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Becoming Ken... 
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I'm really enjoying this thread.. :) I enjoy Ken work much more has an adult..

Its fun seeing how an artiat develops..
we should do a thread on Leo who also had many different styles through the years..

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10 Jul 2012, 22:24
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Here are two more characters Ken Reid drew for DC Thomson during the 1950s.

'Grandpa' originally ran in Beano from July 1955 to Nov 1957, and must have been quite popular as it was subsequently revived by Robert Nixon in a series that lasted from 1971 until 1984. One imagines that the first series would have lasted far longer if Ken hadn't been slated to begin drawing 'Jonah' in early 1958.

In many ways Grandpa represented the standard comic type of a 'geriatric delinquent' who, having entered into his second childhood, starts to behave like a naughty schoolboy ('Bad Grandad' in the current Dandy is a similar character). The thing that made Grandpa stand out from all the others is the fact that, incredibly, he still lived with an even more ancient father ready to administer a 'damn good thrashing' whenever his latest antics came to light!

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While Grandpa was simply a novel variation on DC Thomson's large contingent of juvenile japesters set in some obscure British 'Anytown', however, 'Bing-Bang Benny' gave Ken his first opportunity to experiment with catastrophic events on a grander scale. This strip ran in the pages of Dandy from June 1956 to October 1960 and featured the misadventures of a junior explosives 'expert' set against the expansive backdrop of the Wild West. Needless to say, Benny's attempts to help the local sheriff in his never-ending war of nerves with the indigenous natives inevitably backfired. Sadly, Ken's imagination was all too often cramped by the fact that many episodes were confined to just half a page, but when he was allowed more space to work with this series gave him almost as much scope for pyrotechnic mayhem as Jonah! As the example below shows, the only thing Ken liked more than drawing gigantic explosions was drawing a disastrous chain reaction which involved lots and lots of them! :)

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- Phil Rushton


12 Jul 2012, 14:22
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Great seeing it has a whole page..you are right it did give the story even more..
as you say great chain of reaction... :lol:

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12 Jul 2012, 16:15
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I was meaning to post a few images here for some time but didn’t get round to it until now. Since this thread is dedicated to Ken‘s genesis, here are some sample pages from his second Fudge book (Frolics with Fudge) first printed in 1941. There is little to suggest what was to become of the young artist in the future (he was just 18 when Fudge first appeared in Manchester Evening News and 22 when the book was printed).

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Here is the cover and a couple of pages from the third Fudge volume (Fudge’s Trip to the Moon) published in 1947. It is my favourite Fudge cover.

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Dilly Duckling booklet came out in 1948:

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Fudge in Toffee Town (Fudge book No. 6) was first printed in 1950:


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As far as I understand, Ken had a completely free hand writing and drawing both Fudge and Dilly Duckling.

Ken’s comics career began in Comic Cuts – an Amalgamated Press publication, where he drew Foxy of his own creation and ghosted Super Sam for another artist (which he is said to have hated doing). Here are examples of both strips from Comic Cuts issue No 2976 from 1953.

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And here is a very early example of Angel Face from Dandy No. 683 (Dec. 25th, 1954)

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In the 50s and 60s Ken also drew competition pages for the Irish paper Sunday Express. Information about this part of Ken’s work is very scarce indeed, all I know is that the competitions were entitled Horse Clues, Horse Pics, Titles, Inn Signs, etc. but I have no idea how they worked or when exactly they appeared. Sadly, no library in the World appears to have collected editions of the paper. Here are a couple of examples of the original artwork. The scans were kindly sent to me by Ken’s son Antony:

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Last edited by klakadak-ploobadoof on 13 Jul 2012, 21:35, edited 1 time in total.



13 Jul 2012, 18:26
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Wow what a treat to see all these...
loved seeing his comic cuts work with Foxy..
also I love the fudge covers...some great imagination inside..

I've used yours and the recent pictures of Grandpa..Roger the Dodger to add to the blog post..

comicsuk forum can be a great place...thanks everyone for these gems to see and discuss..and marvel..

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13 Jul 2012, 19:50
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So much fine material from Ken here, so kindly supplied by true enthusiasts Phil and kladadak.....[you are ALL Ken fans of course, it's clearly evident!


Reid is beyond criticism, undoubtedly one of the finest comics artists the PLANET ever wrought, never mind just the UK!!


Very interesting to see Ken do a drawing of an attractive young woman, this is something he usually seemed to avoid. But it's evident here---great stuff.

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13 Jul 2012, 20:17
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I remember a Nerves strip where Fatty is eyeing up a beautiful woman and slobbering like the blazes - another rare example of Ken drawing a stunning bird.


13 Jul 2012, 22:48
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Thanks for posting these examples of Ken's work, K-P. Excellent. I so envy your collection :D

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13 Jul 2012, 23:27
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stevezodiac wrote:
I remember a Nerves strip where Fatty is eyeing up a beautiful woman and slobbering like the blazes - another rare example of Ken drawing a stunning bird.
Was that 'Hello, Putrid Date?' Yeah, a swinging Dolly Bird!


13 Jul 2012, 23:28
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ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:
Very interesting to see Ken do a drawing of an attractive young woman, this is something he usually seemed to avoid.
The unspoken warning, Maids, when you're young, never wed an old man, is almost palpable.


14 Jul 2012, 00:09
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Thanks for these gems kladadak.
A book on Ken Reid is needed so badly. One of the greats of world comics.

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14 Jul 2012, 13:31
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That's fantastic K-P! Clearly you were being more than a little modest when you said that you'd mainly concentrated on Ken's work from 1958 onwards. :)

I really think you should consider writing a book about his life - or failing that, have you thought about contacting Peter Richardson with a view to providing a feature for his upcoming 'Illustrators' magazine? To my mind Ken Reid would fit in perfectly with the other artists he's already lined up such as Ian Kennedy and Denis McLoughlin.

I'm afraid I can't hope to compete with your incredible collection, but here are a selection of Ken's earliest drawings from the very first Fudge book that was published way back in 1939.

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- Phil Rushton


14 Jul 2012, 21:01
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Ken drew The Nerves after Smash! and Pow! merged. The strips were truly gross but some of his best work.


15 Jul 2012, 10:55
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I've put the 'Putrid Date' Nervs episode on my blog, along with a handful of other Ken Reid comic horror masterpieces if anyone wants to look:

http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/ken-reid-genius.html

(I've linked back to this topic too, for readers of my blog to see his earlier work.)


15 Jul 2012, 13:36
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The art and imagination of Ken Reid is a joy to behold... Fantastic stuff. I don't own complete runs of comics so there will still be hundreds and hundreds of pages of his strips I've never seen before, so it's great to see all these scans popping up. I do own some of those collected volumes of his works which pop up on eBay from time to time (such as all his World Wide Weirdies/Creepy Creations, The Nervs etc), with the pages copied from the comics (quality varies) and bound together. Fab to look through and about as good as we're going to get in a bound volume any time soon.
So much comic lunacy crammed into each panel you can get lost for ages just gazing at them.


15 Jul 2012, 15:12
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