Wednesday, 20 May 2015

WOTTA BEEZER! DUDLEY D. WATKINS & BILL RITCHIE COMIC STRIPS...


Images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

Take a luverly DUDLEY DEXTER WATKINS cover, add a
couple of interior GINGER strips - and then tack on an awful head
shot by another artist to one of them to almost ruin  the page.  Ugh!
What was DCT thinking?  At least they avoided the same mistake on
the second strip.  The BEEZER Annual for 1969 is in full colour
and is a nice little package, sure enough.  And only 8/6



The two pages below are unusual for D.C. THOMSON -
a team-up, starring SMIFFY and BABY CROCKETT - two
usually separate strips, but both regularly drawn by artist  BILL
RITCHIE.  Baby also appeared in the nursery comic BIMBO,
and then LITTLE STAR, which replaced Bimbo in 1972.

Regarding Smiffy, I remember finding a DCT adventure
comic (HOTSPUR or VICTOR) in a hedge on the way home
from school one day in 1964 or '65.  It was open at a Smiffy page
and that was the first time I recall seeing Bill Ritchie's style, which
made an impression on me.  Can anyone confirm that Smiffy did
appear in one of the adventure comics?  Perhaps it was only a
one-off, but I'm pretty sure that I did see it.

Anyway,  read on, MacDuff!


12 comments:

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

The Beezer was my favourite comic as a young kid and I think the 69 annual was the last Beezer annual I got as I must have moved on to other comics after than - the 1966 Beezer annual is still one of my fondness and most vivid comic memories. I seem to recall Smiffy appearing in other comics as well as I think did Figaro. Always great to see Dudley Watkins art a true master of the genre

Kid said...

Indeed he was, McScotty. I don't really have an extensive range of DCT stuff in my collection, but their annuals were always well produced, especially the full-colour Beezer and Topper ones. I must acquire some more in the future.

John Pitt said...

I can actually SMELL the opened Beezer annual right now in my mind! My Granny used to get me one for several Christmases in a row.
IF you ever get the early 60's one where Ginger didn't want to go to bed, because he wasn't "the least bit tired" - THAT is the very strip that my dear Uncle Bill taught me to read with!!

Kid said...

If I ever get that particular annual, JP, I'll be sure and post that strip for you. I may have a black and white reprint of it in an issue of Classics of the Comics, but if so, I wouldn't know which one it is.

John Pitt said...

An educated guess might narrow it down to either the '60 or '61 annual ( possibly the first story in the book? ) where Ginger doesn't want to go to bed whilst it is still light and he says,"....I'm not the least bit tired!" So he starts playing all kinds of imaginary games on the bed ( as you do! ) until he eventually wears himself out and collapses asleep. The last panel shows his parents peeking around the door and Mum says, "Look - I KNEW he was tired!"

Kid said...

I'm sure I've got a reprint of that strip then, JP, 'cos it sounds awfully familiar. I'll keep an eye out for it.

John Pitt said...

Cheers Kid, to see that again would transport me!

Kid said...

To the Colonies?

Ken said...

Unfortunately Santa stopped coming to my house in 1969. My mother took up the slack and this annual found its way to our house. By the way have you noticed that children never appear out and about on Christmas morning riding new bikes? As the countdown to Christmas starts once Halloween ends, are they like us adult types, just a little bit tired of it all when the 25th of December finally arrives?

Ken.

PS May I be the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kid said...

What's that, Ken? The countdown to Christmas begins once Hallowe'en ends? You're out of date, mate. In my town, Christmas countdown begins at the same time as Hallowe'en and Bonfire night.

Yes, you may - and likewise.

AirPiratePress said...

Hi, Gordon ... here's a question for you. Back in 1960s, one of the tabloid comics (I think it was Beezer) carried a science fiction strip about invading aliens from space. The aliens resembled land-octopuses and were able to blow steel-hard bubble from their tentacles with which to imprison hapless Earthlings. Battling the aliens were (I think) an elderly scientist and his two grandchildren. Any idea what this strip was called?
Alan McK

Kid said...

Hi, Al - The Jellymen (1960) was the name of the strip, drawn by Ken Hunter. There was a follow-up called Doctor Q and The Jellymen in 1964, I think. The first strip was reprinted in 1970.

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