Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

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intune
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Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by intune » 23 Apr 2009, 18:23

I've always been a big fan of Billy Whizz, it's consistantly been one of my favs (though the new retro Minnie is catching up!)

How did Billy get his ability to live at the speed of whizz? His parents are normal, so has it ever been explained?
Would love to know!

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by kevf » 23 Apr 2009, 21:40

Do any British funny characters have "origins" or back stories, in the style of American superheroes? I think they just 'are'.

I don't know Billy The Cat's origin, for example. Or General Jumbo. That is to say I've been told their origins, but never read the strip where those were told. Has anyone? Unlike Batman or Superman, these are not tales that get re-told for new generations of readers.

Writing the Bash St Kids Adventures I often wondered about characters' pasts but could rarely find answers. For example is Cuthbert Cringeworthy actually Teacher's illegitimate son? He was in my stories, though he might also be a nephew (I drew his Dad as a spitting image of Teacher in one story), does anyone know otherwise?

And Lord Snooty's parents. What have we ever been told of them? In my story Return Of The Snoot my original script had Snooty being so delighted at having a castle full of kids then saddened that they were going to return to their parents because, as Toots got him to explain, he was an orphan. Euan had me rewrite this so we had a nonsense ending about turning the castle into a theme park instead. As for Snooty's dead parents, has that ever been explored properly?

Any more Beano origins out there waiting to be read or written?
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Re: Billy Whizz - how ng did he get his skill?

Post by colcool007 » 23 Apr 2009, 21:51

With regards to General Jumbo, it was always made obvious that his friendship with Prof Carter was the origin to Alfie Jumbo having a New 'Model' Army to command.

But as to Billy having his super-speed, I don't recall it ever being explained.
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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by Steve Henderson » 23 Apr 2009, 22:47

Perhaps he could borrow one of Gnashers he has had more 'How he met Dennis' stories than he needs! Even though we all know how it started at the Dog show! Still its nice to wonder these things!

Interesting how you made Cuthbert teachers nephew Kev, Leo Baxendale made us imagine that Teacher and Mrs Teacher were brother and sister! Thats one messed up family tree ha ha Its not hard to imagine either story though keeps the imagination going and adds to the appeal!

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by STARBOY » 23 Apr 2009, 22:54

I have to say that it never bothered me(probably never occured to me) that characters like Billy Whizz, Brassneck etc should have an origin, they were just fun stories not to be taken seriously and their "power" etc was th ereason for the fun. Characters like The Spider, Captain Hornet etc probably made me wonder more although UK characters (heroes / villains) were never that good to me (although I like the Spider a lot - was he even human with those pointy ears). I liked the UK stories like House of Dollman, Spellbinder, Toyman, Von Hoffman, Oodball Oates ,footy strips, and the funnies best where the origins were given briefly or were a reason for the story (OodballOates herbs, Spellbinders touchstone, Kellys eye amullet etc). However, in saying that it would be good to know how Brassneck , the CLoak, Eagle Eye etc came about - and how on Earth did Spunky get a giant talking Spider (let alone that name!!!!??)

General Jumbo (Alfie Johnston, nickname Jumbo) was palying football with hi spals when the ball went over a fence, he went to collect his ball and was attacked by model planes , tanks etc, which are part of an experimental model army by Prof Carter in whos garden the ball landed - Alfie saved Prof from being knocked down and as a reward , Prof Carter made Jumbo General of his model army.

Billy the Cat and Katies strength, agility etc have never been explained. However, Billy's back story is that he (William Grange) lived with his Auntie Mabel since both his paerent (both in the Police)were killed by Robbers making a getaway (run over in the robbers car) since then he used his strength to fight crime - his costume and weapons were designed by his father who was also an inventor.

Criibbed from the excellent International Hero site

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by steelclaw » 24 Apr 2009, 19:04

Do you think Billy's mum and dad might have been on speed. :oops:

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by Kashgar » 25 Apr 2009, 10:18

Out and out comic characters like Billy Whizz rarely have 'origins' as such so from his first appearance he just 'whizzed'. Comic adventure strip characters on the other hand do tend to have some sort of explanation, however perfunctory, for their existence. To use two of the examples cited Brassneck had a most definite origin in that he was built by Charley Brand's inventor uncle Sam to give the boy a playmate and Scamper the spider pal of Spunky Bruce ( the comic irony of the surname was, I'm sure, hardly accidental given the nature of creature involved) emerged from the depths of a subterranean bore-hole in an old abandoned mining works on the moors while Spunky was out for a walk one day.

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by AndyB » 25 Apr 2009, 11:38

Cuthbert's father looks quite like Teacher, if you go back to the 1980s annuals - while Leo was responsible for the original designs etc (apart from Cuthbert for obvious reasons), I think that the information in the strips Dave Sutherland drew in the 1970s and 1980s could be considered "official" where they conflict.

I do know that two of the kids' real names are Sidney Pye, Percival Proudfoot Plugsley, and that Smiffy's real surname is Smith from a Hornet text story printed in one of the anniversary anthologies. As apart from Plug, they don't seem to have been given real names in the Beano, the Hornet names could probably be considered definitive.

I think that Jumbo's first story appeared in one of the anthologies, and I may also have seen Billy's original, but maybe not.

As for Billy - I don't think there was ever an explanation. He just is, and it's a skill that jumps generations, because Grandpa Whizz is fast too.

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by Peter Gray » 25 Apr 2009, 17:46

Throughout History there have been Billy Whizz ancestors...like at Waterloo...Billy has often looked at his photo album or history book..so a fast Gene!!

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by Digifiend » 25 Apr 2009, 22:47

AndyB wrote:Cuthbert's father looks quite like Teacher, if you go back to the 1980s annuals - while Leo was responsible for the original designs etc (apart from Cuthbert for obvious reasons), I think that the information in the strips Dave Sutherland drew in the 1970s and 1980s could be considered "official" where they conflict.

I do know that two of the kids' real names are Sidney Pye, Percival Proudfoot Plugsley, and that Smiffy's real surname is Smith from a Hornet text story printed in one of the anniversary anthologies. As apart from Plug, they don't seem to have been given real names in the Beano, the Hornet names could probably be considered definitive.

I think that Jumbo's first story appeared in one of the anthologies, and I may also have seen Billy's original, but maybe not.
It wasn't Hornet, it was The Wizard. Billy the Cat's debut has been in Classics, as well as the 70th anniversary collectors edition. Not sure about Billy Whizz's debut, if you meant him not the Cat.

Re: Bash Street - Toots real name is Kate Pye apparently. Spotty didn't debut until 1958, and the text stories are from 1955, so he has no full name. Plug's was changed when Plug comic launched in 1977 - Wikipedia says that it used to be Claude. Smiffy is James Smith (mentioned in the same 60 years book which you refer to), Danny's full name is Danny "Death's Head" Morgan, and I think the text Bash Street which appeared in Classics last year named Janitor as Sgt Bull - ex-Army, presumably in World War II.

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by Digifiend » 25 Apr 2009, 22:51

Kashgar wrote:Brassneck had a most definite origin in that he was built by Charley Brand's inventor uncle Sam to give the boy a playmate.
The 80s version changed this: there are two early Dandy Comic Libraries which explain it as Brassneck being built by a mad scientist, not unlike Frankenstein. When Brassneck escapes, he builds a second robot, Bullneck, to apprehend him. Of course Brassneck and Charley win the day both times.

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by Jonny Whizz » 04 May 2009, 17:35

Regarding Smiffy, I seem to recall in one Classics from the Comics that his full name was Claude Smith.
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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by tony ingram » 13 May 2009, 12:29

AndyB wrote:Cuthbert's father looks quite like Teacher, if you go back to the 1980s annuals - while Leo was responsible for the original designs etc (apart from Cuthbert for obvious reasons), I think that the information in the strips Dave Sutherland drew in the 1970s and 1980s could be considered "official" where they conflict.

I do know that two of the kids' real names are Sidney Pye, Percival Proudfoot Plugsley, and that Smiffy's real surname is Smith from a Hornet text story printed in one of the anniversary anthologies. As apart from Plug, they don't seem to have been given real names in the Beano, the Hornet names could probably be considered definitive.
Just to add, as I recall Smiffy's full name was once given in The Beano as James Smith. This has also been cited in at least one reference book I've read, though I can't recall offhand which one.

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by tolworthy » 13 May 2009, 19:40

AndyB wrote:it's a skill that jumps generations, because Grandpa Whizz is fast too.
Peter Gray wrote:Throughout History there have been Billy Whizz ancestors...like at Waterloo...Billy has often looked at his photo album or history book..so a fast Gene!!
Let's see what we know:

He can reach superhuman speeds (e.g. Everest and back in a morning). This implies extreme adaptations to muscles, joints, tendons, respiratory system, right down to the cellular level to deliver prolonged extreme bursts of energy. Probably skin (for heat and abrasion at high speed) and every other part too.

This has to be an entirely separate subspecies (homo accelero?) so it seems highly unlikely that this would skip a generation.

What he does is inherently highly dangerous, difficult to hide, and likely to cause fear among his community if uncontrolled.

He was born at the height of the Cold War and has been constantly monitored ever since (e.g. weekly updates in the Beano)

His abilities would be extremely useful to any government, particularly in conflict zones. Indeed, even the body of a dead Wizz family member would be useful to study - e.g. for defence research purposes.

I conclude that his birth parents are either dead or at some secret location. The reason we don't know his full origin? That's how the government wants it.
Last edited by tolworthy on 13 May 2009, 19:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Billy Whizz - how did he get his skill?

Post by tony ingram » 13 May 2009, 19:48

tolworthy wrote:
AndyB wrote:it's a skill that jumps generations, because Grandpa Whizz is fast too.
Peter Gray wrote:Throughout History there have been Billy Whizz ancestors...like at Waterloo...Billy has often looked at his photo album or history book..so a fast Gene!!
Let's see what we know:

He can reach superhuman speeds (e.g. Everest and back in a morning). This implies extreme adaptations to muscles, joints, tendons, respiratory system, right down to the cellular level to deliver prolonged extreme bursts of energy. Probably skin (for heat and abrasion at high speed) and every other part too.

This has to be an entirely separate subspecies (homo accelero?) so it seems highly unlikely that this would skip a generation.

What he does is both inherently highly dangerous, likely to cause fear among his community if uncontrolled, and would be extremely useful to any government.

He was born at the height of the Cold War and has been constantly monitored ever since (e.g. weekly updates in the Beano)

I conclude that his birth parents are either dead or at some secret location. The reason we don't know his full origin? The government doesn't want us to know.
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