Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Over on the KAZOOP!! blog, there's a couple of panels
from KEN REID's last ever FRANKIE STEIN strip, drawn 17
years after his last page of the character in WHAM! back in 1967.
The six page strip appeared in the MONSTER FUN Annual 1985
(issued in '84), and it's odd to think that many readers, more used to
Frankie  from his 1970s revival as drawn by ROBERT NIXON,
may well have been disappointed by Ken's version and han-
kered after what they saw as the 'real' Frankie.

Sadly, Ken's art was no longer as vital and spontaneous as
it had once been, so it's even possible that those brought up on his
original incarnation may have thought the same thing.  However, Ken
Reid at his 'worst' is still better than many other artists at their best, so
I thought it was worthwhile showing his final Frankie strip for anyone
who may not have been aware of it before.  In fact, the first I knew
of it was when I read about it over on Kazoop!!, to whom I'm
grateful for supplying these scans.  Thanks, Irmy!

And here's the cover of the Annual itself...


DeadSpiderEye said...

It's odd to see him render Frankie with his overhanging brow and it's funny how expectations mould perceptions, it would be quite a nice job without reference to the earlier work. From my understanding his personal circumstances were quite fraught during this time and although the story's obviously padded to up the page count, it lacks all the mayhem of his earlier work on the strip.

Kid said...

It looks as if he was trying to make Frankie look something like Bob Nixon's version, DSE. As you say, okay in itself, but nowhere near as good as his earlier version of the character.

John Pitt said...

And it's sad to see. It's not the Frankie we're used to. But it is a valuable collectors' item, nonetheless.

Kid said...

I wonder what his thoughts were returning to a strip that he'd last drawn in 1967? Happy or sad? Perhaps by that time, it was just another job for him.

baab said...

There is a missing mayhem as DeadSpiderEye comments.
If you did not have anything to compare it would still look 'helluva' good!

I remember the strip but not the annual cover.
That is odd.

Kid said...

The inking is meticulous, but the layouts are uninspired and some of the characters are a bit static and flat. Far too many side-on views. And that 2nd panel on page 2 is dreadful.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I wasnt aware of this one, Franke actually looks middle age in here with a fatter body and face, so for me Ken was using his artistice magic showing the character had aged since he first drew him (ok I know thats not true) :)

Kid said...

McScotty, when Frankie was revived in the '70s, I was really quite glad as it allowed me to reconnect to my childhood. At that time, I didn't even mind that it wasn't Ken who was drawing him because Bob Nixon did such a good job. It wasn't 'til much later, long after the comics the 'new' Frankie appeared in had bitten the dust, that I kind of regretted that Ken hadn't been the artist on the revival. However, if this is what it would've looked like HAD Ken drawn it, then I have to say that Bob Nixon was the right man for the job at that time.

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