Friday, 16 October 2015

MUSINGS ON MEMORY - FRANKIE STEIN IN WHAM!...



As I've said several times before, memory is a funny thing.
Case in point:  I remember FRANKIE STEIN as one of my very
favourite strips from WHAM! comic back in the 1960s.  However,
I didn't start buying Wham! 'til after it began reprinting MARVEL's
FANTASTIC FOUR adventures, having first discovered them in
my regular weekly comic, SMASH! (which had presented FF #1
over four issues, simultaneously with Wham!).

Wham! #112, cover-dated August 6th 1966, was the issue
that debuted the Fabulous Foursome, and it probably took me a
few weeks to discover that the team I'd first encountered in Smash!
were regularly appearing in Wham!, so I'd have missed a few issues -
'though I acquired some of them from a neighbour in one of the rows
down the street a few months afterwards.  But what's the point of
all this you're no doubt wondering (if you're still reading).

Simply this.  Starting from around when the FF tales started
(three issues later to be precise, as he was missing from #s 112 &
113), there were only another 34 Frankie strips until his final ap-
pearance in issue #166, cover-dated August 19th 1967 - and one
of them was drawn by another artist, not KEN REID.

I find it amazing that one of the most fondly-recalled strips
of my youth was present for such a brief part of it, yet I recall it as
having quite a significant presence over what seemed like a lengthy
period.  It feels like I was reading Frankie for years before he van-
ished, not just (at most) 34 strips over the course of a year.

I suppose it just goes to show how impressionable we are
as children, and to what extent things that flit through our lives
for such a fleeting span can leave such a disproportionate sized
footprint in the pathways of memory.  As I said - funny, eh?

Are there any comic strips that you recall as being around
for a seemingly large part of your childhood, only to find, when
you look back, that they weren't around for very long at all?
Feel free to tell us all about it in the comments section.

******

(Oh, and I should add, I now have every Ken Reid Frankie
Stein episode that was ever published in Wham!, so I finally
got to read them all in the end.  Well done me!)

From WHAM! #114, cover-dated August 20th 1966

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