November 1, 2014
Standing in a shop looking at the plethora of Halloween masks for sale I recalled a time when such a choice was unheard of. Still, we didn’t do Halloween in 1965. Bonfire night was the big thing. There were at least two different Guy Fawkes masks given away in British Fleetway/IPC comics in the 1960s. The first one I was aware of came free in a the 30th October 1965 issue of “Buster” comic. Here is the only image I can find of that 1965 mask. I’m still convinced that I have saved my own mask somewhere within Magic Robot Towers and it will no doubt surface one day as I continue my box reduction programme.
The next Guy Fawkes mask I owned was free inside the third issue of “Whizzer and Chips” comic in November 1969. It wasn’t a copy of the 1965 face but was completely re-drawn, and whilst it was still similar the hat now sported a large buckle.
PS: Way back in the dim and distant past (4th November 2010 actually) I wrote the following:-
“I’ve no idea if Guy Fawkes actually looked anything like that. I think I may have mentioned before (and perhaps I’m stating the obvious and it is common knowledge ??) that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the 1965 Buster Guy Fawkes mask wasn’t the inspiration for the early 1980s Lloyd/Moore “V for Vendetta” strip.”
And as any fule kno it was the “V for Vendetta” Strip/Film that was the inspiration for the “Occupy” masks.
PPS: And I’ve just remembered this. Available in a variety of colours and made in that odd composite material that they used to make egg boxes with. When I was a child in the 1960s no respectable Guy Fawkes effigy was burnt at the top of the bonfire without wearing one of these purchased from the local newsagents along with your Standard fireworks. Penny for the Guy?
PPPS: And there was this mask on the back cover of “Krazy” comic, but you would have needed to cut it out and stick it to some cardboard to make it work….
November 4, 2010
The most interesting thing about last week’s relaunch of “The Dandy” was that it DIDN’T have a free gift sellotaped to the front. Once upon a time a free gift was only found in the first three issues of new titles, or used sparingly in existing comics for special events or to boost flagging sales. Now the bottom shelves are full of plastic bags containing so many toys and novelties that the comics also included seem like the free gifts.
In November 1965 the free gift of a Guy Fawkes mask in “Buster” must have tempted me. I’ve preserved one of these cardboard masks somewhere pushed inside one of the many Annuals that still reside in my “library”. Of course, I couldn’t find it today so I hope the people at http://www.bustercomic.co.uk don’t mind me borrowing their picture. I’ve no idea if Guy Fawkes actually looked anything like that. I think I may have mentioned before (and perhaps I’m stating the obvious and it is common knowledge ??) that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this image wasn’t the inspiration for the early 1980s Lloyd/Moore “V for Vendetta” strip.
What I did find was this similar idea of a very odd cardboard Batman mask from around 1966. I don’t know if this came free in a comic or was just sold as-is. Actually, it is so odd that if it didn’t actually SAY Batman on the forehead no one would know what it was meant to be !!
August 16, 2009
Whilst browsing the Internet for nothing in particular I found this (slightly torn) copy of “Buster” comic from 1967. Besides containing such delights as “Galaxus”, “Charlie Peace” and “The Toys of Doom” it also contained an advert/competition for Anglo Ace bubblegum. At the time I sent off the appropriate number of wrappers and a slogan. A couple of months later I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d won one of these exclusive wristwatches. Its only now all these years later that I realise that 999 other people also won one. Ah well…so much for exclusivity. I’ll bet less than 1000 kids would take the trouble to enter!!!
When new it had the most scarily bright green glow I have ever seen on a watch. Luckily the “radioactive” paint has faded over time. I seem to have mislaid the bezel somewhere over the last 42 years but despite some wear and tear it still keeps ticking, much like its owner…..
May 27, 2008
From the mid 1960s onwards many UK comics produced Summer Specials. On sale for two or three months each year with a much longer shelf life than the weekly editions they were incredibly popular.
The character “Buster” began as the son of “Andy Capp” (who had a comic strip in The Daily Mirror newspaper) but he soon just became another identikit comic figurehead like “Korky the Cat” in “The Dandy”. I like this story in the 1969 “Buster Holiday Fun Special” of “Galaxus” the alien trapped on earth.
The unique selling point of “Whizzer and Chips” was two comics for the price of one. “The Dandy” and “The Beano” Summer Specials were always the most popular but the concept of Summer Specials lived on until the 1990s.