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Monday, December 10, 2018

A classic WHAM! cover

I've always liked this Tiddlers cover by Leo Baxendale, ever since I saw it used as an advert for the weekly back in a Wham! Annual in the 1960s. I recently bought this issue and I like the art even more now I've seen it in its published size. Wham! No.71, dated 23rd October 1965. (There's no way a children's comic today would put a kid dressed as Hitler on the cover, or show such an assault on a teacher. Wham! could be irresponsible but Baxendale always made it look funny.)

As I've mentioned before, you can easily spot Leo's art for Odhams as he signed most of it. Several artists were told to imitate his style, and ones such as Mike Lacey, Mike Brown, and Graham Allen did a superb job (and were funny creatives in their own right) but always look for the signature. If it's absent, chances are it's not by Leo Baxendale. (Also remember that Leo never drew any pages for the Odhams annuals, so eBay sellers claiming otherwise are wrong. And... Leo left Odhams in 1966, so later issues of Wham! - and no issues of Pow! - feature his work, only that of people drawing in his style. 

These days, Rebellion own the rights to these old comics, so maybe they'll collect some classic Wham! material one day. There's nothing scheduled for 2019, but perhaps in the 2020s you'll be able to buy the collected Tiddlers or Eagle-Eye, Junior Spy. Who knows? 


Irmantas said...

This is one of my favourite Wham! covers.

Lew Stringer said...

Marvellous, isn't it? The perfect cover to show what Wham! was all about.

Kevin Larkin said...

Is the dalek in the last frame on the cover just a random quirk, or is it part of a competition in the comic to find a hidden dalek?!

Lew Stringer said...

It's something Leo used to put into his Wham! strips occasionally, just on a whim. I loved touches like that.

The only competitions that Wham! ran on a regular basis were the weekly comps to win records by that week's featured pop stars.

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