Comics - from morals to mischief and make up
For generations now, comics have played a huge part in our childhoods, but perhaps the heyday was the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, there were too many to choose from covering everything from morality tales to TV and pure mischief.
They came out on the same day every week or fortnight and kids couldn’t wait until their favourite title hit the newsagent.
Beyond this golden age, comics continued to thrive with film, pop music and sci-fi inspired titles growing in popularity; not forgetting every teenage girl’s favourite subject - love.
And now in the digital age, kids are still enjoying comics. With so many alternatives on offer, enthusiasm has waned but luckily no one’s told The Beano…
Anarchic, wild and very cheeky. The Beano is all about kids behaving outrageously. No surprise then that it’s been loved by generations of kids and is still going strong after nearly 80 years.
The not-so-naughty sister of The Beano and actually the first to market in 1937. Also very popular with great characters like Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat. The Dandy ran in various forms right up until 2012, even enjoying a brief foray into the digital world.
The first comic to arrive after paper rationing ended. The Eagle always felt a bit posh and was definitely the parent-friendly comic. Well, it was the brainchild of an Anglican vicar and encouraged good values. Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, was a boy’s true hero.
Girl was the female companion of The Eagle, Swift and Robin. Launched in 1951 as 'The New Super-Colour Weekly for Every Girl', it featured heroines like Kitty Hawke, Wendy and Jinx, as well as puzzles, activities and posters aplenty.
The snappily titled “Tiger – the Sport and Adventure Picture Story Weekly” was action packed with heroes like Splash Gorton and Skid Solo. It also introduced us to Roy of the Rovers, a cartoon strip so popular it became a comic in its own right.
Launched in 1958, Bunty was one of the longest running girl’s comics, but one of many with a girl’s name – Jinty and Tammy for starters. Strips like The Four Marys set in a boarding school ran for years. Nothing beat having a letter printed in Cosy Corner.
TV Century 21
In the mid 60s Gerry Anderson’s puppet dramas like Stingray were so popular, TV Century 21 (later TV21) arrived to feed the fans hunger. It was different to other TV comics, with colour photos and news of our heroes’ adventures. Yes, Troy Tempest was a puppet but he was a brave puppet.
Jackie was a hormone-fuelled magazine for teenage girls that ran for almost 30 years. It was full of fashion and beauty tips, teen romance dilemmas and pull out posters of pop star heart throbs. Cathy and Claire the problem page made fascinating reading for young girls, and as for Dear Doctor…
Launched in the 70s, when TV viewing had reached dizzying heights, Look-In was basically "the Junior TV Times". It featured celebrity interviews, competitions, puzzles and pin ups and felt very grown up – it even had the TV listings. It was also great for a free pull-out or two.
One of the most successful British comics of all time. 2000AD’s epic stories were set in a dark sci-fi future (well it was 1977) where poker-faced supercop Judge Dredd hunted down criminals with no mercy. It’s black humour and artistry has made it a cult classic for earthlets across the world.
How did we do? Have we remembered your childhood favourite or done you a disservice? Either way, we’d love to know which comic filled you with eager anticipation on delivery day.
If you enjoyed our take on some classic comics of the last century, you might also enjoy our look back at what we once called technology in 10 gadgets that changed our world forever and The days when clock radios were cutting edge.