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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Leo Baxendale in Boys' World (1964)

Before Wham! there was Boys' World, also published by Odhams. Admittedly it was a posher comic than its soon-to-be-born rough and ready kid brother, in most ways anyway. However, there were some similarities in design and in one issue it featured this wonderful double-page spread by Leo Baxendale! (Click on it to see it full size.)

This is from Boys' World Vol.2 No.4, dated 25th January 1964, which was the first birthday issue of the publication. Bob Batholomew was the editor, who would soon become known to readers as "Bart" of "Alf and Bart" fame, who along with "Cos" would be the editors of the Power Comics. Boys' World sadly merged into Eagle in late 1964 after less than 90 issues in total.

Having bought a stack of Boys' World comics recently I can see it was a very good comic but I'm sure there were various reasons why it didn't last long. I think the title 'Boys' World' was one of them. (It certainly put me off buying the annuals. Personally I wanted to feel I was reading something for a slightly older reader, not be constantly reminded that I was a child.) A more dynamic title might have helped, I think.

I'll be showing more examples of this great comic in the coming weeks. 


Gavin Burrows said...

That white-on-red logo looks very post 'Eagle'.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, Boys' World was intended to be a companion to Eagle I think, especially in its second year. It all helped when they merged of course.

Peter Gray said...

You can't beat Leo Baxendale's poster pages!!! Thanks Lew..

paddykool said...

Great to see this again ,Lew .Remembering the brilliant Leo. i have the complete run of "Boys World" in my collection and i hand-bound them into two large hardback volumes a few years ago. They contain some of the very best artwork and are especially memorable for the lovely painted covers. I suppose it was beginning to look a little staid and worthy for me compared to the the razzamatazz of the incoming Marvels back then .That said the standard of the artwork was remarkable really.

Lew Stringer said...

I must admit I find the covers to be the least appealing thing about Boys' World. (I was never keen on features on covers, preferring strips.) Perhaps when it was revamped in late 1963 it might have been more attractive with a strip starting on the cover? Then again, that's never been a guarantee of success either.

Perhaps the market just couldn't support another Eagle wannabe?

I think your comment about competition from Marvels is valid too. After I discovered Marvel comics in the mid-1960s, most British adventure strips seemed very tame in comparison. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to think that.

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