Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Short Cuts: Comic Book Oddities and Obscurities !


 Redartz:  Throughout their history, comics have been published in a variety of formats, shapes and sizes. There have been digests, magazine size issues, mini comics, promotional comics, giveaway comics, book-and-record comics, and so on. If you're like me and enjoy variety, you find these variations to be a lot of fun. Sometimes tough to read (those Marvel Mini-Books from the gumball machines could only be opened for reading by separating the pages, essentially), but certainly a cool offshoot from standard comics fandom..All of the below illustrated examples are items I've encountered, some of which I've owned.  The Spider-Man vs. Prodigy giveaway is....rather odd. A sex education pamphlet from Planned Parenthood; it did have art by Ross Andru.

The Jonny Quest mini came packaged with VHS tapes of the original tv series; there were four each adapting an episode of the program.

The Justice League/Secret Origins mini was sold at candy counters in the late 70's. As were the Marvel Amurol mini's, which actually came with a piece of gum.

The Simpsons mini is identical to the regular standard size release but doesn't contain the fake newspaper insert.

The Big Boy comic was always a treat to be anticipated when our family dined at "Frisch's", somehow this one avoided food stains.

Those are just a few of the stories behind these eclectic gems . There are many more; and that's where you come in. Did you have any of these unusual, out-of-the-ordinary type comics? What other ones have you encountered? What's the strangest comic form you've come across? This week let's examine these 'obscurities' of the comic world...





McSCOTTY said...

I always enjoyed the Mad black and white paperback format with comic reprints I also had a few of the DC paperback format like “Superboy and the Legion” (by Tempo books) and books like Jonny Harts BC. , the Wizard of Id etc. I also liked the Marvel mini books from a few years ago (Hulk, Spiderman and Avengers) that were black and white inside that reprinted the first few 1960s tales – they didn’t last long but I loved that format (think I still have the Spidey one). Of course the “Free comic book” day comics are fun as well..

As far as the UK is concerned I remember in the mid1960s there were a few free comic books (called promotional / custom comics in the UK) linked to things like dental care (Gibbs Ivory Castle Arrow and the Signal comics) these were given away free in schools at the time dealing with dental care (contrary to popular believe British teeth are well looked after). Unlike US comics these were story rather than character based and had some excellent art. There were also test comics like “Glory Glory” (a football/soccer comic) and “ Oh No! (humour comic) that had very limited distribution in schools etc to see if they could move to publication(they didn’t). The most famous of these test comics was Vulcan, an a American format comic featuring UK reprints material in colour that was limited to Scotland and lasted for around 30 issues before being relaunched UK wide starting from issue 1 again with “new” reprint material (the Scottish version are still very much sought after by UK collectors )

I also remember as a kid in the 1960s early 1970s when my family were on holiday in Italy they had lots of mini comics in “lucky bags” (printed paper bags with a s mall cheap toy, some sweets and a comic) featuring mostly Western characters (Tex?) and the odd Disney and Superhero character printed in black and white 2 panels to a page with colour covers (similar to the Archie “Mask me no questions” book on your thread).

Gibbs/Signal Promotional / custom comics


Edo Bosnar said...

I guess I had a few books that fit into this category; none of them had an unusual format, though.
First, I had two that were actually handed out to us in school:
One was "Mickey and Goofy Explore Energy" which was published by Dell. This was sometime in the late '70s, possibly 1978, during that time of rising gas prices and 'saving energy' was a bit of a buzz phrase.
The other was one of those Superman Radio Shack TRS 80 giveaway comics that everyone in the seventh and eighth grade received when our school purchased a TRS 80 (it's the one in which Supes fights Major Disaster with help from those two kids doin' all kinds of cipherin' on one o' them fancy Radio Shack computational devices).

I also had the Big Jim's P.A.C.K. promotional comic that came free with any one of the dolls (all right, action figures) from that toy line (for the record, I had Warpath). Don't remember much about the story, except that the art was by John Buscema.

Mike Wilson said...

Yeah, the MAD paperbacks were cool, as McScotty mentioned. I used to have one of those mini Atari Force comics that came with one of my Atari 2600 cartridges, but I'm not sure if I still have it or not. I do have a Spider-Man colouring book somewhere, but the story (and art) is pretty generic.

Anonymous said...

That ‘landscape format’ Uncle Scrooge comic reminded me that I used to have a Batman comic in the same format when I was in first or second grade. Some Googling tells me they came in packages of Kellogg’s Pop Tarts in ‘66, and that there were 6 different ones. I think mine had the Penguin in it.

Those Aurora ‘Comics Scenes’ comics were classy. I have (or used to have) the Cap, Spidey and Hulk ones but i haven’t laid eyes on them in years. So they might be gone. Alas! But I still have the Batman one for sure — just saw it a few months ago, bagged and boarded and stowed away in a box of Detective, Batman and Brave and Bold comics. I also have the Neal Adams-drawn comic that came with Aurora’s notorious ‘Monster Scenes’ model kits.

A few weeks ago, I saw a cool, TINY joke book on the ‘And everything Else Too’ blog that came from a Cracker Jack box. There was some speculation in the comments that it might have been drawn by Wally Wood but I’m convinced it was Tom Sutton — his lettering was VERY distinctive. I’m tempted to get a copy myself off eBay, but I’d probably just lose it!

Do Big Little Books count? Not quite comics but certainly an odd format! I used to have the FF one drawn by Happy Herb Trimpe.

Like McScotty, I have a bunch of comics in Mass Market Paperback format. Marvel-wise, I have most of the full color Pocket Books reprint volumes and some of the later b/w ones from when they had their own Marvel Books imprint. Oh, and a few of those Lancer reprint paperbacks from the 60s, too. DCs, I only have LEGEND OF THE BATMAN (Wein, Byrne, Aparo mini-series reprint), I think. A few Flash Gordons, a few Dick Tracys, Dennis the Menace, Tiger (by Bud Blake) and at least a dozen MAD paperbacks. In fact, BEDSIDE MAD (reprints from the Kurtzman comic era) was my Gateway to all things Mad.


Anonymous said...

I totally forgot the Horror Comic paperbacks! I’ve got the four or five Ballantine EC paperbacks, the one CREEPY pb (published by Tempo, I think?) and the two ‘all new’ paperbacks packaged by Russ Jones, CHRISTOPHER LEE’S TREASURY OF TERROR and DRACULA (adapted by Otto Binder and Al McWilliams — it ain’t bad). Then there are the two HOUSE OF MYSTERY paperbacks — they’re prose, not comics, but they have amazing covers and interior illustrations by Berni Wrightson, so they’re at least heavily ‘comics-adjacent’.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and a bunch of MAD-adjacent paperbacks :

THE CRACKED READER, from 1960, reprinting material from the late 50s. There’s a lot of Jack Davis in this one, so it’s better than 8 would have guessed when I first picked it up.

In addition to the scores of paperbacks filled with MAD reprints, they published a number of all-new collections too. My faves were the two MAD LOOK AT OLD MOVIES books written by Dick DeBartolo, with art by Drucker and Davis.

Kurtzman never had a repeat of the success in paperback as he’d had with those first MAD reprint books, but boy he sure kept trying! There’s the famous (and awesome) JUNGLE BOOK, plus 2 collections of HELP! reprints (both of which lean heavily on fumetti strips), EXECUTIVE’S COMIC BOOK (a collection of Goodman Beaver comics stories from the same mag), a really odd one-off called HARVEY KURTZMAN’S FUN AND GAMES, and quite late in his career he teamed up with Byron Preiss for two volumes of NUTS!, a kinda/sorta ‘MAD for the 80s’ aimed squarely at the teen market.


Anonymous said...

The early years of the direct market era was great for comics coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, which I missed when most of the indies switched to the standard colour monthly format. Raw was a particular favourite, with its large A3 format... and Art Spiegelman's Maus serialized in a smaller insert.

But I guess that was still - in its own way - a regularly published comic.
The most interesting oddity I have is an old 7inch single by obscure early 80s British band the Sinister Ducks - one of whom started writing Swamp Thing for DC soon after it was released! - with a picture sleeve by Kevin O'Neill that folds out to reveal an 8 "page" comic adaptation of the lyrics drawn by original Marvelman artist Garry Leach on the other side.


Anonymous said...

Seeing as the "landscape format" has been mentioned, the Marvel UK reprint weeklies The Titans and Super Spider-Man - comics basically turned on their side, so they could double the content on each page - seem fairly odd in retrospect.
Don't know if its quite what this post is about, but heres a link to various reprint Marvels from outside the US with familiar cover images that may be of interest.




Colin Jones said...

In October 1975 Marvel UK launched 'The Titans' #1 in the landscape format which was definitely unusual - to my eyes downright bizarre in fact! But I actually liked this new format because each page featured two normal "portrait" pages side-by-side (though only half the size) which meant each issue had twice the amount of content that could be fitted into a comic of 36 pages. In February 1976 the Spidey weekly also went landscape but the experiment didn't last long - by the end of 1976 the two landscape weeklies had merged into one (Super Spider-Man & The Titans) and in June 1977 the comic returned to portrait mode ("Spidey is going back upright!" said the ads at the time). Marvel UK's flirtation with the landscape format only lasted for 20 months but it was a memorable period!

Anonymous said...

And of course, any discussion of ‘landscape format’ comics would be incomplete without at least mentioning the wacko illustrated religious tracts of Jack T. Chick and (the other end of the ‘righteous’ spectrum) Tijuana Bibles. Back in the 80s, Jack Chick comics were everywhere. LITERALLY. It wasn’t unusual to find copies on park benches, at bus stops, strewn across sidewalks in Hollywood or Santa Monica. I would occasionally pick one up, and if it was especially bonkers, add it to my small collection. Had about six or seven of the things — no idea where they are now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actual physical copy of a Tijuana Bible, in my life.

Sean’s mention of RAW reminds me of Chris Ware, whose ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY must have driven all those fans who like to have their comics all the same size for neatness of storage quite mad.

The NATIONAL LAMPOON comic strip, ‘One Year Affair’ by Ralph Reese and Byron Preiss (him again!) was collected in a handsome, tidy, landscape format softcover book. I know I’ve got it around here somewhere....


Charlie Horse 47 said...

The odd size things I have...

- A Big Little Book from early 1940s of Spy Smasher (a Fawcett character)

- A Fawcett "mini" comic book from the early 1940s of Captain Marvel Junior. They were about the same size as a Big Little book but contain only one 16-page story (or thereabouts).

- Read a bunch of Chic Tracks like b.t. They were passed out by religious morons I was in the Army with (Jesus wants you to kill actually, not turn the other cheek). Being Roman Catholic I kept the one slamming Roman Catholics. I enjoyed belonging to the church that Chic deemed to be The Great Whore of Babylon. (Did I digress, lol?)

- Read a few "Tijuana Bibles" at Comicons in Chicago, lol. Blondie was the best, whatever that means!

- Still have a stack of Marvel and DC Treasury Editions and Prince Valiant hard backs.

- And, just to say something tangential... I still have my earliest annual of Overstreet's Comic Book Price Guide. It's #7. I also have Steranko's History of Comics which are basically the same size.

Cheers! Great Subject Red!

McSCOTTY said...

I picked up one the relatively recent large tabloid sized comics just before the recent lockdown (Giant Size Kung Fu Bible Stories) initially only for the excellent Bruce Timm strip but it was overall a nice read and a good format that is similar to the more famous tabloid sized Marvel Treasury Editions and the DC limited Collector editions of the 1970s that CH mentioned.

The IDW artist / artifact editions look interesting (I got one of the Romita Snr Spiderman ones for a birthday present a few years ago (it was on sale half price) but waaay too expensive for my pockets at full price (around £100 plus / $140) and a bit unwieldy to be honest. However, I noticed that they are publishing them in smaller book sized formats now for around £35 ($50 or so) .

The ForteanTimes magazine (articles on strange phenomena) publish a regular 1 page colour cartoon by the legendary Hunt Emerson - a few years ago published a large pull out poster Frankenstein comic (looked amazing ). An interesting format that I think some fans would have liked to have seen continue.

Colin: How could I forget the landscape format UK Marvel comics, I wasn’t a fan at the time, but looking back they were endearing and good value for money.

Colin Jones said...

Paul, I buy Fortean Times every month and I remember the Frankenstein poster-comic. It was a cartoon summary of Mary Shelley's original novel and I agree that a similar treatment of other sci-fi/horror classics would be very welcome!

And a couple of years ago Fortean Times had an article about the religious tracts of Jack T. Chick mentioned by bt and Charlie (in fact it was that issue's cover story). I'd never heard of Jack Chick before and I don't know if his religious comics appeared in the UK.

Colin Jones said...

There was one drawback to Marvel UK's landscape weeklies - the original US covers had to be re-drawn to fit the landscape format and the quality of those re-drawn covers was mixed. Some were excellent but others were merely OK or downright awful. 'The Titans' lasted for 58 issues and #27-52 featured the Fantastic Four as the cover stars - those issues reprinted the original FF #84-109 which was an important period in FF history which saw the end of Jack Kirby's long run, the brief John Romita issues and the start of the John Buscema era so a lot of great covers but we only saw re-drawn versions on the covers of The Titans #27-52.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I am fascinated to learn religious morons in the army hand out Chic tracks. Which ones in particular - Le Freak? Good Times? Everybody Dance?
Sorry mate, I couldn't resist (I was raised by followers of the Great Whore of Babylon, so what would you expect? Mea culpa)


Redartz said...

McScotty- nice call on the Mad paperbacks. Between those and "Peanuts", "Pogo" and "BC", my shelves were full.
Also, glad you brought up "Free Comic Day". A great event each year, and it usually offers several oddities such as we're discussing.
And that tabloid you picked up had a Bruce Timm story? Love his work, thus another book added to the 'must find' list.

Mike W- so the Spidey coloring book actually had a storyline? Good or lame, it's news to me that a coloring book was more than just a collection of pinups!

B.t.- ah yes, those landscape mini comics were frequently used as promos. I too had one of the Batman issues, those are pricey now (of course, nearly everything collectible is these days).
And thanks for the terrific rundown on paperback collections. I recall seeing those horror books but failed to try one.

Sean- oh yes, "Raw" was amazing. Frustrating to those of us who tried to bag and board it, but great reading.

More to come, guys...

McSCOTTY said...

Redartz: Kung Fu Bible stories has one of Bruce Timms best ever art jobs (imho) which is saying something so I can highly recommend it just for that strip alone (a superhero parody worthy of Not Brand Echh or Mad) - if you haven’t see the art there is a page of it on the link below - the centre spread (shown ) is a classic

Colin: Those religious Chic track comic used to be handed out in the UK (certainly in Scotland ) in the early mid-1970s, as I picked up a few when I was offered them not knowing they were preaching some pretty hideous things. I actually thought they were a parody of religion they were so crazy. I think they still sell them in The US etc and they sell in there hundreds of thousands but I have never seen one since the 1970s in the UK. The landscape UK Marvels also had centre page posters that were 90% awful as well, I always thought they were drawn by the staff members children as some were that “bad”.

Kung Fu Bible stories

Anonymous said...

McScotty, a couple of those centre page posters were by Frank Hampson.
They were in the other 10% obviously.

Jack Chick - Submit to Darkseid!


Anonymous said...

Anyone remember Joe Kubert’s SOJOURN? It was a tabloid-sized thing, came folded up like a newspaper, but on decent paper stock. Had several different adventure strips by people like Doug Wildey, Dick Giordano, Lee Elias and a Tor strip by Kubert himself. It was pretty cool but predictably, fans disliked the oversized format and it was cancelled after the second issue. Mine are in a box with Steranko’s MEDIASCENE, I think.

Barry Smith’s STORYTELLER was another ‘Treasury’ sized book that I liked a lot. And yes, GIANT-SIZE KUNG FU BIBLE STORIES is a hoot.

And now (because I haven’t quite exhausted the ‘Comics In Paperback’ thing yet) a few prose/comics hybrids that were specifically made for the Mass Market Paperback format (not just reprinting pre-existing material, and thus either shrunk down really small or having the panels re-formatted): BLACKMARK by Gil Kane with Archie Goodwin, and Will Eisner’s THE SPIRIT’S CASEBOOK OF TRUE HAUNTED HOUSES AND GHOSTS.

BM’s story is fairly routine Sword and Science-Fantasy stuff but Kane does a nice job of threading the needle of the paperback format, successfully balancing the proportion of (typeset) text vs graphics, and varying the layouts so they don’t become repetitive. The pages seem satisfying full of content but never claustrophobic or cluttered. It’s basically the revolutionary ‘Graphic Fiction’ format that Byron Preiss was forever trying to will into existence, and here it is already nearly perfected. But of course, it didn’t sell well and the series was cancelled before the second volume could even be printed.

The Spirit book is pretty much what you’d expect from the title. Denny Colt narrates a series of short ‘True’ ghost stories, with (unsurprisingly) a pretty good balance of text and visuals. Not quite sure which age range Eisner thought would be buying this in 1976 — some of the stories are quite gruesome. It says ‘SPIRIT CASEBOOK #1’ on the cover but I don’t know if there was ever a #2.

At the height of the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ craze in the 80s, Preiss put out a paperback series called BE AN INTERPLANETARY SPY that was in comics format with typeset text, initially drawn by Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley. It must have been fairly successful, as there were about twenty volumes, I think. I bought a few of the early ones out of curiosity (and I’ve always liked Hempel’s stuff) but I was a little too far outside the target demo to appreciate that whole ‘Gamebook’ genre.


McSCOTTY said...

Colin: That link to the Submit to Darksied track was brilliant -yes I do remember the Frank Hampson centre spreads (think I still have one) and they were indeed most of the 10% good ones (although from memory his Spidey drawing looked strange as Spiderman's costume was "hanging " off I him.

b.t I totally forgot all about that Blackmark paperback by Gil Kane (I used to have it as well) I think it was also reprinted in an issue of the Savage Sword of Conan mag as well. I agree 100% on BWS'S Storyteller magazine it was lovely to look at (which I also forgot all about).

On other formats there was the large tabloid sized " The Wednesday Comics" from DC printed on newsprint in colour that I really liked it had some amazing artists and writers (Sean Galloway, J Garcia Lopez, Joe Kubert etc) . In the UK we used to have (at least ) 2 children's comics printed on large tabloid sized newsprint format called the Topper and the Beezer that lasted for many years.

Anonymous said...

McSCOTTY: i forgot about WEDNESDAY COMICS — yes, some really great stuff in there. Ryan Sook doing KAMANDI in quasi Hal Foster style was the highlight for me.

Remember when Marvel had a ‘Classic Comics’ line in the late 70s? The first ten or so were originally created by a company called Pendulum Press and sold to schools as study aids. Each was a 62-page b/w booklet, roughly digest-sized, on good paper. They came packaged with a second booklet that had all the non-comic stuff (like a workbook) and I think they even came with an ‘audiobook’ style tape cassette. My Junior High School had a small set, which is how I first saw them. Nestor Redondo and Alex Nino each drew a bunch of adaptations — I’ve been buying them off eBay when I can find ‘em cheap enough. They were blown up a bit for the Marvel reprints, and the print quality was pretty bad at the time, so I much prefer the originals. So far I think I’ve got all the Ninos but am missing one or two the Redondos.


Mike Wilson said...

Red: Yeah, the Spidey colouring book has a storyline, but it's not a great one. Something about a guy disguising himself as Spidey to commit crimes; no costumed villains, though ... maybe something to do with publishing rights?

Anonymous said...

McScotty, I like that Frank Hampson pic precisely because Spidey does look a bit strange, just like a geek in a home-made costume would.
Going a bit off topic, the interesting thing about it is that theres a copyright notice for the artist as well as the publisher - Hampson must be the first creator officially acknowledged as sharing the rights to a Spiderman image with Marvel.

-sean (not Colin ;)

McSCOTTY said...

Sean, Apologies for the name mix up and calling you Colin 🥴

Anonymous said...

For a few years in the late 80s, a newsstand near me in Reseda carried some of those hardcore European Sex and Horror comics digests — ZORA, SUKIA, WALLESTEIN, etc. There were a few drawn by Leon Frollo that were actually pretty nice to look at but most of them were quite bad, and the content was super-violent, the sex scenes just this side of being outright porn, and badly drawn porn at that. They were in Spanish, so I couldn’t actually read them, even if I’d wanted to :). In any case, the real draw for me was the insanely lurid cover art, So I ended up with a short stack — most of them, I tore off the covers and tossed away the innards.

On a trip to Paris (holy crap, THIRTY years ago), I was disappointed to find that even that long ago, so much of the product in their comics shops was from the U.S. I’d been looking forward to finding Euro stuff that hadn’t made it’s way to the USA, but there just wasn’t much of it in the shops. But I did find some cool stuff going through those great second-hand bookstalls along the Seine. The craziest thing I bought was an issue of the notorious Italian digest-sized fumetti KILLING. 100-plus pages of sleazy, poorly lit b/w photos with the super-creepy costumed ‘hero’ playing rough with all his enemies, including some woefully underdressed ladies. It’s a nasty, tawdry, kinda depressing thing — I don’t take it out of its little baggie to look at very often, but when I do, it’s hard to look away.


Anonymous said...

Oh, speaking of coloring books — when I was a kid I had a CAPTAIN AMERICA one that was based on the first Sharon Carter / Agent 13 story. She’s got this ‘Sinister Cylinder’ full of radioactive whatever, and Batroc’s trying to take it away from her, etc. etc. Anyhow, it was reprinted about thirty years later — I didn’t realize coloring book publishers ever did that — and when I saw it at the local Pic N Save for a buck, well, how could I say no?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Regarding the logistics of Chic Tracts, which are 3” x 5” comic books…

I’ve only seen them handed out sporadically (University, Army) or left anonymously in various places (cafeterias, newspaper racks) but never on sale at an LCBD or anywhere else.

The company claims they’ve printed 800,000,000 total issues of over 250 titles over the past 50 years.

Chick tracts have been have been investigated for hate speech. UK Police investigated the distribution of Chick publications in Bristol, England in July 2020.

That’s about all that’s worth saying about them. I admit they are a compelling read like... Tijuana Bibles (especially Blondie).

Redartz said...

Back again for a few more words...

Charlie- "Tijuana Bibles"; yes, I've also seen a few. Seems there were also some crime-oriented miniatures back in the 40's and 50's, more 'spicy' than even the Crime comics published at the time. And then your Fawcett mini-comic; sounds great. Small size and big vintage!
Oh, and do you ever look through your old Overstreet and look longingly at the prices? It seems that currently we're looking at a scorching hot collectibles market; just saw where Amazing Spiderman 252 (first black costume) basically tripled in value. Oy.

McScotty- thanks hugely for that link; having seen it, now that Kung Fu Bible Stories is a MUST HAVE item. And you mentioned tabloid newsprint issues; at an auction a couple years ago I picked up some copies of "Cor!" in a batch lot with a bunch of other books. Ah, the thrill of discovery. Nothing quite like that here in the states at the time, as far as I know...

b.t.- Will Eisner's "Spirit Casebook"? Man, kudos big time for bringing this up! Holy cow, another item totally new to me. This post this week is going to cost me. Horror stories by the Master? Again, holy cow.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

b.t. - Man how could we miss it??? The UK's DC Thomson line of comics!!! I have had many a laugh with those guys and still have my collection of Annuals.

You mentioned the Beezer and I still chuckle when I see the covers. 1968 always reminds me of simpler times as a kid.

Though I dare say the Beano cover to the 1973 Annual is my favorite. It's terribly clever and funny IMHO and sums up DC Thomson to the T!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

b.t. -

France has it's share of comics but they were always in the large, hardback form from my experience. I mean, you'd walk into a grocery store in the 1980s - 2010 and there was always a sizable selection of French hardback comics.

Notable of course are Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke... But there was all sorts of good reading with great art. The former in-laws easily had several dozen going back to the 1950s suggesting that those comics were not viewed as being just for kids.

(It was a stitch seeing the unsanitized versions of Tintin... he had an old-fashioned way of viewing some things. On the other hand, one of his first books Tintin in the Soviet Union written in the early 1930s? told it like it was and was banned until the 1990s so as not to offend the Communist Party, lol.

I too would go into second hand book stores, which used to be numerous in any city with a population. But for some reason I only discovered French language of American comics. Like in the UK, they'd change the cover and dice / splice the characters inside since the comics were thick like the US king-size annuals, but they seemed to be published monthly providing some level of continuity.

I recall a few decades ago that their President Jacque Chirac even kicked off a comic book convention. Man... just writing that made ne feel old as heck!

McSCOTTY said...

CH - Good to hear you are not only aware of D. C. Thomson's output but seem to have enjoyed them when you were younger - simpler times indeed. Did you ever (try to) read Oor Wullie or the Broons? lol

The French and Belgians are comic crazy so I'm not too surprised to read the French President opened a comic convention. The walls in the streets of Brussels and Bruges in Belgium are covered in stunningly illustrated murals and statues of comic characters of the Smurfs, Tintin , Lucky Luke etc (who are actually all Belgian creations not French) - Does the US have similar murals etc?

Brussels comic murals:


Charlie Horse 47 said...

McScotty - I'm going to let you in on a deep, dark secret! Not only did I enjoy DC Thomson's Beano, Beezer, Dandy, Dennis the Menace, Hotspur, Sparky Victor, Valiant (what have I forgotten?) but I still do!

I still have an ebay set up for Dennis the Menace annuals and will cherry pick them... I want the entire run through the mid-70s. Honestly they make me, my kids, sibling laugh hard!

Regarding Oor WUllie and Broons! Jings mate! Love 'em! Occasionally I have bit of trouble with that Scottish Dialect! And let me tell you how my sister flipped when we got her blond-haired boy William a bucket when he was young, to sit on! She laughed and then sternly said, "His name is William or Will! Not Wullie!" (She knows her brothers well!)

I had Scottish friends near by (I live outside Chicago) and a few times over the past years I've had to ask them to translate Wullie, LOL! They were laughing their behinds off reading it with their Scottish accents about how Scottish it was. (These were annuals from the 60s or 70s.)

McScotty - I assume you are Scottish? You live in Scotland now?

The reason I know the annuals is b/c my great grandmother hailed from Dundee and for some reason my great grandfather theoretically would gift each of us great grandkids a DC Thomson Annual for Xmas (this is in the 60s and 70s).

Charlie Horse 47 said...

McScotty -

I've never seen anything remotely like what the Belgiques have done regarding Tintin for displays, murals, etc. nor what Dundee has done for Wullie with "The Bucket Trail" and hundreds of sculptures.

Nor would a politician ever consider dressing like a comic character like UK's Rees Mogg trying to look like Walter the Softie from Dennis the Menace.

That said...

Nearby, in Naperville, Illinois, there is a 9' statue of Dick Tracy b/c the guy who drew Dick for 30 years (Locher) is from Naperville. Coincidentally, I live in Downers Grove, next to Naperville, and at our local comic book shop a former Dick Tracy artist works. He's done a number of free drawings for me. (Red - If we rally again for a C2E2 we can hook you up!)

And it is peculiar that two of France's greatest cultural icons - Tintin and Jacque Brel - are Belge.

Steve Does Comics said...

The only odd format I can think of that hasn't already been mentioned is a thing called the Double Double comic.

British distributor Thorpe & Porter would take unsold American comics, remove the covers, stitch four issues together, put a new, squarebound, cover on and then sell them.

When you bought one, you had no idea what was going to be inside it, as the covers were generally randomly allocated. I've only ever owned one Double Double comic, which featured four JLA tales and was included in a job lot of comics I got from eBay.

When I encountered it, I didn't have a clue what it was or how it had come into existence. Thankfully, the internet cleared up the mystery for me.

This page has a brief explanation of them: https://britishcomics.fandom.com/wiki/Double_Double_Comics

McSCOTTY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McSCOTTY said...

CH. Good to know you still enjoy the sillyness of UK comics. Oor Willie was my very favourite character as a child the 1960s annuals are imho fun. The character is iconic in Scotland and gas spawned many publications and even a theatre show. The dialogue in the early Oor Willie and Broons books is more Doric Yes I am indeed Scottish and still live in Scotland.

McSCOTTY said...

CH sport second time hit publish . Anyhoo Doric is a dialect of northeast Scotland (Dundee area). If not aware D C Thomson publish an annual (Beano/Dandy) that reprints lots of their strips from 1950s onwards. Lived your comment on Rees Mogg.

Oor Wullie and Broons annuals are a traditional Christmas and New Year's ( or Hogmanay as we call it) gift here so maybe that why your grandfather gave you them

The Valiant was actually an IPC/Fleetest comic not DCT. Other DCT comics were Topper, Buzz, Wizard,Bullet,Hornet, Warlord, Bunty, Judy, Mandy and Commando .

You Might Also Like --

Here are some related posts: