'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

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Shaqui
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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Shaqui »

Has anyone heard of an artist working for DC Thomson called John (or Jon) Fox? He apparently worked on 'I Spy', 'Mr Bubbles' and a robot strip called (I think, not being that as au fait with DCT material) 'Clanky', in the late 1960s...

Also, can anyone tell me the comics these strips appeared in - Kim Stevens (being a fan) tells me 'I Spy' was in 'Sparky'...

Any info on these much appreciated.

8)

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Re: 'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Lew Stringer »

Shaqui wrote:Has anyone heard of an artist working for DC Thomson called John (or Jon) Fox? He apparently worked on 'I Spy', 'Mr Bubbles' and a robot strip called (I think, not being that as au fait with DCT material) 'Clanky', in the late 1960s...

Also, can anyone tell me the comics these strips appeared in - Kim Stevens (being a fan) tells me 'I Spy' was in 'Sparky'...

Any info on these much appreciated.

8)

All of those strips were in Sparky. (It's Klanky with a K by the way. ;-))

I think he only drew I-Spy for a short while. (Might be wrong.) The definitive I-Spy strips were by Les Barton and then Brian Walker.

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Shaqui
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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Shaqui »

Cheers Lew. Yes, the info I have was his era was 1969-1970 at most.

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Kashgar
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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Kashgar »

Hi Shaqui, I'll check out the John Fox/Sparky connection in the next few days and see what I can come up with.
As Lew has already pointed out 'I Spy', early on, was mainly the work of Les Barton.
'Klanky' on the other hand was one of those strips that seemed to change its artist every other week, but two notable contributors were Bob Webster and our old friend Alan Philpott, sadly when he was passed his best.
Mr Bubbles was unusual in that the main artist working on it was actually a woman named Pam Chapeau who drifted into working for Sparky via the Thomson girls papers.
More anon.

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Re: 'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Shaqui »

Hi! :D
Kashgar wrote:Hi Shaqui, I'll check out the John Fox/Sparky connection in the next few days and see what I can come up with.
As Lew has already pointed out 'I Spy', early on, was mainly the work of Les Barton.


I was told the 'I Spy' stuff had to follow the style of the existing strips so these may be more difficult to identify.
Kashgar wrote:'Klanky' on the other hand was one of those strips that seemed to change its artist every other week, but two notable contributors were Bob Webster and our old friend Alan Philpott, sadly when he was passed his best.


I had a look at 'Sparky' from late 1969, and couldn't see anything I would say was Fox's style. Unless I was mistaken I thought Terry Patrick was doing some during this era?
Kashgar wrote:Mr Bubbles was unusual in that the main artist working on it was actually a woman named Pam Chapeau who drifted into working for Sparky via the Thomson girls papers.


Ah yes, I thought I recognised it! No Fox work apparent but didn't have time to go on to 1970... :(

Look forward to your findings and comments.

:)

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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Kashgar »

On checking Sparky 1969-1970 there is certainly no work by Fox on either of the two series of Klanky that were published during this period. The 1969 series being entirely drawn by Terry Patrick and the 1970 follow-up by C. D Bagnall. Similarly there isn't anything obviously not Les Barton about the early 'I Spy' strips. ' Mr Bubbles' however has got a couple of artists working on it, other than Pam Chapeau, who may be worth checking out. Examples of their work appear in Sparky issues 277. 278, 279, 281, 285, 286 and 290.

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Shaqui
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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Shaqui »

Thanks Kashgar - that's very interesting to know. I should add this info came direct from 'John Fox' himself, which is actually a non-de-plume. (I should add it's not any of the artists you mention also)

As the obvious DCT expert, would you know if there were any 'Sparky' summer/holiday specials during this period. Steve Holland and I have discussed the fact between ourselves that some artists recall doing a strip, when it may actually have been for specials and/or annuals and not the proper run. The only way to find out is to wade through all these! :(

Thank again for having a look - I'm sure we'll find the strips at some point!

8)

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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Peter Gray »

I liked Mr Bubbles.....good imagination.....interesting a women drew it...

what other strips did Pam draw....?

Mr Bubbles lasted a long time and rightly a popular strip... 8)

Always fun when it was a 2 part story....with 2 characters getting wishes....or an animal get his wish come true.. :lol:

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Re: 'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Kashgar »

Shaqui wrote:Thanks Kashgar - that's very interesting to know. I should add this info came direct from 'John Fox' himself, which is actually a non-de-plume. (I should add it's not any of the artists you mention also)

As the obvious DCT expert, would you know if there were any 'Sparky' summer/holiday specials during this period. Steve Holland and I have discussed the fact between ourselves that some artists recall doing a strip, when it may actually have been for specials and/or annuals and not the proper run. The only way to find out is to wade through all these! :(

Thank again for having a look - I'm sure we'll find the strips at some point!

8)
Thomsons never published a Sparky summer special. The only spin-off title that Sparky ever had was the Sparky Book published between 1967 and 1980. It's interesting that Mr 'Fox' remembers drawing these strips at this time so maybe his versions of 'Klanky' and 'I Spy' did appear in one or other of the annuals. I'll have a look and get back to you. I'll also have a look for the issue of 'British Comic World' in which Alan and David Coates did an in-depth feature on 'I Spy' and Les Barton just in case they mention another artist being involved.

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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Kashgar »

Checked the 'Sparky' books over the relevant period and again not much joy. 'Klanky' first appeared in a Sparky book in 1968 and all his annual strips 1968-1972 were drawn by Bob Webster with the exception of 1971 which was the work of Terry Patrick. Similarly 'I Spy' who first appeared in an annual in 1971 was drawn in both the 1971 and 1972 books by Les Barton and 'Mr Bubbles' who first turned up in the 1972 book features in two strips in that edition but with both drawn by Pam Chapeau. An unknown artist does then draw Klanky in the 1973-1975 editions but this would appear to be too late unless they filed the artwork away for a time.
When Mr 'Fox' says he worked on these strips are we talking the odd try-out strip or did he have a more substantial involvement?

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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Shaqui »

I went to a toy fair today and by sheer chance a seller had pile of 'Victor' comics among which was a solitary issue of 'Sparky' from mid-1972. John Fox is the artist on both 'Klanky' and 'Mr Bubbles' in this issue.

I'm not sure about 'I Spy', which unusually is a 2 page colour centre, but at least I've confirmed his connection to these strips now.

Fox left the country to live in Spain in 1972 so even though I was aware he was working on other UK material up to this point, I didn't think the 'Sparky' material was in tandem with this.

8)

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Re: 'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by colcool007 »

Shaqui wrote:I went to a toy fair today and by sheer chance a seller had pile of 'Victor' comics among which was a solitary issue of 'Sparky' from mid-1972. John Fox is the artist on both 'Klanky' and 'Mr Bubbles' in this issue...
By chance, you didn't pick up the Victors as well did you? :)
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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Shaqui »

Sorry Col - no need for them but if you want me to look next time I can do. I know the seller has had them for some time and hasn't shifted them...

:oops:

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'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by colcool007 »

Would appreciate it. Will PM you the numbers that I am looking for in 1972 and you can then let me know the pain that it will cause me! :)
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Re: 'I Spy' & 'Mr Bubbles' - artist John Fox

Post by Kashgar »

Shaqui wrote:I went to a toy fair today and by sheer chance a seller had pile of 'Victor' comics among which was a solitary issue of 'Sparky' from mid-1972. John Fox is the artist on both 'Klanky' and 'Mr Bubbles' in this issue.

I'm not sure about 'I Spy', which unusually is a 2 page colour centre, but at least I've confirmed his connection to these strips now.

Fox left the country to live in Spain in 1972 so even though I was aware he was working on other UK material up to this point, I didn't think the 'Sparky' material was in tandem with this.

8)
Never checked Sparky as far as 1972. Only 1969-1970 as mentioned originally. By the way which 1972 issue contained the John Fox stuff as it would be interesting to check out his style?

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