Down with Skool

November 15, 2008

As any fule kno one of the funniest children’s books ever written was this. I only had a tatty paperback reprint until the other day when I found this first edition from the mid 1950s unnoticed and unloved in a local charity shop.


Idly searching the web I found this site which explains what the book is all about.

PS: Although I have collected/read/sold/destroyed comics for over 40 years I’ve never made any particular effort to visit blogs and websites run by the comic creators themselves. (Although I did visit Steve Gerber’s blog regularly in the last year of his life and for a time I looked at Mark Evanier’s extensive ouevre and that’s about it.) Quite by chance today I found myself in the middle of Todd Klein’s blog. That is a name I have seen regularly for the last 30 years or so as a letterer of umpteen (how many I wonder) comics. It was nice to find out more about the person and personality that until today was just a name. Amongst Todd’s hobbies and interests is collecting children’s novels. In fact he seems to be an authority on the subject. I wonder if he is familiar with this book? 



6 Responses to “Down with Skool”

  1. toddklein Says:

    Actually, I’m not, though I know the work of cartoonist Ronald Searle. Looks like a good read!


  2. themagicrobot Says:

    Hi Todd
    I only just glanced through your blog the other day and will re-visit to download your pdf file of books you recommend. As I said above its great to put a face (and a person) to what was just a name in a comic. At least your comics actually GAVE credits to letterers etc. I have only just recently discovered the names of ARTISTS for some of the UK comics I bought in the 1960s!!
    The “Down with Skool” book was unique in its time for its anarchic spelling. Supposedly written by the (public) schoolboy Molesworth with phrases like:-
    “Gosh chiz this is molesworth 2 my bro he is utterly wet and a weed it panes me to think i am of the same blud.”
    I will send you my spare copy so you can see what I mean. The book was actually first published in 1953 after having been serialized as “The Diaries of Molesworth” in “Punch” magazine.

  3. Lee Says:

    There are 4 Molesworth books,of which this is the first,republished a few years back in one volume by Penguin I think… Ronald Searle is more famous for St Trinians but Molesworth is classic too. The various descriptions of the School Piano never fail to get me laughing!

  4. toddklein Says:

    Thanks very much for sending me your paperback edition! I’ll enjoy reading it when I have a chance, and will review it on my blog then.


  5. themagicrobot Says:

    You’re welcome Todd. Today I’ve been reading the (DC/Wildstorm/America’s Best Comics) “Top 10 Season Two” #2 which has your input. Comics do the “suspension of disbelief” thing so well. A talking house ?!!? Along with “The Age of the Sentry” with its homage to the wackier Silver Age comics its my current favourite.

  6. […] few months ago someone known only as “The Magic Robot” linked to my site in an article on this humorous British schoolboy book from the 1950s. I’d […]

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