to 24 in the early 60s before it merged into Valiant.

Peter Gray said...

I laughed at the freak show gag at the end...of course different era..
Cheese head lol..

Peter Gray said...

All of them are great fun...thanks for showing them..

Another comic which needs a book... Our Ernie too...

Lew Stringer said...

Coming up over the next few weeks, Peter!

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