Friday, 5 June 2015


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

MAGIC COMIC, launched in 1939, lasted for only 80 issues,
due mainly to paper shortages caused by the Second World War.
However, it had an impact far beyond its lifespan, in that one of its
characters was revived for The SPARKY in 1965, and then turned
up later in The TOPPER.  PETER PIPER is the strip we're talking
about, drawn originally by DUDLEY D. WATKINS in Magic and
then VIC NEIL in Sparky, with other artists taking over the
artistic duties in subsequent years.

As you can see, Watkin's Peter looks like OOR WULLIE,
and is nothing like the Sparky interpretation, which is the one
I remember and regard as the 'real' one.  No doubt some parents
who'd read Magic as kids threw up their hands in despair when they
saw what Sparky had done to their childhood favourite, much like I
dads were updated in The BEANO.  (Although it has to be said
that their original 'look' had been established for many years
longer than Peter's initial Magic run, so the situation isn't
quite as comparable as it seems.)

So, enjoy seeing Peter's first Magic appearance in the
'30s, and comparing it to an example of his longer-lasting
Sparky strip in the '60s.  Interesting stuff, eh?


Colin Jones said...

Kid, have you ever heard of a comic called Magic that came out around 1978 ? I know it existed because my sister was reading it for a while. You like to buy first issues of comics so do have that one ?

Kid said...

Magic showed up again in 1976 and lasted until 1979. DCT considered it a revival, but it bore no resemblance to the original, featured none of the characters, and was really a nursery comic. I may have bought the first issue at the time (if I saw it), but if I did, I don't have it now.

Colin Jones said...

Yes, I remember it as being a comic for little kids - my sister was too old for it and she soon moved on to Mandy, Judy etc.

Kid said...

'Fess up, CJ - you read your sister's copies, didn't you? (Says the man who bought Little Star.)

baab said...

Well that was interesting.
Dear ol' Dudley D.
I do not remember the second versions
character, I remember another ,was there another?

Kid said...

There were other interpretations by other artists of what I assume were still meant to be the second version - it's probably one of those you're thinking of.

moonmando said...

If I hadn't read your post before seeing the Sparky artwork I would have sworn it was done by yourself.
Very much in the style of The Kid.

Kid said...

My few detractors will be laughing at that, Moony, convinced I bribed you to say it. (How much do I owe you again?)

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