Saturday, 30 May 2009

A Disgrace to the Service

By Geoff Campion from the Ranger Book 1967. I have a feeling that this is a reprint from some earlier comic. The art isn't as crisp as usual and feels like it's a copy of a copy rather than photographed from the original artwork... This is a strangely poignant tale for a boys comic. I wonder who wrote it?

The Jungle Walker

Mike Western provides spot illustrations for the prose piece entitled, The Jungle Walker in the Valiant Annual 1968. Love the thought of this 'truck' careering through the bush: gears crashing, with it's engine revving away...

Friday, 29 May 2009

Johnny Red

Battle-Action 4th March 1978. There aren't many artists who can invoke the insanity and intensity of war like Joe Colquhoun. It was recently announced that Titan Books will be publishing a reprint edition of this series in hardback. Something to look forward to methinks? Go here for info.
No, I'm not on commission...

Jet-Ace Logan

Art by the fabulous Brian Lewis, Tiger Annual 1965. I like BL's style. Sometimes it could be a little hit-or-miss and look a little rushed. Could be blamed on deadlines or lack of interest in subject matter... But when he was firing on all cylinders he produced some outstanding work. Check out his Hammer adaptations here. More of his work on my old site here. His work appeared in both 2000AD and Starlord just before he died. I wish he'd stayed around longer so that his work could have been recognised by a new generation of fans.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Kampfgruppe Falken

From the November 25th 1978 edition of Warlord. Art by Neville Wilson. I'm pretty sure he's been around since the early sixties. A great style, solidly rendered, in almost pure black and white. Looking at these characters you can see the weariness in them and that they've been put through the ringer. I'd love to see a reprint book of this one.

Battle of the Planets

From TV Comic 17th April 1981. Former Dan Dare artist Keith Watson provides colour art for this strip adaptation of the animated series Battle of the Planets.


Art by Mike Dorey from Battle-Action 1st July 1978. Mike Dorey was a great action/adventure artist who worked regularly for both IPC and DC Thomson during his career. Just look at the texture he applies to the art.

Sky Buccaneers

From Eagle 15th June 1968. Some nice pen, ink and wash work by José Ortiz. JO has had a long career in British comics with his work appearing in Eagle in the 1960s and 1980s.
More info here.

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Slave Robot

Illustrations by Ionicus (Joshua Armitage) for the text story, The Slave Robot from Boys' World annual 1964. Nice clear line work and washes in these frames. Go here for more info and here for another pic.

Knockout Annual cover

A little more light-hearted this time. Nineteen years earlier Mike Western provides both front and rear paintings and the frontispiece for the Knockout Annual 1958.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Sarge

A moody cover by Mike Western from 1977. Along with Geoff Campion, Mike Western was one of the mainstays of Amalgamated Press/IPC adventure comics from the 1950s-80s.

A Question of Honour

Another set of illustrations by Frank Bellamy for a text story in Boys' World annual 1965. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Raid

Frank Bellamy provides spot illustrations for a text piece entitled, The Raid for the Boys' World annual 1966. Red induces a sense of danger/urgency and some nice textures in this one. I like the moody night sky above the landing craft.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


From Lion dated 29th January 1972 with art by Geoff Campion. Out of all the strips that he drew over the years I think that Spellbinder is the one that most people remember him for. This is a little before my time and I remember him from the later strips he produced for Battle. Such strips as Fighter From the Sky, D-Day Dawson and Panzer G Man.

Fishboy-Denizen of the Deep

From Buster 15th May 1971 art by John Stokes. Like Denis Mc Loughlin, John Stokes put a lot of detail and texture into his pages. Go here for more information.

The Daily Mirror Book of Garth

Printed in 1974. I think it's safe to say that Frank Bellamy was one of the finest artists of his generation. His colour strip work was both dynamic and exciting to read. Most famous for his work in Eagle (Dan Dare, Heros the Spartan; Fraser of Africa, the life story of Winston Churchill) and TV21 (Thunderbirds) in the sixties he later took over the long-running Garth strip that appeared in the Daily Mirror newspaper. This cover is from a collection of the Garth daily strips. Go here for more info.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Scoop Donovan-War Cameraman

Art by Geoff Campion from Film Fun, January 23rd 1960. It's interesting to read these older scripts: they were a lot more wordier than they'd be today. Some detailed line-work from GC at this point in his career. As with most artists he became more economical with his line as he got older.
I'm trying to work out what that gun is that Paddy is using in frame three on page two. Kinda unusual. I'd hazard a guess and say it was a Schmeisserscheisserfeuererer 34. Ahem...

Feuding Finnegan

Appeared in Victor, dated June 16th 1979. Another one by CD Bagnall who seems to have cornered the market of unusual characters. So, the story involves this geezer, who, with his pet emu; travels the outback, picking fights with complete strangers. As you do...
It's funny, because, as a kid I never really read this stuff. I kinda looked at it and got the gist. But, never really got it. Going over this stuff today I'm beginning to get a new respect for DC Thomson. The creators of these strips must have been at least a little insane or at least have experimented with some kind of mind-altering substances... It's all very Goonish. I love this stuff, it's daft, stupid, nuts and unique.
I must say that I'm a little disturbed by the sight of Finnegan heading off with his arm around Emmy. Guess a guy can get lonely on cold nights. All alone. In the outback. Totally understandable really... 'Emmy, you're a bonzer lookin' sheila!'

Battle Picture Weekly

More Geoff Campion goodness. Going through my collection, I'd forgotten that initially, Battle had been printed on a better stock than the usual newsprint. The paper is white and holds ink very well. Non of the ink spread and muddiness of newsprint. The colours are quite vibrant and really give the comic a sheen that would have made it stand out amongst it's companions on the shelves in the shops. I'm assuming that this type of paper was more expensive than newsprint and after Battle had grabbed the kids attention, it was down-graded to a cheaper alternative? Interestingly enough the stock did change again back to the good stuff a couple of times during Battle's run.

Tiger McTaggert

Art by Ian Kennedy. I'd put IK up there with Geoff Campion for the amount of covers produced during his career. In fact I would think that he's drawn/painted the most comic covers of any artist working in British comics. IK is one of my favourites, he has a clear, crisp, appealing style.
Go here for more Kennedy art and interviews.

Tales of the Gold Monkey

TV Comic, 23rd March 1984, art by Geoff Campion. One of the mainstays of Amalgamated/IPC magazines during the 60s-80s. He had a clear appealing style and could apply himself to many genres: be it war, sports, wild west or adventure strips. He must have created hundreds of covers over the years. Go here for more info about the man.

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Pillater Peril

Smash dated 21st March 1970. Art by Carlos Cruz.