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Friday, March 30, 2018

FILM FUN - Easter 1953

Film Fun was a highly successful comic from the Amalgamated Press that enjoyed a long run from 17th January 1920 until 8th September 1962 when it merged into Buster. A total of 2,225 issues (according to research by the late Denis Gifford). It ran strips featuring popular movie stars of the day, imitating the slapstick comedy of the films but with a distinctly British flavour.

Here are a few pages from Film Fun No.1733, the "Grand Easter Number" dated April 4th 1953 but published on 30th March of that year. The strip on the front and back covers is Laurel and Hardy, drawn by Terry Wakefield, who had taken over the strip from his father George after he passed away in 1942. You'll notice that the boys are based in London. In the Film Fun strips, most Hollywood stars were relocated to England so that readers could relate to the surroundings easier. 

Film Fun's 16 pages featured a mixture of strips and prose stories, as did most British comics back then. Here's a Frank Randle strip, drawn by Bertie Brown I believe. I could be mistaken. Artists were instructed to draw in a house style back then and it's not always easy to tell the difference between them.
Red Skelton, which I think was usually by Terry Wakefield but this looks like Bertie Brown's work to me...
Finally, a George Formby strip, and this is a curious one. Film Fun often reprinted old strips and substituted the lead actor with a more contemporary one. A penciled note at the top of the page, written by the comic's previous owner, reads: 

"RP 1944  20.4.1957 Red Skelton".

My thanks to comics historian and author Ray Moore for solving the mystery. He informs me that the note means that this 1953 George Formby strip was doctored and reprinted as a Red Skelton strip in Film Fun No.1944, dated 20th April 1957. 
I hope you enjoyed this day trip back to 1953 to see what kids were reading over their Easter holidays that year, and may I wish you all a Happy Easter for 2018!


P.S: I understand some of you may be having problems posting comments, so I've changed this blog's settings again to allow comments from people who don't have a Google etc account. I'd prohibited this a while ago to stop spamming and trolling, so I hope everyone plays nice now the restraints are off!


Peter Gray said...

Happy Easter to you too...

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Peter. Have a good weekend.

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