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Fifty years ago, back at the end of January, a new comic periodical went on sale in Britain - SMASH! It was the sister publication to WHAM!, launched a year and a half earlier in June of 1964. That's the cover of the first issue above, just in case you ignore the pictures and immerse yourselves in my award-winning, witty and absorbing writing style, the envy of many a blogger across the land. (What award? Well, you award it your full attention, don't you? That's a big enough award for me!)
Guess what though? I haven't yet scanned the complete contents of Smash! #1, but a few years ago, I presented a three-part series of the contents of issue #2. So being a benevolent sort of fella, I decided to show them again, but this time complete in one post to save you the inconvenience of keeping track of three separate instalments.
So what are you waiting for? Wonderment aplenty lies ahead!
Something you won't know is that the ODHAMS PRESS bound volume of the first 50 issues of SMASH! didn't include #2. It wasn't pulled out later - it was simply missing when the comics were gathered for binding. Luckily, I have a spare copy of that 2nd collectors' classic (as I do of #1 also) - and it too is an Odhams file copy, the one with details of who did what and how much they got paid for doing it.
If I recall correctly, I had practically a full year's worth of these issues, each with a label on every strip noting the financial facts and creative cast of those involved. (Odhams kept two sets - one with labels and one without, and I was given both.) I gave the labelled ones away, but retained #2 so that I could transplant it into my unlabelled volume and complete the set. First, though, I carefully steamed off the labels to conserve the information for comics historians everywhere.
So, enjoy reading some sensational strips from one of Britain's brightest comics of the '60s, and indulge your curiosity at how much the contributors got paid for their labours. Sadly, there just aren't as many opportunities available nowadays for budding cartoonists, as weekly comics (with the exception of The BEANO) are mainly a thing of the past.
So gaze upon these pages of Smash! and recall a time in the nation's history when seemingly countless high-circulation comic periodicals for girls and boys proliferated all across the country. Sadly, it appears unlikely that we shall see such times again.
(And in case you wonder why The GHOST PATROL was 'free', it's because it was a retitled reprint of The PHANTOM PATROL from SWIFT, a few years before.)