Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

Once upon a time, there were two mighty comic empires in the U.K. which were in constant competition with one another.  Comics were always being developed in each camp to have something ready at a moment's notice to steal the thunder of any new title the opposition might launch.  However, these two rivals were at war not only with each other, but also any other publishers in the same line.

For example, did you know that D.C. Thomson's SPARKY came out the same week as TV CENTURY 21?  This was DCT's way of capitalising on any kid asking his mum to "Get that new comic for me while I'm at school".  Any parent asking for that in a newsagent's was just as likely to be handed The Sparky as TV21, especially if the latter was sold out.  And even if it wasn't, 7d for TV21 may have seemed a bit dear compared to The Sparky's more reasonable 5d - at least from a cost-conscious parent's point of view.

With that in mind, editors kept track of all the titles the opposition produced, often having racks of their rivals' comics on display in their own offices to see what the 'other side' were up to.  And that accounts for The BEANO pictured in this post.  It was IPC's Humour Group editor BOB PAYNTER's personal copy, which he gave me to clear space on the rack along the side of his office wall.  Ol' Bob was good to me in that way, gifting me with a number of comics for my collection, including several FRANKIE STEIN Holiday Specials that he no longer wanted, plus the very last issue of TV COMIC.

So have a read at DENNIS's adventures above - and don't forget to thank Bob for it. 


Mr Straightman said...

I didn't know either Jeff Goldblum or a member of Kiss played 'Rumble'!

Kid said...

You mean Gene Simmons? No, He played Ramble - didn't he?