August 10, 2010
During the 1940s and early 1950s a number of publishers in the UK decided to fill the void provided by the temporary unavailability of the thicker and more colourful imported comicbooks that had begun to appear here alongside the american pulps and paperbacks. Gerald G. Swan is perhaps the most well known “small” publisher from these times as he also produced a number of hardbacked Annuals which have a better survival rate than the newsprint comics.
The contents of these comics were often as poor as the quality of paper they were printed on. Which was pretty much any paper they could get their hands on when rationing was still in place. Usually consisting of 16 pages, but sometimes a mere 8 pages long, with prices ranging from 2d to a head-spinning 6d each. No dates (and sometimes no numbers) increased their shelf life. They must have sold but you’d think that given the choice most children at the time would have preferred to spend their money on a Dandy or a Beano, a Comic Cuts or Radio Fun or by 1951 an Eagle.
This un-numbered, undated comic was published by Funnibooks of Glasgow. I don’t know if this was an offshoot of Cartoon Art Productions (CAPtoons) also of Glasgow who were responsible for the “Super Duper” comic I mentioned recently. They were certainly using some of the same artists. The last two strips in this comic are signed by Dennis M. Reader (1927 – 1995) who would often be found within the pages of these types of comics, often drawing infamous characters such as Phantom Maid and Electro Girl. Although I don’t intend to make a habit of scanning old comics I thought this was obscure enough to make an exception.
If nothing else at least this second panel made me smile….
July 19, 2010
This comic is more Duper than Super !!! It was published by Cartoon Art Periodicals in the UK during that no man’s land period between the end of the Second World War and the beginning of modern recorded history (which as we all know was 1956 !!!). Along with similar companies like Gerald G. Swan Ltd they churned out incredibly cheap looking, unbelievably unsophisticated, comics that (from a distance, squinting with one eye closed ) were imitations of the (then poorly distributed here) American comics of the time.
I don’t own a copy of this comic alas, so thanks to the original scanner for making it available to the world at large. The artwork varies from “interesting” to “sub-fanzine standard”. This crumbling artefact is beyond parody and of interest only to a handful of comics historians. The recent weighty “Great British Fantasy Comic Book Heroes” edited by Mike Higgs is the best place (nay, its the ONLY place) to see more of this type of forgotten comic art from the late 1940s/early 1950s.