Thursday, 31 October 2013

Not Quite Friday the 13th...

Be aware if I don't post regularly, because don't expect that to happen, especially with having to deal with two blogs in my own blogging time (and my blogging time is limited).

Anyways, Happy Halloween to readers of the blog (if there are any yet). As a little treat, I thought I should post some strips from a past comic strip in The Beano called Number 13, which was a popular strip in the Beano from the 80s to the mid 90s. To whose who aren't aware of the strip, 'Number. 13' was a strip which featured a group of residents who lived in a haunted house, and each character represented or had the personality of a spooky character. It is sort of a strip (a la) a dysfunctional family.

The featured characters were:

  • Boris- The son, a vampire.
  • Dad- Boris' father, also a vampire.
  • Frankie- The butler, a Frankenstein like character.
  • Mum- Boris' mother, also a vampire.
  • Gran- Boris' grandma, a witch.
  • Tiddles- One of their pets, a Smilodon (or Sabretooth Cat).
  • Fiendish- Their other pet, a bat.

Despite having almost a complete set of 1980s Beano issues; with almost each year having completed issues--1987 is the year which I have very few issues from in my current collection. I only have some 1987 issues particularly later on in the year, and I'm afraid I currently do not own the very first appearance of these characters (4 April 1987, issue #2333)...hopefully one day. However, I posted the earliest strip which I have in my collection: from Oct. 24, 1987.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the strip myself, and it never really brought much to my attention unlike other strips, but doesn't stop me from enjoying the artistic talents of John Geering, who drew the strip. John's cartoon style is is so right for comics. It has a very wacky and punchy feel that you don't really get too much from the other sort of has a Tex Avery feel to it, even including the gags.

I hope to do some future posts about him regarding his work: especially on Bananaman or Mutt n Moggy from The Dandy.

Enjoy these strips.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Beano '66 - Dandy '68

Here is where the posting all happens:

First off, let me explain to you about what is in my comic collection. A HUGE portion of my comics of the Beano and the Dandy are copies from the 80s; and there are also a majority from the 90s. I have just about almost every single issue of the Dandy from 1985 to 1995; with a few missing copies from '85. With the Beano, I have huge chunks from the 80s and 90s; but there are still gaps missing from several years which I am not really going to bother too much with. However, those two decades are perhaps my favourite era when reading these comics; especially the 80s issues. I have only a few Dandies from the 70s; including several from 1979 and one from 1974; and so far...have no Beanos from that decade. I also have only a few Topper comics.

This isn't going to be a big heavy post full of analysis; which is just going to be a straightforward post as a starter. Here are the two earliest comics which I have in my collection. The earliest I have is a Beano which is dated November 26th 1966, issue no. 1271. This is the earliest and the only Beano I have from the 60s decade.

As you can see, this is a very dated Beano issue, even though it would be considered a part of the 'Classic years'. Dennis the Menace was only a one-page comic strip; and his page was at the very back of the Beano.

Biffo the Bear, however, was the star of the comics, and he had this straightforward, and sort of bland personality which isn't a far cry from Mickey Mouse, and all sorts. Drawn by Dudley Watkins, who was without doubt, the top draftsman of DC Thomson artists at that time.

 Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Biffo, who didn't have too much of a personality. Dennis, on the other hand, did...and was the absolute perfect choice to be the front cover star, which he did in 1974. Of course, this Dennis, however pre-dates Gnasher, and here he was drawn by David Law; whose style was very crude, but full of life.

Here are some notable strips which appeared in this issue; (as well as a whole lot more).

Here is a issue of the Dandy which is dated from April 6th 1968; and this is also the oldest Dandy issue which I have in my collection. Comparing both logos from the old 'Beano' and 'Dandy'; they both show a lot of colour and appeal whereas the more standard and infamous logo is more generic, though still works. Even if the logos are dated for its time, there is no doubt it looks very appealing for the decade. Korky the Cat is our cover star who had been the star since 1937 and carried on being the star right up until the early 80s; when Desperate Dan took over, after a whole 14 years of continuous reprints from Watkin's death in 1969 to about 1983 when Ken Harrison took over the character. Here is some notable strips which also appear in the strip of this Dandy.

Here are the strips for Bully Beef and Chips; a strip which had only been created the previous year by its standard artist Jimmy Hughes. The previous strip was Big Head and Thick Head. Here, this is just the early years before Hughes would redesign both Bully Beef and Chips into a more proportioned look, as well as more appealing.

Here is Desperate Dan, who is drawn by his creator, Dudley Watkins, just a year before his sudden death; and also before he went into a spell of reprints. I sure wish to own a Desperate Dan strip which was seen the movie Kes.

Here are the rest:

Here is a little page which was popular in 'The Dandy' during the 60s: My Home Town; which was were an avid reader could send a letter about their home town as well about their popular culture, its history and the lifestyle. In this week's Dandy, the home town is Arbroath.

Both copies of my comics are at a aged condition. Both comics have tea/coffee stains on the corners of the pages as well as the yellowing on the paper showing that it is deteriorating by age. In other words, its pretty good for its age, as there are no pages that appear to be delicately torn.

That will be all for this post regarding my earliest comics in my collection. Hopefully I can expand it again, but this will happen rather gradually.

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Beginning...

Hiya folks,

You most probably recognize me from other blogs such as my past-blog: Blabbing on Arts and Culture, and my current blog project: Likely Looney, Mostly Merrie. Well, welcome to my introduction post on my third blog: Comicana Britannia!

For those who know of me, my passion in Golden Age animation and its history is very evident. However, most of you probably do not know that I have another huge passion: which involves collecting old UK comics.  Two of them, however, which come to mind are The Beano and The Dandy and I have a pretty strong collection will will only keep growing.

If you asking about what will I be posting on this blog?'s nothing as ambitious as my Warner Bros. blog. I'll be most likely be scanning pages from my immense comic collection of particular comic strips; and in fact, hope to produce some posts and do some in-depth analysis. I would also love to write some posts on the artists behind these strips; and they are artists who are absolutely underrated for their incredible talent. So, hopefully this blog will be key in giving the artists a little more recognition...

You also may be asking how will I control two (or three, if counting) blogs at the same time? Well, this blog is just going to be a little hobby blog of mine, something which I can quickly fill in as a little post. Although, don't expect me to be coming up with a post daily...but perhaps every once in a while.

I hope you will enjoy reading this blog, and to attract a new audience, and please spread the word about the new blog! Remember, I love receiving insightful comments, and I hope this can happen here.