Hunt continues for “Carol Day” newspaper strips

“Carol Day” - “Jack Slingsby” - Sample Art
“Carol Day” - “Jack Slingsby” - Sample Art

“London… summer…” And so begins the twenty-seventh “Carol Day” story “Jack Slingsby”, by Peter Meriton and David Wright. It’s one of several now available as a digital collection – but the publishers are still on the look out for more art to publish others.

In this unusual story for its time, Carol’s fiancée Joe Wilson has to go to Paris for a photo shoot, and while he is away Carol falls in love with Jack Slingsby, a struggling artist married to Iris, an old school friend of Carol’s.

“Carol Day” - “Jack Slingsby” - Sample Art
“Carol Day” - “Jack Slingsby” - Sample Art
“Carol Day” - “Jack Slingsby” - Sample Art

Given that this story was first published in 1964, a tale centring on a heroine who decides to abandon her career driven fiancée to have an affair with a slacker of a married man, notwithstanding friendships and fiancées is, perhaps, pretty remarkable subject matter for its time.

“Carol Day”, the creation of writer Peter Meriton and artist David Wright, was published in the Daily Mail between 10th September 1956 and 25th May 1967. It was syndicated in around 70 newspapers around the world – but not the United States.

According to Patrick Wright, David’s son, “even though the Hearst Newspaper did attempt to head-hunt my father in the early 1950s, it was felt Carol Day was too sophisticated for the American market!”

Smoking Woman - a sketch by David Wright
Smoking Woman – a sketch by David Wright

The beautifully-realised strip featured the every-day adventures of a young blonde model, Carol Day, who had a wealthy uncle in the Caribbean, Marcus, who serves as her guardian and help.

“Jack Slingsby” is one of several stories available as an eBook thanks to Roger Clark, who hosts the brilliant carol-day.com web site, which we’ve mentioned before on downthetubes, dedicated to preserving and promoting this stunning newspaper strip and highlighting the other work of artist David Wright.

This includes sketches and many of the celebrated pinups David did for the Daily Sketch from 1940-47. (These contain mild nudity, so if this would offend you, don’t look!). Also covered is the adventure comic strip “Judy” Wright created for the George Newnes weekly magazine Tit-Bits, before moving on to “Carol Day”.

Judy by David Wright
Judy by David Wright

“‘Carol Day’ is a wonderful comic strip by a great artist,” Roger Clark enthuses. “With its combination of sophisticated themes and stories, multi-dimensional characters and always magnificent art, ‘Carol Day’ transcends even the best American strips of the time.”

The website makes the art, stories and background material of this neglected strip and its creator readily available.

Ebooks for 24 of the 35 “Carol Day” stories are now available on Amazon.

“We would love to publish the remaining 11 stories but we lack adequate source material,” says Roger.

Roger is searching for high quality newspaper clippings or proofs for all strips for a printed collection of “Carol Day”.

If you can help with either tearsheets or original art, please get in touch with him.

• Check out the terrific Carol Day web site at carol-day.com

Carol Day material © 2008-2018 Patrick Wright and respective holders

This story was updated in December 2020 to change links to the final version of the original Carol Day site archived on Wayback Machine – please note, ebook collections are no longer currently available

• Check out the all-news Carol Day web site at www.carol-day.com

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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2 replies

  1. Has there been any more attempts to get these stories collected and published as a collection? The art in this series is simply stunning and would love to see this.

    • Not that I’m aware of. Again, unfortunately it’s one of those projects that’s going to take the combination of the availability of material to scan from and a determined editor or publisher who can get the costs of producing a collection right against the eventual final profits. Despite the quality of the strip, this isn’t going to sell huge numbers, which makes things had to work commercially. This harsh reality applies to many strips – be they newspaper, British comic strip other.

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