Look at the first picture on the bottom tier of the above page - I
believe that's ROBERT BARTHOLOMEW (otherwise known as BART -
although perhaps it's ALBERT COSSER) who was the editor of Wham!. It
really is a good likeness, regardless of which of the two gentlemen it is. How
do I know? I occasionally saw this fellow wandering around the hallways of
KING'S REACH TOWER when I was down in London, and MARC JUNG
(sub-editor of BUSTER) identified him (as either Bart or Cos, can't quite re-
member). Imagine my surprise when, a few years ago, I was leafing through
some old letters and found one from the late-'70s from LOOK & LEARN
(in response to an enquiry of mine), signed by 'Robert Bartholomew',
the editor. It hadn't clicked with me at the time, but just think - I had
the autograph of an editor from one of the favourite comics of my
youth and didn't even know it!
BIFF (below) later turned up in THUNDER as SAM, a fact which
LEO BAXENDALE wouldn't have been happy about as he wasn't paid
for the re-use of the ones he had drawn. It was his annoyance at this
practice that later caused him to quit British weekly comics altogether.
The irony is, if publishers hadn't been able to defray the cost of a title by
reprinting a limited number of old strips, they may not have been able
to publish the comic to begin with - or continue with it if circulation
started to fall. Result - less work to go around for jobbing cartoonists.
(Or vastly reduced page-rates for everyone.) Catch 22?
And now - the one you've been waiting for - FRANKIE STEIN by
Ken Reid - in colour. Who says this blog doesn't deliver the goods, eh?
Given the rather abrupt way the tale ends, I can't help but feel that it's a
page short. When I first read it, I turned over the last page expecting it to
continue on the following one - but nope, that's all there was. Some of
Ken's Faceache pages towards the end of his career lacked the vitality
and spontaneity of his earlier work, being somewhat stiff and stilted -
but here we have Reid at his absolute best, so be sure to savour
every brushstroke and penline.