CHB’s Comic Strip Thread

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  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,889Chief of Staff

    A good one to finish with. πŸ‘

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    THE TOPPER (1953-1990) 1963 issues.

    The Topper, published by DC Thompson ran from 1953 to 1990. It was the sister title to the similarly tabloid-sized sister paper The Beezer (covered previously). The Topper’s first issue was dated 7 February 1953 (price 3d) with a free gift Big Crack Bang.



    The original cover star was Mickey the Monkey, originally drawn by the legendary Dudley Watkins, and the antics of the cunning chimp lasted until the final issue. But by far the most memorable character in The Topper was Beryl the Peril. Drawn by another legendary British artist, David Law, the pigtailed girl with an evil grin was conceived as the female version of Law’s iconic Dennis the Menace from The Beano, created two years earlier. Both shared the same mop-head hairdo, black and red clothes, and fiendish desire to torment family, friends and passersby. And both usually got what they deserved at story’s end too: a whacking on the backside with a shoe, cane or other blunt object.


    Beryl was the only character to outlast The Topper itself. Beginning in the very first issue, she went on to join The Dandy, following the demise of The Beezer and Topper (as it would become) in 1993.

    Due to the oversized tabloid format several strips bunked up together on the same page. Thus we had Smart Art (“He’s quick on the draw”) sharing with Captain BungleUncle Dan (“The Menagerie Man”) doubled up with Foxy. One of the stranger early double acts was Nancy and Fritzi Ritz, both obviously hailing from across the Atlantic, these syndicated strips had previously appeared in the ‘funnies’ sections of various American newspapers, and the latter—detailing the ditzy misadventures of a sexy, statuesque ‘flapper’ in the style of Betty Boop or The Daily Mirror’s Jane—looked out of place in a British children’s comic. From 1962, The Topper reprinted another American strip, The Katzenjammer Kids, which they retitled The Bustem Boys on Bunkum Island. 

    Other comic strips of note included a mischievous goblin called Splodge which ran for five years, while the popular Figaro! featured an incompetent Mexican bandit and his horse Pedro. Desert Island Dick was quite an amusing ‘shipwrecked man on island with single palm tree’ strip.

    One of the best humour strips was Send for Kelly. Nick Kelly was a lantern-jawed, pipe-smoking special agent in the mould of Dick Barton, accompanied on his life-or-death missions by the bowler hat-wearing Cedric (later replaced by Kelly’s nephew Harry). Their dotty adventures lasted from 1961 until halfway through the comic’s merger with The Beezer in 1990.


    In the 70s, two other comics merged with The Topper in quick succession. First it was the turn of the short-lived Buzz in 1975, followed in 1977 by Sparky, which had managed a good innings since its first issue in 1965. Following a last ditch attempt to rebrand the comic by calling it Topper ’89.


    As previously recorded the sister titles merged for one final hurrah in a new comic The Beezer and The Topper.

    The Topper Book ran from 1954 until 1993. The first twelve books were undated, and the first of these were printed in landscape format, which gives them a lovely unique feel. Summer Specials came a bit late in the day from 1983-1993.


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,889Chief of Staff

    Thanks again, CHB. I remember seeing that on the shelves but I don't think I ever read one.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 27,007Chief of Staff

    I remember reading those comics too…you forget around half of them until someone mentions them πŸ˜€

    Although I was a Beano & Dandy reader really, occasionally we’d get a different comic…or just swap them with friends 😁

    YNWA 97
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent
    edited July 11

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Bela Lugosi (2020) - Chapter Four (Part 4 of 4)



    It’s been a long time since I read Dracula, maybe 20 years or so, but I don’t recall Vlad being mentioned in the novel - is this some poetic licence being used here?

    Chapter 5 begins tomorrow…

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 27,007Chief of Staff

    I can’t remember Vlad being mentioned either…but I wouldn’t swear to it…however, the story is deftly told and - again - the artwork really is a cut above πŸ‘πŸ»

    YNWA 97
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Bela Lugosi (2020) - Chapter Five (Part 1 of 3)




    To be continued next Thursday…

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,889Chief of Staff

    Another week to wait for more! Is another else using Lugosi's voice to say Dracula's lines or is it just me?

    IIRC Stoker does not use the name "Vlad" although he heavily implies that to be Dracula's original identity.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    Yes, I’m reading Dracula in Bela’s voice!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    I've only just happened up on this fine thread - I'd assumed it would all be modern Marvel type stuff and graphic novels.

    Comics were barred from my household because my parents always had ambitions for me to be a regular unpaid contributor to a James Bond website when I grew up, but on a 1977 camping trip in Wales another family had a stash of Beanos and I got stuck in. They really were hilarious, like nothing else. I was allowed to take them back home by the other family - a treat! - but inevitably they disappeared thanks to Mum, she had a tendency to do that. I went on a Scout camping trip and had a load of pullout posters on my bedroom wall from TVTimes such as The Incredible Hulk, Cliff Richard or Starsky and Hutch, that sort of thing, when I came back they'd all gone. It was a bit unnecessary.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    Enjoy the thread @Napoleon Plural there’s plenty more to come!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent
    edited July 12

    LIVE AND LET DIE (2019) Chapter Eleven:




    Chapter Twelve tomorrow…

    Can anyone else see shades of Timothy Dalton in some of the panels…especially page 5?

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,889Chief of Staff

    Yes, there's a resemblance all right.

    This is one of the stories which I hope someday is filmed closer to the book. Until then the above is a good substitute.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 27,007Chief of Staff

    Now you’ve pointed it out, it seems obvious about Dalton 🀭

    Although I do think Bond is drawn purposefully plainly πŸ€”

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s instalment πŸ‘πŸ»

    YNWA 97
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    LIVE AND LET DIE (2019) Chapter Twelve:




    More chapters next weekend…

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,889Chief of Staff

    Loving this, thanks CHB.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 27,007Chief of Staff

    A whole week to wait…😳

    YNWA 97
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