Alma Mater matters

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Kashgar
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Alma Mater matters

Post by Kashgar »

In the wake of the centenary of the boys story paper 'The Gem' which in many ways began the twentieth centuries love affair with the weekly school story I thought it might be quite fitting to open a forum for us to remember those schools and schoolkids that have entertained us over the last hundred years whether the said establishments have been situated in story papers, picture papers or schools of the entirely comic kind.
Some examples to set the ball rolling -
St. Jims - Tom Merry
Greyfriars - Harry Wharton, Billy Bunter.
Red Circle - 'The Hotspur's perennial teaching establishment
Lipstone College - Home of 'The Wizard's Tom Smith who took years to get beyond 'the Lower Third'.
The Bash St. Kids - the greatest comic school of them all.
Greytowers School - Winker Watson's wangling ground in 'The Dandy'
mostly to the detriment of form-master Mr Creep.
Skookum School in 'Buzz' which when it got dark became the haunt of long-dead scholars in 'Spookum School'.
So your homework for this evening is to come up with as many schools, schoolmasters and pupils that you can think of that at one time disracted your attention when you could have been more gainfully employed learning how to use a slide rule or a set of log tables! (My God! Now I,m showing my age. A slide rule now has about the same hi-tech cache as a flint axe-head. A piece of veritable stone-age technology from the 1960's!)

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Beezer
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Post by Beezer »

I used to enjoy these School-Themed strips:

Creature Teacher from 'Monster Fun'
Gasworks Gang from 'Cor!!'
Whacky from 'Cor!!' (He never did manage to prevent getting his Backside
Tanned!! :lol: )
Greedy Pigg from 'Dandy' (A Personal favourite of mine) :)

reker1701
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Post by reker1701 »

Wasn't Tom Smith in the Buddy? Not the Wizard?

confused !

Lew Stringer
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Post by Lew Stringer »

My favourite school strip was The Tiddlers in Wham! Clearly The Bash Street Kids in all but name but by the time I discovered them (1965) Leo Baxendale wasn't drawing Bash Street and had moved to Odhams to do The Tiddlers, so the latter always seemed the liveliest of the two for me.

Even the name of their school sounded working class: Canal Road School. Great stuff, and even when Mike Lacey took over the strip later it still retained the edge over Bash Street in the sixties in my opinion. Obviously the majority disagreed as Wham! was canceled in 1968 whilst The Beano continued to thrive.

Lew
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Kashgar
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Post by Kashgar »

Tom Smith began life in the boys' story paper 'Wizard' in 1947 in the story 'Smith of the Lower Third'. The character in 'Buddy' was loosely based on him.

Kashgar
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Post by Kashgar »

I always loved 'Greedy Pigg' too. Now, thanks to political correctness and the preverse desire to rebel against it at times I find just thinking of his name makes me laugh. A fat teacher that is preoccupied with stealing his pupils grub and what name did 'Dandy' editor Albert Barnes conjure up for him but 'Greedy Pigg'. Brilliant!

Cap Haggis
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Post by Cap Haggis »

Ah the TIddlers an underated strip - what about the classic (and one of my all time favs) "Swots and The Blotts" :D or the "Dolls of St Dominics" (love the title banner to that one by Leo as well) - Does "Winker Watson" count?
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Lew Stringer
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Re: Alma Mater matters

Post by Lew Stringer »

Cap Haggis wrote:Ah the TIddlers an underated strip - what about the classic (and one of my all time favs) "Swots and The Blotts" :D or the "Dolls of St Dominics" (love the title banner to that one by Leo as well) - Does "Winker Watson" count?

Winker Watson drawn by the great Eric Roberts was always good fun!

Swots and Blots was enjoyable too. By the way, The Dolls of St.Dominics was not drawn by Baxendale, not even the title banner. It looks like the work of Mike Lacey. Definitely not Baxendale at any rate, who never contributed to Pow!. One of the Dolls strips can be seen here:

http://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2007/03 ... xties.html

Lew

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Steve Bright
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Post by Steve Bright »

Great memories all!

If I may be a little self-indulgent, I wrote the occasional script for Nutty's School Belles (a St Trinian-inspired saga) several centuries ago as a 19-year-old sub editor. The scripts were hardly classics, but the life given to them by the wonderful Evi Debono was magnificent. He didn't take much encouragement and always gave you twice as much as you'd ask for in the script, with great angles and perspectives in every frame. The pages often arrived bearing coffee stains and cigarette burns, with indications of some very heavy pencilling going on, but the printed artwork was clean, crisp and technically excellent, with great characterisation, and wonderfully flowing action sequences.

Evi's work deserves far more recognition than it gets.
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Steve Bright
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Re: Alma Mater matters

Post by Steve Bright »

Lew Stringer wrote:...By the way, The Dolls of St.Dominics was not drawn by Baxendale, not even the title banner. It looks like the work of Mike Lacey. Definitely not Baxendale at any rate, who never contributed to Pow!. One of the Dolls strips can be seen here:

http://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2007/03 ... xties.html

Lew
That wouldn't be Ron Spencer by any chance, Lew, who also did a fantastic post-Baxendale job on Little Plum?
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Beezer
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Post by Beezer »

There's a bit of a tie-in here with this thread and the 'Corporal Punishment in Comics' thread.

With all these school-Themed strips,how many Thrashings/Spankings/Slipperings were handed out to these poor kids :lol:

I don't know if it's just me,but I always found it amusing to see the 'class Bully' given 6 of the best by 'Teach' or the irate Headmaster :lol:
The school-Themed strips produced some of the great classic characters & stories of comic book history.

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Re: Alma Mater matters

Post by Lew Stringer »

Steve Bright wrote:Great memories all!

If I may be a little self-indulgent, I wrote the occasional script for Nutty's School Belles (a St Trinian-inspired saga) several centuries ago as a 19-year-old sub editor. The scripts were hardly classics, but the life given to them by the wonderful Evi Debono was magnificent. He didn't take much encouragement and always gave you twice as much as you'd ask for in the script, with great angles and perspectives in every frame. The pages often arrived bearing coffee stains and cigarette burns, with indications of some very heavy pencilling going on, but the printed artwork was clean, crisp and technically excellent, with great characterisation, and wonderfully flowing action sequences.

Evi's work deserves far more recognition than it gets.

Actually I think that's the first time I've heard who drew that strip! Thanks Steve. Yes, it was definitely one of the standout strips of Nutty, with its unusual angles. Any idea what Evi Debono is doing now?

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

Lew Stringer
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Re: Alma Mater matters

Post by Lew Stringer »

Steve Bright wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote:...By the way, The Dolls of St.Dominics was not drawn by Baxendale, not even the title banner. It looks like the work of Mike Lacey. Definitely not Baxendale at any rate, who never contributed to Pow!. One of the Dolls strips can be seen here:

http://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2007/03 ... xties.html

Lew
That wouldn't be Ron Spencer by any chance, Lew, who also did a fantastic post-Baxendale job on Little Plum?

Now you mention it it does look very much like Ron Spencer's artwork, although I wouldn't have thought he worked for Odhams. It was usually Mike Lacey, Mike Brown, Graham Allen or Artie Jackson who followed the Baxendale style in the Power Comics but you may be right.

(Having said that, Graham Allen was never a Baxendale imitator as such, as he had his own distinct style which lent itself to draw both humour (The Nervs in Smash!) and adventure (Typhoon Tracy in Tiger). Unfortunately his sixties work is still often confused with Leo's.)

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/

Cap Haggis
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Post by Cap Haggis »

Lew - I never realised the Leo Baxendale didnt draw the "Dolls" title banner , I thought he might not have drawn the strip itself -A a brilliant masthead though very funny - thanks for the info
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AndyB
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Post by AndyB »

It's Ron Spencer all right.

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