Alma Mater matters

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Kashgar
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Alma Mater matters

Post by Kashgar »

Hi Cap, I can't think why you might think Winker Watson might not count in a forum devoted to school strips and stories in the last 100 years. In fact with a lifespan of over forty years I think he is one of the front runners.
Here is a list, in no particular order, of a few more scholastic establishments and their pupils and staff that I think deserve a mention.
Lion's Sandy Dean of Tollgate School.
Eagle's Cornelius Dimworthy of Moorlake School (later Dizzy Dimwitty in Buster)
Bunty's The Four Marys of St Elmo's
Nikki's Redvale Comprehensive School (The Comp)
School Friends Silent Three of St Kits
And as for more comic strips what about western cow-town teacher 'Jammy Mr Sammy' (Dandy) drawn by George Martin as was 'Greedy Pigg' as already mentioned, The Belles of St Lemons (Beano) drawn by Gordon Bell and Sunnyside School (Tip Top) drawn by Roy Wilson. Not to mention the whole host of strips that featured actors who made their names playing schoolmasters, eg Jimmy Edwards (Whacko), and Will Hay and schoolboys eg Cardew Robinson (The Cad of St Fanny's).
And speaking of 'Whacko' this reminds me of a strip with that title in the Dandy in the early 1970's drawn by Ron Spencer which featured Robin Hood and his Merry Men during their schooldays when they were taught by a Darth Vadaresque teacher who was permanently sealed in a suit of armour. And the list goes on.

grumpy old man
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Alma Mater matters

Post by grumpy old man »

I seem to recall that in a summer special I?ve got tucked away somewhere there was a reprint strip Puffin? Billy (named after the pipe smoking teacher!) that was an early Fleetway/Odhams answer to the Bash St Kids. No idea where it originated or when though, over to you Kash!

Lew Stringer
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Re: Alma Mater matters

Post by Lew Stringer »

grumpy old man wrote:I seem to recall that in a summer special I?ve got tucked away somewhere there was a reprint strip Puffin? Billy (named after the pipe smoking teacher!) that was an early Fleetway/Odhams answer to the Bash St Kids. No idea where it originated or when though, over to you Kash!

The Horrors and Puffing Billy was a reprint of The Tiddlers and Super Sir from Wham! (1964). The reprint was in the 1969 Smash! Holiday Special.

Most of those strips are by Leo Baxendale (well, the ones he signed anyway).

Lew
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AndyB
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Re: Alma Mater matters

Post by AndyB »

Kashgar wrote:And speaking of 'Whacko' this reminds me of a strip with that title in the Dandy in the early 1970's drawn by Ron Spencer which featured Robin Hood and his Merry Men during their schooldays when they were taught by a Darth Vadaresque teacher who was permanently sealed in a suit of armour. And the list goes on.
Better than that. Whacko was mediaeval ok, but it was a bunch of generic mediaeval kids. It was replaced by Robin Hood's Schooldays, with Robin getting the better of his teacher (a monk) and the Sheriff of Nottingham each week - it was also drawn by Ron!

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philcom55
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Post by philcom55 »

I always thought that Billy Binns and his Wonderful Specs by Ted Cowan and Bill Mainwaring was a nice attempt to add a modern fantasy/SF element to the traditional 'Greyfriars' formula. Presumably Odhams thought quite highly of it themselves as the character's exploits ran simultaneously in Wham! and Boys' World (originally as "The Boys from Castleford School") for a couple of years during the 1960s.

- Phil Rushton

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Re: Alma Mater matters

Post by Lew Stringer »

philcom55 wrote:I always thought that Billy Binns and his Wonderful Specs by Ted Cowan and Bill Mainwaring was a nice attempt to add a modern fantasy/SF element to the traditional 'Greyfriars' formula. Presumably Odhams thought quite highly of it themselves as the character's exploits ran simultaneously in Wham! and Boys' World (originally as "The Boys from Castleford School") for a couple of years during the 1960s.

- Phil Rushton
Always wondered about this as I never had Boy's World: Did the exact same strip run in both comics or were there two independent storylines?

Lew
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philcom55
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Post by philcom55 »

As I remember it they were different. This practice was well established in America of course where popular features like Superman and Batman appeared in lots of different comics concurrently, and Judge Dredd does something similar today, but offhand I can't think of any other British examples from the 1960s. (Though come to think of it I suppose Wham! also 'borrowed' Dan Dare from the Eagle every week to co-star with his "number one fan": Danny Dare!)

- Phil Rushton

Kashgar
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Post by Kashgar »

Thanks AndyB for pointing out that my memory had truncated two Dandy strips together, Whacko and Robin Hoods Schooldays. It really does pay sometimes to check out source material before voicing forth.

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Post by AndyB »

They were so similar I had trouble not truncating them myself. Too similar a setting.

Could be worse, I only first came across Whacko in the early 80s when I was given an old Dandy book by a teaching colleague of my dad's. Classic!

Kashgar
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Post by Kashgar »

Hi Phil, Just a few details on 'Billy Binns and his Wonderful Specs'. First off the strip 'The Boys of Castleford School' which ran in the first 23 issues of 'Boy's World' features the same school as that which Billy attends but does not feature him. Both stories in this series 'Secret of the Tower' (1-17) and 'The Phantom Rider' (18-23) feature Tom Bannister, Beefy Paget and Benbow of 'the Shell'. Both stories were drawn by Eric Kincaid.
Billy Binns and his Wonderful Specs begins in Boy's World No24(6/763) and then continues till the papers final issue Vol 2 No40(3/10/64). It then moved for a short time into the combined 'Eagle and Boys'World' were it appeared from (10/10/64) to (2/1/65). All the Billy Binns adventures were drawn, as you say, by Bill Mainwaring.
You are correct that the strips that featured in Wham were entirely new and also the work of Bill mainwaring and these appeared in Wham No 1 (20/6/64) - No 74 (13/11/65). The overlap, when two new Billy Binns strips were appearing each week, therefore occured between 20th June 1964 and 2nd Jan 1965 a total of 29 weeks.

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