Favourites this time around have to be a 1977 episode of Spoofer McGraw, a teller of tall tales who regularly befuddled his duffel-coated mate in Sparky, sometimes, I recall in response to readers letters. Sparky was always one of my favourite DCT titles (although I was never very keen on Puss and Boots, who also feature this issue) and as Spoofer comes up with an absurd explanation for the arrival of a large cement mixer on his street, it’s hard not to see why.
Humour is always in the eye of the beholder but there’s plenty of fun to be had this issue, with two simple but effective ‘sight gag’ strips starring Mickey the Monkey from Topper; Little Plum taking up weightlifting, only to discover it’s not all it’s cracked up to be; a brilliant 21-frame Desperate Dan page by Dudley D. Watkins (21 frames! How often do you get that on one page today?) from 1956; a really bizarre Pansy Potter as she takes on, and betters, a weird-looking spiv character selling springs (springs? why?!); and a great Figaro! strip from 1962, from Topper, that pretty much rounds the whole jam-packed issue off.
There are also a couple of adventure strips – Space Kids by Ron Smith from Beezer, General Jumbo from Buddy, and older material too, from Adventure and the origial Wizard (although I’m not so sure these text stories are as good as the selected comic strips. They sit a bit uneasily with the rest of the comic, I think).
Once again, it’s a fine mix and there’s plenty for fans of The Beano and sadly now long-gone DCT comics to enjoy. I do hope though, that we’ll see a return of creator credits, which was beginning to creep into the title but seems to have been dropped this time around. Other than that, £2 well spent, in my view!
• Classics from the Comics, published by DC Thomson, is on sale now in all good UK newsagents, price £2 Click here for subscription information
Cover image © 2010 DC Thomson, published with full permission
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
Categories: British Comics - Current British Publishers