Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Smash! Pow! Fantastic Fireworks Fun from 51 Years Ago!

One last fireworks post, and it's a trip back in time to 1968 when Odhams' last remaining comic was Smash! and Pow! incorporating Fantastic. Yes, those wonderfully lively, unpredictable comics had all merged into one by this stage. (This is the second merge issue.) A few months later, IPC would take charge and completely revamp Smash! to fall in line with Fleetway's other comics... but for today, let's appreciate what this great issue had to offer for Bonfire Night. The Odhams comics were some of the most outrageous comics ever published for children. The comedy violence and level of mischief would cause an uproar if it appeared in kids' comics today, so I hope you enjoy this selection! 

The cover strip, The Swots and the Blots, was by Mike Lacey. It's a common myth that Leo Baxendale drew this strip from the start. Not true. Leo only drew the one in issue 159 and then took over with the first revamp issue in March 1969. His version was incredible and brilliant, but let's appreciate the version that Mike Lacey gave us in this issue. 
Inside the comic, readers had a glorious mixture of funnies, adventure strips, and American reprint in the form of the Fantastic Four, Thor, and Batman! I'm just focusing on the firework-related strips today though...

Bad Penny! Now this one was by Leo Baxendale, although several other artists drew lots of episodes too. It's possible that Mike Brown may have inked this one (as Leo and Mike did collaborate during this time) but it looks all-Leo to me...

The Cloak, written and drawn by Mike Higgs. One of my favourite comic strips of the 1960s and a huge inspiration on my work. 

The Nervs! Ken Reid had recently taken over the art on this strip and turned it into one of the greatest comic strips ever. (and Remember, Remember that all of Ken's 1960s Odhams work has been collected in two volumes. Click here for more info.)

Smash! was my favourite comic as a child, and these strips (and others) are the reason. Truly fantastic! Happy November 5th! 

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2 comments:

Peter Gray said...

Always a treat seeing the fireworks issue...love the bonfire in Mike Giggs final panel...

going to miss your blog...But thanks for so many wonderful posts...which will be reread by me for years to come and will follow your other comic Lew Stringer blog... you've done an amazing amount of work yourself...

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Peter. I'm ending Blimey! for various reasons but one of them is to give me more time to post on my other blog, where I'll be showing more of my old pages from over the past four decades, as well as new stuff of course!

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