|From The Beano, dated 21st June 1958|
Friday, 4 April 2014
LEO BAXENDALE'S 'A VERY FUNNY BUSINESS'...
It tells of LEO BAXENDALE's humble beginnings as an aspiring cartoonist, and his ultimate triumph as one of Britain's pre-eminent contributors to the U.K. comics scene - arguably 'the' pre-eminent contributor. He shone at D.C. THOM-SON's (where perhaps the only strip artist held in greater esteem was DUDLEY D. WATKINS) and then led the charge against his erstwhile employers by creating a 'Super BEANO' for ODHAMS, although, sadly, the comic (WHAM!) managed to survive for only three and a half too-short years.
Next was IPC/FLEETWAY, where once again he stood almost atop the heap - until he decided to quit comics because of his dissatisfaction over not being paid for reprints of his work. What should have happened next is an unending line of hilarious WILLY The KID Annuals, but alas, 'twas not to be; after only three books, his contract with DUCKWORTH's was not renewed and, as far as mainstream comics were concerned, he languished in limbo, only known through occasional reprints of his earlier comics work and other artists emulating his style.
Simply put, this is a great book and, as I said, if you were a youngster in the times Baxendale re-creates in startling clarity through his rigorously-recalled reminis-cences, this is a 'must-read' for you. I got my copy back in 1978 in GRANT'S Bookshop in Glasgow, but one thing I regret doing at the time is purchasing the softcover edition instead of the hardcover volume. (I really should've bought both!)
Nevertheless, if you're a comics fan of yesteryear, or an admirer of the man who helped change the face of traditional British comics forever, then you should get straight onto ebay and see if you can track down a copy.
Posted by Kid at Friday, April 04, 2014