Here on downthetubes we regularly promote DC Thomson’s (and indeed the UK’s) last digest or ‘Picture Library’ comic, Commando, a title that has changed little in the half century since it was first published. As well as war, DCT’s boy’s digests also covered science fiction with Starblazer, and football with Football Picture Story Monthly.
But it is often forgotten that DC Thomson used to published a range of girl’s digests as well and, unlike the boys titles, these tied-in with the company’s range of girl’s weekly comics. Judy, Mandy, Debbie and even the long running Bunty had digest-sized siblings, all of which were tagged as Picture Story Library For Girls.
With the collecting bug of keeping comics not as prevalent amongst girls as it was amongst boys, old girls comics tend to be harder to find now than old boys comics are and, for most, these girl’s digest titles are all but forgotten.
So it was a treat this week to be pointed towards a website that documents both Judy Picture Story Library and Bunty Picture Story Library with a very impressive selection of covers from both titles plus the beginnings of a selection from the Fleetway title June and School Friend Picture Library.
Created by Lesley Wright, the “Doeth” website shows how the style of covers of the two DCT titles changed over the years and, while the images are relatively small, it is possible to distinguish some of the artists who created them.
Ian Kennedy, with his artwork on well over 1000 issues, is today considered to be the pre-eminent Commando cover artist but in the past he also provided covers and strips for DCT’s girl’s titles. Commando readers may enjoy the challenge of finding Ian’s distinctive artwork amongst these hundreds of Judy Picture Story Library and Bunty Picture Story Library covers. We will give you a start with these two covers by Ian Kennedy.
2017 Update: Sadly, the “Doeth.net” web site run by Lesley Wright seems no more, but the wonderful Girls Comics of Yesterday site has a section on the Picture Story Libraries here – although it isn’t as visual
News, reviews, interviews and features for print and on-line: Spaceship Away (since October 2005), Bear Alley (since February 2007), downthetubes (since June 2007), and Eagle Times (since October 2008). Plus DC Thomson’s The Art Of Ian Kennedy, Titan’s Dan Dare and Johnny Red reprints, Ilex’s War Comics: A Graphic History and 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and Print Media’s The Iron Moon and Strip magazine.