Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

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Kashgar
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by Kashgar »

This month marks the 100th birthday of the AP story paper 'The Gem' which from issue 3 featured the adventures of Tom Merry and the comic foil of many of his stories the Hon Arthur Augustus D'Arcy 'Gussy', the first of the many great characters created by Charles Hamilton who a year later would come up with Harry Wharton and Billy Bunter in the first issue of Gem's companion paper 'The Magnet'.
The success of these papers would have a profound effect on the direction that weekly boys' fiction would take in the first half of the 20th Century and so it seems appropriate that they deserve a brief mention here on the occasion of the Gem's centenary. 'The Gem' ran until 30th Dec 1939 before being merged with 'Triumph' having lasted for a total of 1711 issues.

Brendan McGuire
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by Brendan McGuire »

May I add a tangential comment to this anniversary? The hugely enjoyable Ealing film Hue and Cry is available on DVD now. Everything in this film stems from a boy's story paper (in this case called The Trump). The early scenes depict the varied attitudes to comics just post-war. A comic is disdainfully tossed out of a window by a choir master. It is then disparaged by a group of boys until one of the group becomes utterly gripped by the adventure story within its pages.
If you haven't seen this film I can unreservedly recommend it. And, of course, the entire film has a comic and a comic writer as integral parts of the plot. :)

john56peter756brit
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by john56peter756brit »

Is that the film with a young harry fowler in it.

Brendan McGuire
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by Brendan McGuire »

'Tis indeed. And the inimitable Alistair Sim

john56peter756brit
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by john56peter756brit »

Yes i remember that film i also remember meeting harry fowler years ago when i was about 15. I dont think he was in a good mood that day at battersea park. Anyway it was a great film i remember that there was something going on in the comic strip that they were reading.

Kashgar
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by Kashgar »

Absolutely brilliant film. Alistair Sim plays the writer of the detective series that appears in the story paper 'The Trump' and his scripts are being altered, without his knowledge, prior to publication to pass on messages to a gang of crooks. Harry Fowler and his gang of 'Ealing irregulars' eventually bring the crooks to book , including their boss played by Jack Warner in the years before he himself became the epitome of the honest beat copper in 'The Blue Lamp' and later 'Dixon of Dock Green'.

john56peter756brit
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by john56peter756brit »

Another film i thought was good was the one with jack lemmon as a comic strip artist and he went about with terry thomas taking photos of the action he would later draw what a great film. :wink:

Kashgar
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by Kashgar »

Was that the film 'How to Murder Your Wife' in which Jack Lemmon, a confirmed, pathological batchelor ends up married and he and Terry Thomas, who plays his manservant, devise various methods of bumping off his new bride. I think his wife in it was played by Alissa Landi, a really gorgeous Italian actress.

john56peter756brit
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by john56peter756brit »

Could be.He he did a daily newspaper strip.Then he ended up with that woman in question. and if i remember at the end he was in court and was saying to the judge if it was posible how many would if they could get rid of a person with just a simple press of a button. :P

Lew Stringer
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Re: Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by Lew Stringer »

Kashgar wrote:Was that the film 'How to Murder Your Wife' in which Jack Lemmon, a confirmed, pathological batchelor ends up married and he and Terry Thomas, who plays his manservant, devise various methods of bumping off his new bride. I think his wife in it was played by Alissa Landi, a really gorgeous Italian actress.
I don't think I've ever seen that movie all the way through but it does depict the most bizarre lifestyle for a comic artist. He's a wealthy man about town who gets his pals to dress up and enact the story in locations for him to draw. It makes Frank Hampson's methods seem modest by comparison. :wink:

Lew
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
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john56peter756brit
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by john56peter756brit »

well you know what the americans are like but i loved that film and Jack and Terry are superb in it. There used to be an english series about a comic strip artist too years back.Cant remember the title but the actor in it was accused of child molesting.he used to be in lots of things now you dont see him anymore. :?

Brendan McGuire
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Re: Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by Brendan McGuire »

john56peter756brit wrote:There used to be an english series about a comic strip artist too years back.Cant remember the title but the actor in it was accused of child molesting.he used to be in lots of things now you dont see him anymore. :?
I have vague memories of this. I think he used to draw something like Barney Bulldog's Bionic Bone or something. When he worked he always wore a glove puppet on his drawing hand!

john56peter756brit
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by john56peter756brit »

That sound like it could be it. :wink:

Lew Stringer
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Re: Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by Lew Stringer »

john56peter756brit wrote:well you know what the americans are like but i loved that film and Jack and Terry are superb in it. There used to be an english series about a comic strip artist too years back.Cant remember the title but the actor in it was accused of child molesting.he used to be in lots of things now you dont see him anymore. :?

The series was Keep it in the Family, an unfortunate title if the claims you mention were true. It took a rather snobbish attitude to comics, with the artist thinking it was beneath him.

Lew
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
My website: http://www.lewstringer.com
Blog about my own work: http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com/

john56peter756brit
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Joined: 20 May 2006, 13:15
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Tom Merry & Co of 'The Gem'

Post by john56peter756brit »

Thats the name i was thinking of Lew. And it was true about him i remember it being on the news.Mind you i did like the show.

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