Archive for the ‘comics’ Category

Fab Lady Penelope wows eBay buyers

March 11, 2010

Lady Penelope comic - first issue

I once had a conversation in a pub during which all but one of the women present (5 or 6 of them) admitted to having had a crush on a Thunderbirds puppet (Virgil or Scott).

It seems Lady Penelope may have the same effect on eBayers – 11 offers have been made for the first issue of her 1966 comic taking the bidding to £63.51 with 3 days to go. As well as featuring Lady P’s exciting adventures, the comic offers The Man from UNCLE and Bewitched strips – but no free gift.

FAB! Incredibly, 16 bidders took the final selling price to £155! The seller has another copy up of the same Lady Penelope issue, but not in such good condition, as well as the next 4 issues.

TV and film magazines at

Pink Floyd’s brilliant comic

January 10, 2010

Pink Floyd played the Liverpool Empire in November 1974 on their Wish You Were Here tour with a brilliant programme. ‘The Pink Floyd Super All-Action Official Music Programme for Boys and Girls‘ was a comic with a two-page cartoon strip for each of the band. Nick Mason and album art specialists Hipgnosis were the brains behind a great concept with art from Gerald Scarfe, Paul Stubbs, Joe Petagno, Colin Elgie and Richad Evans. I remember thinking when I saw the centre-spread cartoon by Scarfe -Why would anyone pay to make themselves look as ugly as that?!

Pink Floyd 1974 tour programme

Vote for the would-be stand-ups with Comic Relief

March 8, 2009
Laurie Taylor, Libby Purves, Peter White and Evan Davis try their hand at stand up comedy

BBC presenters Laurie Taylor, Libby Purves, Peter White and Evan Davis try their hand at stand-up comedy

Just heard Libby Purves and Laurie Taylor on Radio 4 doing stand-up comedy in aid of Comic Relief. To my relief, I did laugh! And two tales came to mind.

First was an article in Nova in the late sixties that toured some universities trying to identify a potential woman prime minister. Margaret Thatcher didn’t come up, but Libby did. However, she just wanted to be a radio presenter!

Laurie taylors brilliant logo in the THES

Laurie Taylor's brilliant logo in the THES - such a good likeness

In the late 1980s, I was editor of Intercity magazine (the one you used to get in first class Intercity train carriages). Laurie then wrote a column on the back page of the Times Higher Education supplement (he still does!) that I liked and I wrote to him about doing an article. He phoned back to say he couldn’t do it, but recommended a former student, Victor Lewis-Smith. Victor turned in some brilliant pieces but his edgy style unnerved the client and they have ultimate control in such marketing tools. However, Victor’s Wikipedia entry would suggest he’s never lost that edginess.

You can listen to the comedy online and vote for your choice.

Laurie gets my 50p on 09011 32 34 03.

Oh crikey! The magnetism of Billy Bunter

February 19, 2008

I find it difficult to listen to the smarmy Gyles Brandreth, but it’s worth catching his tribute to Billy Bunter on Radio 4. Billy Bunter’s Birthday Bash gives the lowdown on a character who first appeared 100 years ago and was a stalwart of Amalgamated Press’s  Magnet comic – which sold 200,000 copies a week in its heyday. His creator, Frank Richards under the pen-name Charles Hamilton, was a hugely prolific writer, with an estimated output of 72 million words.

The programme brings out an anti-racist strand in the comics and has even inspired the Daily Mail to talk of a ‘Billy Bunter gene‘.

Advice from Brandreth at a magazine awards lunch: Never make love to your wife in the morning – in case you meet someone better looking later in the day.

Dennis to Menace BBC again

February 8, 2008

Dennis the Menace from Paul Morris websiteThe BBC is to screen a new Dennis the Menace series next year. The Beano character, who was created by DC Thomson staff artist David Law and first appeared on 17 March 1951, will take to the screen again after a 10-year absence. The Telegraph doesn’t say whether his pig, Rasher, will also appear.