Sunday, 14 August 2016

A SECONDARY MATTER OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE...



WHIZZER & CHIPS was the last new IPC comic weekly that
I bought while still a primary school pupil.  I was at secondary school
when THUNDERJET, and KNOCKOUT went on sale, and I was still in
the house I'd been living in since 1965.  The year after Knockout came out,
I was in yet another house (the very one in which I reside today), and then
there was SHIVER & SHAKEWHOOPEE, MONSTER FUN, 2000
A.D.WOW! , etc., but that's a tale for another time.  There were other
comics by other publishers, but these IPC ones mark my transition
from child to teenager, and reflect a certain time and place in my
life that I often revisit in the evergreen land of memory.

What comics do you associate with the time between your
primary and secondary school days?  Reveal (and relive) every
last fascinating detail in our scintillating comments section.




Talking of Knockout, in June or July of 1971, my family holidayed
in Largs, and I have fond memories of reading a couple of issues in the
famous seaside resort.  Our landlady had a copy of VICTOR HUGO's
The HUNCHBACK Of NOTRE DAME in her bookcase, and I remember
reading the last page and finding it quite sad.  I wasn't to return to Largs until
2014 - 43 years later - and I was thrilled and disappointed in equal measure.
Thrilled at seeing familiar sights that reminded me of yesteryear, and dis-
appointed at the many changes that had taken place.  I'll talk about this
again in an upcoming post, o wallowers in sentiment and nostalgia.

17 comments:

Dunsade Dave said...

For me the late-primary school/early-secondary era means the Claremont/Romita Jr X-Men era and the tail end of John Byrne's FF run, both of which absolutely captivated me: there's still a few issues from each that I could recite the dialogue almost word perfectly.

Mainly though I associate that time with a second-hand bookshop near where I grew up getting in a massive stock of 70s Marvel UK comics- literally thousands of them, which they sold for 5p each (this was in the mid-80s when new Marvel UK mags were around 30p). Over a year or so I gradually bought loads of these, and discovered literally hundreds of old Marvel stories that I'd never read- the original X-Men, Nick Fury, Ant-Man, some Kirby Black Panther stories that I found utterly bewildering, the Avengers vs Count Nefaria and a stack of others. I especially remember reading a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man 187 which had a very strange and creepy atmosphere to it.

Titles I remember buying from the stack are Marvel Super-Heroes, the Daredevils, Hulk Comic, Marvel Super Adventure, Marvel Team-Up, Spider-Man comics with photos of Nicholas Hammond on the cover and - again for the princely sum of 5p- the very first issue of Doctor Who Weekly.

I also vividly remember reading a Jarvis the Butler solo story that I don't think I've ever seen in its original form. I'm assuming it must have been from an Avengers annual.

Kid said...

Byrne's FF run was a cracker, DD - it covers two houses for me and, funnily enough, I was attending night classes at my old secondary school for part of that time. Back to my original school days, I wasn't just buying the comics shown - I also got TV21, Smash!, Valiant (when it swallowed Smash!, Super DC, and no doubt various American DC and Marvel mags, but W&C, Thunder, Jet & Knockout were the last NEW IPC comics to come out during that particular era of my childhood/early teens, which is why I remember them so fondly. You certainly had a comics-enriched youth, that's for sure. Great days, eh?

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

I can never remember the year I started secondary school although I vividly remember the lead up to it at Primary (visiting secondary for a day with the class) and the first day at secondary school avoiding getting ducked" etc ( who doesn't remember that day!!). Also I moved house from Rutherglen to Blantyre (this was the first house my parents bought) just a few weeks before I started secondary (staying at Rutherglen for school) so that time is pretty fixed in my memory as it was eventful. I just cant recall if it was 1970 or 1971. I think I started secondary late 1970 or early in 1971 (being 11 years at this point). Comic memories for me get blurred as not sure of the time line but Thunder and Jet rings bells (was Wizard out in 1970?) as comics from this period as does Superman issues 241 , 242 and 247 (1971) which I recall buying on a holiday possibly the summer after I started secondary school (I also remember picking up Capt America 121 and 122 from 1969 in Blantye as if it was yesterday as comics could be on sale years after their original publication date in the UK at this time). Certainly that time from late 1969 - late 1971 for comics is A time I recall as there were lots of us comics on sale in my area then.

Kid said...

I started secondary school after the summer holidays in 1970, PM, while I was yet 11 years old, so you're around the same age as me. (An old fart in other words.) Yup, the second version of DCT's Wizard came out at the beginning of 1970, and lasted 'til '78. (The first incarnation came out in 1922, running until '63.) Like you say, U.S. comics could be on sale years after they came out in the States, so it's harder to pinpoint an exact year with them, but I associate the first few 'Kryptonite Nevermore!' Superman issues with my old house (which I lived in from 1965 to '72) - ah, happy days! Isn't it strange to compare newsagents now with back then, when there were racks of U.S. comics to be had, whereas no newsagent today sells any at all.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

I had a wee nostalgic visit to Rutherglen on Saturday - strange the town looked largely the same ( and amazingly very clean and tidy) as it did during my school years in the 1970s with its stunning Germanic /Gothic town hall and broad pavements (all re laid I think) Chapman's pub sitting on the corner and the shopping centre and nice new moderns flats. However, gone are some of the old "Glasgow" tenements , my old secondary school and annex (now luxury flats) and almost all of the the old newsagents that used to be there where i got my comics fix. Also I could see no sign of the legendary "Johnny's" shop (other then its location). The shopping centre looked totally different (with a new name and layout) but full of cheap shops and zombie like shoppers milling about (very sad) - To be fair its probably as nice as it was in my day just a bit to similar to most large towns in the area (though alot better than the soon to be ghost town of Hamilton).

Colin Jones said...

I started secondary school on Wednesday, August 31st 1977 and exactly three weeks later on September 21st The Complete Fantastic Four No.1 came out. Three weeks after that on October 12th Rampage No.1 came out (which was also my father's 50th birthday). So The Complete FF and Rampage are the two comics I associate with starting secondary school. And when I left primary school on July 22nd 1977 Super Spider-Man had only recently merged with Captain Britain.

Kid said...

The last time I was there, PM, Johnny's (the original shop, not the larger premises a few shops along to which they eventually moved) was a flower shop, but the original 'Johnny's' name was still faintly visible under the new coat of paint. On the main road, just along from Johnny's, used to be a school (the one my mother attended I think), outside of which was a wee shop that looked like the Tinkerer's repair shop in Spider-Man #2 - sadly gone, alas. (There's one in Hamilton that looks similar.)

******

Shows how the memory can play tricks, CJ. If not for those dates, I seemed to remember CFF and Rampage coming out at the same time. That's probably because I've kept spare copies of both #1s together since I first bought them. I re-acquired (a couple or so years back) the actual 'first' issue of SS-M & CB from the pal I gave it to back in the '70s, so I have all three of my original copies of the comics you mention.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

1977 I had left school by nearly a full year and I recall buying the "Complete FF" issue 1 in John Menzies (now W H Smiths) in Hamilton and not being impressed by it at all (hated the free gift a tiny model plane). I think thi swas about the time I got fed up with UK comics (UK Marvel and Uk originated) only really reading US comics liek Conan, Kull etc. I think I know the shop in Ruherglen your mention (if it was Gallowflat school - my old Annex) there was also one near Stonelaw High (nee Rutherglen Academy) I can't think of the shop in Hamilton though

Kid said...

It was the one outside Rutherglen Academy, PM, near the bus-stop. I wonder if a photo of the shop exists somewhere? Funnily enough, I have the impression that it was some kind of electrical shop, but maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. As for CFF, yeah, it was a rubbish gift, but I liked the comic - mainly because it gave me the chance to collect the early Lee/Kirby FF tales again.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

Yeah I know the one you mean I think your right and it was an electrical shop if I remember correctly it was wooden built like a hut bluey/green- strange I passed by it (probably stood talking outside it) almost every day for 6 years and now I can't recall the basic details. I noticed its absence on my visit to my old school - the corner looks like it should have a wee shop still imho.

Kid said...

I could be completely wrong, PM, but I seem to have a notion that it was a wee newsagent's at one time, then became an electrical shop. I'm like you, in that although I remember it, I don't have a crystal clear image of it in my mind.

Dunsade Dave said...

Great days indeed, Kid. I really miss those old-fashioned second hand bookshops that had stacks of old comics and magazines and would exchange them for your unwanted stuff. There were loads of them until about the early 90s then they all just seemed to vanish.

I started to take a proper interest in American comics round about the time I left primary school- before that I'd been mostly reading UK humour comics and Marvel UK reprints. At that time, Walt Simonson was on Thor, Frank Miller was writing Daredevil, John Byrne was writing and drawing the FF, Claremont on the X-Men, Stern/Buscema/Palmer were the Avengers creators, Marvel Tales was reprinting Ditko and Romita era Spider-Man- its no wonder that American Marvels captivated me so much when you consider that was the comics scene I discovered. I probably assumed that all comics were always that good! An amazing era to live through, which just makes it all the more saddening to think how drastically the quality declined over the following decade.

Kid said...

I remember being in Blackpool in 1973 and '74, DD, and not only did shops still sell brand-new Buscema Silver Surfers and Kirby FFs from the late '60s at cover price, there were market stalls which sold and exchanged old comics. I remember getting a Trimpe Hulk there, which had a letter which was re-used (with mild revisions and a different name) in an ish of MWOM. I could've spent hours at those stalls. I imagine there were equivalents in Glasgow, but I never saw them. I loved the Byrne FFs and Marvel Tales with Ditko reprints in the early '80s, and I bought Simonson's Thor as well, with occasional issues of Buscema's Avengers. The X-Men passed be by, I'm afraid, as I always preferred the original team. Yeah, comics are a different product now, although there are still a few good ones.

John Pitt said...

Well you are all a bunch of youngsters, compared to me! I started secondary school in 1965. Before (and during ) the holidays it was Wham, TV 21, TV Comic and Valiant, plus DC comics. Most of these continued over into secondary school. It was the following year that Smash came out and I got hooked on Marvel.

Kid said...

We'll just call you grandpa from now on, JP. I'd just started primary school the year before, in 1964, so I'm just a mere babby.

John Pitt said...

You sure are! You notice though, even though I was that much older, I was still interested in all the best comics throughout the decades! Oh yes, I didn't see why I should miss out! Why should all the kids get the best in life? I appreciate them much more!

Kid said...

Yes, your taste and discernment shines forth like a beacon, JP. As also testified to by the fact that you visit this blog.

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