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manusf3a

comic books and early days comic book heaven

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I saw on another thread a cover of the Beezer,this one of the many  great comics I whiled away the hours with in my early and not so early days like most other kids I started off with the traditional you are allowed one comic a week,this went for all the kids in the family,my mum had taught us all to read before we started school so there were two boys and one girls comics a week coming into the house I would change the title every so often being suckered in with the free gifts that looked amazing but were only bits of paper and cardboard or a bit of coloured plastic vaugely resembling a plane (touted as a supersonic jet fighter) and an elastic band being the cause of my change of comic brand "loyalty".Early days times were hard comics sparse my sisters no way was I reading them , early years my brothers, youngest of us all ,his comics to babyish, like most kids I would swop with pals,the Victor,the Hornet,Beano,Dandy ,Topper.Then one day it all changed,I was at my grans with my Mum and the "other two", as usual I asked if I could stay over till Sunday it being a Friday the answer as always being yes from my Mum and my gran the "other two" never used to ask?or get invited ! maybe my mum and dad spoiled them rotten while I was away!So Mum and the "other two", depart and my gran smiling from ear to ear brings in a big armfull of comics,masses of them and all looking pretty newish  which they were.

It turns out that my auntie Moira Mums older sister and her husband my uncle Frank had hit on a winner with their  new business adventure,Frank was a true cockney from my earliest memory he dressed like the typical spiv and was always selling or buying a car as well as being a plumber his trade.He had married my auntie who was a stunning looking lass even when she got older while on leave around the Cambelton area from the forces early fifties aparently my Grandad disliked him intently but my gran got on really well with him as did I.Him and my auntie had started a moble fish and chip van and used to do the rounds of Corbys most popular pubs through weeknights and weekends and this being the early sixties and not even many chip shops about in Corby they were making a right killing.My auntie bless her couldnt read  and hardly signed her name as she just didnt bother at all at school  but was no means not on the ball over all other matters including money.Moira liked comics as she obviously couldnt sit down and as they say "read a good book",when the chip van business sky rocketed ,really  picked up and cash started flowing she then put in an order for every comic boys and girls that the local newsagents got in each week.Moira had a dughter and a son out of the two it was her son Brian that had the job of reading the comics for her as she went from picture to picture  asking what they were saying.When my auntie had done with the comics they would be brought along the road by my uncle Frank to my Grans house where they would be available for the kids to read,this was magic and went on for years.After a while my gran would say to me here take your pick of the ones you want to bring home with you,bingo it was great .Moira  would also buy all those summer specials that were the real biz with colour nearly all the way through.There was one comic though it didnt really have pictures it was a boys adventure stories type compilation called I think the "Wizard",I could never understand why my auntie kept buying it as it had next to no pictures in it? but would still be there among all the others that had been "Read" before making the journey to grans.

According to my mum though not witnessed by me reading the comics to my auntie was not an easy job for Brian,one example my Mum said she had been asked to mediate was  on whether Desperate Dan was really angry as the words in the bubble said yet it looked like he had a smile on his face and had just eaten a cow pie ,the cow  pie being his favourite food would have made him feel happy therefore Brian hadnt told her what he was really saying and would my mum check it for her!Mum told me that Brian had developed the knack of matching what was in the word balloons to the expressions on the faces and the context of the situation.With the new found wealth that allowed me to become indirectly a bit of a comic Baron no money involved but status among the other kids as someone who could get "Lots of comics", my auntie who also shared the talent the rest of the female members of the scottish branch of the family share bought unheard of in our family not one but two pedigree dogs,pedigree the name only seen on the tins of dogfood your  mum would never buy never mind attached to a neighborhood dog itself,two madcap toy poodles.The poodles were taught to do all sorts of tricks,my favourite was seeing them singing in accompanyment to my auntie they would go on for ages.

The supply of comics dried up when my aunt and uncle moved to London from there running various business's greengrocers,fish and chippie shops until retirement sadly they both passed away a few years back.From those early days I have always had a love of comic books though graduating into marvel and dc around the early seventies till today I will still pick up and read a comic not just marvel or the new designer type artwork ones but the more traditional too.I would happily sit down and read a victor or hotspur,topper or sparky annual .I feel lucky that when a young child I had so much access to the magic that comics are the only other way having so many comics at hand I can think of is living in a newsagents even then you might have parents that would say"Dont touch them with your grubby fingers young Manus,we have to sell them you know".

Edited by manusf3a

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Couldn't get enough of comics when I was a kid.  Beano, Dandy, Topper etc then graduating onto Commando and DC and Marvel.  After reading the American comics got a yearning to go over there just so I could get some X-Ray Specs and all the other stuff they used to advertise on the back pages.

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Couldn't get enough of comics when I was a kid.  Beano, Dandy, Topper etc then graduating onto Commando and DC and Marvel.  After reading the American comics got a yearning to go over there just so I could get some X-Ray Specs and all the other stuff they used to advertise on the back pages.

What about the "Thunder Clapper", come "Atom Bomber", "Crash Bang",and other names for the same free disapointing as hell when you got it bit of cardboard folded into a triangle shape with brown paper glued inside it so you could fold in over then when taking hold of an end of the now folded triangle make a whip like motion of your arm that if you believed the blurb would create enough decibels to shatter every window in the street ie Every red blooded schoolboys dream.What did it really do when you eagerly take if out of the comic and follow the instructions ....wet and a four letter word that doesnt end in k  was the result.This thing used to pop up with frightening regularity Steve.

Oh how I wanted those x ray specs when very young,again,well..........plurrp that was about it.

Edited by manusf3a

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What about the "Thunder Clapper", come "Atom Bomber", "Crash Bang",and other names for the same free disapointing as hell when you got it bit of cardboard folded into a triangle shape with brown paper glued inside it so you could fold in over then when taking hold of an end of the now folded triangle make a whip like motion of your arm that if you believed the blurb would create enough decibels to shatter every window in the street ie Every red blooded schoolboys dream.What did it really do when you eagerly take if out of the comic and follow the instructions ....wet and a four letter word that doesnt end in k  was the result.This thing used to pop up with frightening regularity Steve.

Oh how I wanted those x ray specs when very young,again,well..........plurrp that was about it.

The free gifts that came in comics were ultimately a major disappointment, on a par with stuff you got in Christmas crackers or Lucky Bags.  I can remember getting Look In when I was about ten, and it came with all the stuff to cut out and make your own TV studio.  Those comic publishers must have pissed themselves when they came up with that one.

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The free gifts that came in comics were ultimately a major disappointment, on a par with stuff you got in Christmas crackers or Lucky Bags.  I can remember getting Look In when I was about ten, and it came with all the stuff to cut out and make your own TV studio.  Those comic publishers must have pissed themselves when they came up with that one.

Those cut out and build a .....you are on about Steve, what a build up as you say followed by disapointment,the week before you would be shown a medieval castle being defended by one army of knights against another or perhaps a sherman tank blazing away at ruined german tracked vechiles then when next week came the bitter wortds"irst find some cardboard like an empty cereal box to glue the peices onto  after you carefully cut them out from the pages bla bla,then assemble etc.

At least the flying machines though they also came pre announced as supersonic jet fighters shown in battle with migs over Korea or massive Vulcan Bombers proudly securing the skies over our heads being of plastic and coming feulled by an elastic band made good missiles to fire at each other in class or to make a concerted attack on the necks of the unwary bent swotting over their work.We were light years though behind the americans with the stuff as you say would be advertised on the pages of Marvel and D C  comics.I well remember looking at the like of "Build your own full size submarine  ,big enough to sit in for adventures under the sea all bits provided ,there would be a drawing showing a mini sub with a kid inside,pointing out features like a telescope"That really works", fins on each side,along with the compulsary"Hours of Fun", the price would be around fifteen dollars no doubt this too would be made of cardboard ,a right royal rip off but on a bigger scale than the british comics version of blowing the trumpet on a bit of right old tat.

What was this "Grit", they were always advertising in american comics,in the land where the dollar rules supreme apparently kids could get rich selling it ,pictures would be shown of "Grit",being turned into bikes,Daisy BB guns,canoes,even microscopes and telescopes,all earned by selling "Grit". One item that crossed the Atlantic a few times and morped into a comic giveaway a couple of times from its always there apearences in American comics was "The hypno coin", with this coin with a swirly pattern on each side all you meet could be put under your control amazing,how could the health and safety brigade  have ever allowed such dangerous items to come into the hands of children.

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I guess I'm in the majority, I used to read Beano, Dandy, Topper etc but got into Marvel via their UK output ala 1972....talking of free gifts though, they did some corkers!!!

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Edited by Soul-Slider

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My older brother and I got the Dandy and Beano. Once we'd read them we swopped to read the other one. Once I started getting my own pocket money (from my paper-round) I invested in some DC Comics, Superman and the like. Oh halcyon days.........................

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What about the "Thunder Clapper", come "Atom Bomber", "Crash Bang",and other names for the same free disapointing as hell when you got it bit of cardboard folded into a triangle shape .

I remember I was in a newsagent  some years ago and there was a man telling this hilarious story about when he was a kid and he had seen the Beano ad 'out tomorrow with free thunder clapper'! he told in great detail how exited he was and how he got up early the next morning and cycled miles to the shop, he parked his bike against the pavement and ran inside but when he came out the bike was a mangled heap it had fallen over and was run over by a lorry,then how the clapper ripped on the first flick :(:D

Edited by ric-tic

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This has brought back many happy memories;

Wilson the athlete

wolf of kabul and his clicky ba

Alf Tupper

Proper heroes!

The commando books were always bought by my mother and she read them first before passing them on to me!

Happy Days:)

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This has brought back many happy memories;

Wilson the athlete

wolf of kabul and his clicky ba

Alf Tupper

Proper heroes!

The commando books were always bought by my mother and she read them first before passing them on to me!

Happy Days:)

Alf Tupper - Tough of the Track......trained on a healthy diet of Fish and Chips.....

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what ever happened to Alf?

did he ever get a end/future story like Roy or did he just run and run to the end

Apparently he now appears in Athletics Weekly, not a publication I myself subscribe to.....

 

"While Mo Farah, Wilson Kipsang and Tsegaye Kebede sip their isotonic drinks and feast on pasta on Saturday night, a certain working-class hero from the north of England will be gulping down his fish ‘n chips and finishing off a spot of welding before getting an early-morning train down to the capital to take them on in the London Marathon."

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