In Review: The Treasury of British Comics Presents: The Tom Paterson Collection

On sale soon, writer and cartoonist Lew Stringer reviews Rebellion’s new collection of strips by Tom Paterson, a brilliant artist still busy at his drawing board today, whose work spans a host of classic British humour comics…

The Treasury of British Comics Presents: The Tom Paterson Collection

Rebellion have been putting out some fantastic collections over the past few years and The Tom Paterson Collection is one of their best, offering 190 pages collecting a selection of Tom Paterson’s work from his IPC/Fleetway years. You’ll see some of his earliest work here on strips such as “Grimly Feendish” for Shiver and Shake in 1973 before his style fully developed, to his later bizarrely contorted characters for Buster in 1990.

The strips are presented in chapters for each comic, rather than a chronological run from 1973 to 1990. This makes for a more visually balanced book, and it kicks off with Tom’s rendition of the Buster character from 1985, when he took over from Reg Parlett. There then follows sections on Nipper, Jackpot, Whoopee, and others.

Two of Tom’s strips from Oink! are included, and the book ends with a few unpublished strips (although “Mega Belly” and “Little ZZod” look familiar, so I may have seen them in unpublished dummy issues).

Shiver and Shake, 1973 - Grimly Feendish by Tom Paterson
Shiver and Shake, 1973 – “Grimly Feendish”
Jackpot, 1979 - Scooper, by Tom Paterson
Jackpot, 1979 – Scooper

The reproduction of the strips is sharp and clear, with the colour pages richly vibrant. Excellent work, when you consider these were scanned from the old comics, not, as far as I know, from original art. Plus, this collection is published on nice thick matt paper, thankfully, not reflective glossy stock.

Whoopee, 1984 - Sweeny Toddler by Tom Paterson
Whoopee, 1984 – Sweeny Toddler
Whizzer and Chips, 1986 - Sweeny Toddler by Tom Paterson
Whizzer and Chips, 1986 – Sweeny Toddler
Buster, 1986 - Crowjak by Tom Paterson
Whizzer and Chips, 1986 – Crowjak
Buster, 1986 - Buster by Tom Paterson
Buster, 1986 – Buster

There’s no introduction as such, but there are a few short text pieces scattered through the book from various people, including myself, Mark Benington, Jamie Smart expressing our admiration for Mr. Paterson’s wonderful comics.

There aren’t any strips from after 1990, as that’s when Tom left Fleetway to work for DC Thomson, so don’t expect to see “Calamity James” or any of his Dandy / Beano strips here. Hopefully DCT will one day do their own Tom Paterson collection to complement this book.

That said, this book is no poorer for not being able to include the Thomson material. It truly is a fantastic collection of Tom Paterson’s work, showing the versatility of his styles and most importantly the brilliance of his humour.

The Tom Paterson Collection deserves a place on the bookshelves of every comics fan, – and would also make an excellent Christmas present for younger readers.

Lew Stringer

The Treasury of British Comics Presents: The Tom Paterson Collection goes on sale on 24th November 2021 and is available from all good book and comic shops | ISBN 978-1781089408 | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

For those wondering how double page spreads are handled in this great Collection, here are some sample pages…

  • Tom Paterson Collection - Cover
  • Tom Paterson Collection - Mutant Turnips
  • Tom Paterson Collection - Sweeny Toddler
  • Tom Paterson Collection - Strange Hill
  • Tom Paterson Collection - Sweeny Toddler
  • Tom Paterson Collection - Scooper
The cover of the Treasury of British Comics - The Tom Paterson Collection Webshop Exclusive featuring Sweney Toddler, only available from the Treasury of British Comics web shop

A Treasury of British Comics WebShop Edition of the Tom Paterson Collection, featuring Sweeney Todd as Judge Dredd on the cover, based on a 1985 Whoopee cover, is also available

Lew Stringer has been freelancing professionally in comics as an artist and writer since 1983, inspired by a lifelong love of the medium. Over the years, he has worked for titles such as the Beano, Dandy, Oink!, VIZ, Doctor Who Magazine, Sonic the Comic and many more. 

He also self publishes his own creator owned Combat Colin, Derek The Troll and Brickman Comics, which have a loyal cult following across the UK and beyond.

He’s online at Lew Stringer Comics

From Buster to Whizzer and Chips – the ABC of cartoonist Tom Paterson

David McDonald explores the career of the madcap cartoonist, who started drawing professionally at the age of just sixteen for DC Thomson, on a strip called “The Dangerous Dumplings” – when that project scrapped, he found work at rival IPC – and has never looked back!

Our thanks to Lew for permission to post his review

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