Sunday, 25 December 2016


Images copyright relevant owners

It's the depths of winter, so let's cheer ourselves up by stepping back into sunnier climes with a look at some of the great Summer Specials from a vanished era.  Ready?


One of the things that every blogger has to concern themselves with is just what to write about for each new post, in the hope that at least someone will be interested in reading the result.  One can never really tell with any certainty just what will float a reader's boat so it's a bit of a gamble whenever a blog host takes the plunge with yet another entry for his members' perusal and hopeful appreciation.  Will a catchy title arouse their curiosity?  Will a dramatic opening illustration grab their attention?  Sometimes I'm surprised as to just what attracts a significant number of hits - and sometimes I'm disappointed in equal measure as to what seems to escape under the radar.

So, "what's the recipe for today, Jim?" - and will it be enough to lure you into my blog's web for a few enjoyable minutes of reading pleasure?  Let's look at the subject of Summer Specials - or Holiday Specials as they were also sometimes called.  Asides from three new Ultimate Beano Summer Specials which graced the shelves of WHa while back, the particular breed known as the Summer Special seems to be extinct.  Hardly surprising given the dying interest in comics in general, but no less disappointing for that inarguable fact.

Those of a certain age will recall the glory days, when - for a mere 2'6d (usually) - 96 pages of fun and adventure could be had to pore over again and again.  There was just something about those extra thick publications that seemed to beckon to us from the newsagents' counters - enticing us to spend the half-crown that an indulgent grandparent or uncle had given to us only a day or two before.  We were mainly unaware that, inevitably, these bumper packages contained an allocation of reprinted strips from comics or annuals of an earlier era - and what did it matter anyway?  They were definitely new to us.

So come with me now on a short journey, and let us return to an age when Holiday Specials were a welcome distraction as we sheltered under the leafy shade of an overhanging branch from the heat of the sweltering Summer sun.  A bottle of pop in one hand, an oversized paper periodical in the other, the future remained an undiscovered country - in which, sadly, all too soon we would find our-selves residing while wondering how we got there. 

And below is one of my all-time favourites - the very first TV CENTURY 21 Summer Special from 1965.


LeicesterJim said...

Kid, you're stuff is always very welcome, interesting, sometimes gives me a titter, and I thank you for it. Happy Christmas.

Kid said...

And I thank you for the thank you, LJ. Happy Christmas to you too.

John Pitt said...

Hope you had a great day, Kid!
Is that Ghostly Guardian (Valiant&Smash) the work of Ron Smith?

Kid said...

Nice and quiet, just the way I like 'em, JP. Hope you had the sort of day you enjoy. The cover looks like Mike Western to me, and the regular artist of the strip in the weekly was Julio Schiaffino I believe.

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