Another Guy Fawkes mask

November 1, 2015

Whoopee and Wow 499

Last year I mentioned a couple of Guy Fawkes masks given away free in various UK comics in the 1960s and 1970s. To “celebrate” reaching issue No 500 in November 1983 “Whoopee and Wow” gave away another “free” Guy Fawkes mask. Actually, calling it a “free gift” was rather stretching your incredulity as there was no cute cardboard face pushed loosely within the pages. They just printed a larger-than-life odd image across the centre pages of the comic. The reader then had to do all the hard work. As well as defacing their comic by removing the page and spoiling the two strips on the other side the reader was expected to cut out the face, and stick it to a piece of cardboard etc etc.

Whoopee and Wow 500

Whoopee Guy Fawkes


November 1, 2015

This anarchic live saturday morning children’s TV show (but adults loved it too) ran from 1974 to 1982. Initially conceived by ATV continuity announcer Peter Tomlinson, it soon made a star of Chris Tarrant. Chris had already been working at ATV for the early evening magazine news programme…usually handling the odder/funnier outside broadcast news items. Initially TISWAS (Today Is Saturday Watch And Smile) consisted of Chris and John Asher sitting behind a desk linking assorted cartoons. It wasn’t too long before it had expanded into a cast of thousands (along with an audience of both children and adults ) crowding the studio along with Peter Tomlinson, Trevor East, John Gorman, Bob Carolgees (with Spit the Dog), copious numbers of buckets of water, Lenny Henry and many more (not forgetting eventually the Phantom Flan Flinger and Sally James).


Tiswas Poster Magazine No 2

Poster Magazines were quite popular in the 1970s. Subjects were usually Pop Groups like the Bay City Rollers and cult TV shows like Starsky and Hutch. This TISWAS Poster Magazine was published in 1975 when the show could only be viewed in the ATV Midlands region so I guess it was only available in shops in the Midlands too?? Later there would be annuals and a magazine and various other merchandising.

with compliments

PS: After around seven years of saturday morning madness Chris and a few of the regulars left TISWAS to move on to create an adult late night version of the show. Titled OTT (Over the Top) it only survived for one series in the early 1980s.


November 1, 2015


Cleverer people than I can manipulate video but who knows,  perhaps there are even cleverer people from the C30th who have mastered the art of teleportation?!?

And for every person who believes there is someone else out there to debunk.

Nuff Said 52

November 1, 2015


An Australian comic?

November 1, 2015

Superman 58 UK cover

Superman 58 UK


Well, I always called these thin sixpenny black-and white comics “Australian comics”. To be more accurate Superman number 58 was a British reprint issued around 1955/1956 of the Australian Superman number 85 which contained reprints from the original American Action Comics 176 and Superman 84 both published in 1953.


Superman 85 Australian


The Australian K.G. Murray comics cost 8d, and would continue to rise in price to 9d and eventually 1/- by 1959 whilst ours remained at 6d.

Action 176


It’s interesting to see how K.G. Murray juggled with the text on the covers and always made sure that any $$$$$$s were converted to ££££££s. And here’s the small print from the inside back cover of Superman 58 showing that the comic was printed by Gale and Polden of Aldershot England.



Coverless comic

October 1, 2015


“Key issues” and condition are paramount to those collectors who have their 9.2 near mint comics encased in slabs of plastic. I’m told that if this comic were in mint condition it would be worth £4000. Even in average condition, complete with a cover it would be worth £100. But, coverless it’s probably worthless. Although the fact that it is coverless could well be the only reason I still have possession of it after 50 years. All my “valuable” 1960s comics (including an almost complete run of The Flash 110 to 160) were sold for peanuts in the 1970s.

Flash 123 splash page

Flash 123 is definitely a “Key issue”. Cover-dated September 1961 (and purchased second hand by a young me circa 1965) it tells the classic tale of Barry Allen’s first meeting with Jay Garrick, the Earth 2 Flash, and is responsible for starting all that nonsense of “multiple earths” and multiple versions of heroes in the DC universe which continues now even more than ever in their current comics.


What I didn’t realise until a few years ago was that the compelling cover drawn by Carmine Infantino was supposedly a homage to an “Our Fighting Forces” cover from a couple of years earlier. I can’t really see it myself…

Our Fighting Forces 48

What’s strange?

October 1, 2015

whats strange