Tuesday, 6 January 2015

CHRISTMAS? BAH! HUMBUG(S)...!



Having recently shown you the covers to all seven Annuals
bearing the name of WHAM! (plus another two combined with
POW! ), I thought you might appreciate seeing the inside of the very
first one (for 1966).  And what better strip to show you than one which
fits right in with the start of the year, what with all that snow and ice on
view?  Okay, these conditions haven't quite happened yet in my
neck of the woods, but they're bound to soon (hopefully).

Looking back, it seems that all the Christmases and New Years
of my boyhood were like this.  It may have been only in the comics,
but so powerful is the image that it leaks out into the reality of the time
as well - at least in the mystic bands of memory.  The two pages repro-
duced here don't seem to me to have been drawn by the regular weekly
artist, but they do full justice to the characters nonetheless.  Often a
strip could look all the poorer for not being drawn by its usual
illustrator, but that isn't the case here.

THE HUMBUGS were reprinted in the revamped SMASH! in
1969 under the name of THE TERRIBLE TWINS, and I was so
pleased to see the familiar characters again that I don't think I even
noticed the strip had been retitled until much later.  Or could it simply
be that by the time the pair resurfaced, I had forgotten what they
were originally called?  It's not impossible, even for one with
such a mighty memory as I.

I recall one of the weekly strips referring to the FANTASTIC
FOUR, which was appearing in Wham! comic at the time.  BRUV
dressed up in a MICHELIN MAN costume and played at being THE
THING, and SIS merely hid behind a fence or a lamppost and pretend-
ed to be invisible.  Of course, it was easy to ignore that The Thing was
supposed to be orange-skinned when the comic was in black and white,
but had it been in colour, a mention could simply have been included
of Bruv painting the costume in the requisite hue.  (Yes, I know -
I worry about such things too much.)

Anyway, that's perhaps too much spiel for a mere two
pages, but hopefully you'll enjoy them despite that.

(Incidentally, I suspect that the lettering is by TOM FRAME,
who later worked on 2000 A.D.'s JUDGE DREDD.)

6 comments:

Colin Jones said...

It didn't snow at all last Winter, not even a single flake - just all that endless wet and windy weather. I remember in school how it always seemed to snow at the time of the Xmas exams which was really annoying as it meant they would be delayed as so many of us couldn't get to school and I really wanted them out of the way so it could start to feel like Christmas. My father claimed that when he was a boy in Glasgow in the '30s it snowed heavily every year with icicles "like bars in front of the window" - in my opinion he was remembering just one particularly bad winter but he insisted it was every year and he wasn't the kind you argued with !! Back in December 2010 it was a really cold and Arctic-like month all over the UK and there were icicles hanging from my roof like bars just like my dad had described from his childhood - I'd never seen icicles like that before !!

Kid said...

I think that this year, there has been snow in some parts of the country (heard it on the news), but not yet in mine. When it comes to the past, sometimes it would snow in February or March, but because we associate snow with Christmas, we tend to remember it as happening at that time. Funny ol' thing, memory, eh, CJ?

Colin Jones said...

Actually Kid, it's snow in January and February I remember best. In February 1978 I had a day off school on my 12th birthday after it snowed during the night and the school bus never arrived. It was a really bad winter in early 1979 (the infamous 'Winter of Discontent' of Tory mythology) and our village was totally cut off so we had to walk 5 miles through the snow to the nearest town just to buy food. And in January 1982 ice and snow delayed the start of the new school term - we were supposed to return to school around January 10th but we actually returned on the 25th - it was the longest school Xmas holiday ever !! More recently, in February 2009 I had to walk miles through heavy snow to make sure my 76 year-old mother was okay. She died later that year and I remember that long trudge through the snow rather fondly now.

Kid said...

Funny that, eh, CJ? (Not in a 'Ha Ha' way, obviously.) A journey that probably seemed like an ordeal at the time has now become a fond reminiscence. That's probably why schooldays can sometimes seem rosy-hued years after the fact.

karl said...

Aw Kid PLEASE PLEASE try and find that strip where Wham! apes the FF that you mentioned, id love to see this!

Kid said...

I'll see if I can dig it out when I get a spare moment, Karl. Won't be right away 'though.

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