Bill Ritchie

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Does anyone know about how old Keith Reynolds is now? I ask this because I know his cartoons were appearing alongside Bill's in the Weekly News, and I haven't seen any of his work in a 'mainstream' comic since Tim Traveller was dropped from the Beano.
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

I thought I heard that he passed away recently, Jonny.....can anyone else confirm this sad news [if it's true?]

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Digifiend
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by Digifiend »

If that's the case, this website needs updating - no mention of it.

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by Jonny Whizz »

I don't think it's been mentioned on here.
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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philcom55
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by philcom55 »

Peter Gray wrote:Love the picture of The Bunty characters...
One particularly nice thing about Bill's stories was the way in which he regularly referred to the work of other Thomson artists in them. For example Baby Crockett often based his daydream adventures on strips that he'd read in his own copy of the Beezer, as in the two examples shown below:

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Incidentally, how about extending Kashgar's Ritchie 'stripography' beyond the Beezer to include all his regular features throughout the DC Thomson titles? (eg Bimbo, Sparky, Beano, Dandy, Bunty, Buzz, Topper, Hotspur, etc... ) I'd be willing to bet that he was one of the most prolific comic artists of his generation, yet through it all the quality of his work never once faltered. A true professional in the best sense of the word!

- Phil Rushton

STARBOY
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by STARBOY »

Digi: the Weekly News certainly used to have an edition in the Glasgow/Lanarkshire area that had the banner title the "Glasgow Weekly News" in the late 60s and early 70s, I assumed thats whet it was called (I remember seeing it valled this in places like Carlise and Blackpool as well, but maybe it had other regional/city titles in other places) but then, most of its news was Glasgow and Scottish based (rather than UK based with a Scots twist as it seems to be now ) it changed th the Weekly News title a while ago and seems more UK friendly now - nice wee paper I still read it now and then.

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Adding to Phil's Baby Crockett examples featuring cross overs from other Beezer strips, I saw another Baby Crockett story in Classics where he got covered in feathers as he'd been eating sticky candy floss, and Colonel Blink mistook him for a parrot!
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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Peter Gray
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by Peter Gray »

I have that Showboat one in my collection.great colouring by Bill those back pages..

Also rmemeber seeing that in Best of Beezer the numbskulls tribute..which is wonderful..a giraffe head would be funny..

I would also love to see what else he has drawn..
only when Kashgar has time.. it is helping me in my blog posts on Bill.....the Beezer list means I can add two more I've missed like Hairy Dan the football fan..Charlie Chick..

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

BILL'S work sometimes looked deceptively simple [ a skill in itself], but I loved how he often threw in complex layouts which added great variety and interest to his strips; he was forever experimenting, and his drawings of exotic animals was always accomplished and amusing...

Other times, an entire strip would be deliberately sparse and 'economical': great variety from this very versatile artist.

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stevezodiac
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by stevezodiac »

The Weekly News was originally called Thomson's Weekly back in the mid 19th century and although it is published in Glasgow is still a "Dundee" paper. After all The Sunday Post is published in Glasgow as well but we all think of it as part of the Dundee Thomson's empire. Then again it could be they are printed in Glasgow rather than having their editorial offices there.

BTW it was me who posted the two Bunty pages where Bill had drawn the Bunty offices and staff. One was the 1500th and the other may have been the 30th birthday issue. They were published just a few months apart. I'll find the original post and update it.

Kashgar
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by Kashgar »

philcom55 wrote:Here are two of Bill's longest-running characters, Toots and Haggis, dancing together in happier times on the occasion of Bunty's 1500th edition in 1986, while various past stars (including the Balloon of Doom and Flopear! ) and Thomson staffers (such as the editor giving a 'thumbs up' sign from the doorway) look on approvingly. (Offhand I can't remember if it's been posted here before)

Image

- Phil Rushton
The guy giving the thumbs up was current Bunty editor at the time Ian Munro while the girl sitting on the desk is Anne Kemp who would become the final editor of the paper. The guy in the foreground wearing the glasses could well be original editor Harold Moon as it certainly looks like him. If so though he can only be at the party in spirit as he'd been dead for some years by then.

Re Bill's work in Thomson comics other than the Beezer from memory I can't think of anything significant that he contributed to the Dandy although he did draw Beryl the Peril in the early years of the Dandy Comic Library along with issues featuring Baby Crockett.
Similarly he did very little for the Topper except in 1980 reviving Barney Bulldog from Sparky for a short time and Kong in 1989.
Sparky
John Bull Dogg (Barney Bulldog) and the Moonsters obviously spring to mind.
Beano
Clumsy Claude - the blunder boy 653-696
Uncle Windbag - that story teller feller 744-763
Pooch 767-799
Two-Gun Tony - the King Street Cowboy 1818-1891
Sweet Sue 1892-1969
Cracker
Simple Spyman
Buzz
Twitz of the Ritz
Plug
Supporting Life

There are no doubt others but the above are what spring to mind/ or were checkable. List of his early work for the Thomson boys' papers to follow

Phoenix
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by Phoenix »

Kashgar wrote:the girl sitting on the desk is Anne Kemp who would become the final editor of the paper.
Can you please check this information, Kashgar, because a few years ago I asked Calum Laird about the editors of Thomsons' girls' papers and he told me that although there had been a fair number of female sub-editors over the years, no girls' paper ever had a female editor. I'm concerned because I have reproduced Calum's information in print.

Classic Comics
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by Classic Comics »

Phoenix wrote:
Kashgar wrote:the girl sitting on the desk is Anne Kemp who would become the final editor of the paper.
Can you please check this information, Kashgar, because a few years ago I asked Calum Laird about the editors of Thomsons' girls' papers and he told me that although there had been a fair number of female sub-editors over the years, no girls' paper ever had a female editor. I'm concerned because I have reproduced Calum's information in print.
If memory serves, I'm pretty sure Anne Kemp was the last editor of the Bunty. Our more recent girls papers like Hi, Animals & You, Cool and Goody Bag Mag have always had female editors, although they have been predominantly magazines, so actual comic content has been minimal.

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

Ian Gray's wife was the editor of one of the teen mags, but I'm not quite sure which one......

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philcom55
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Re: Bill Ritchie

Post by philcom55 »

It's interesting to see that he had such a minimal involvement with Topper. It's oddly appropriate that, with the exception of Sparky, most of Bill's major contributions appeared in comics beginning with the letter 'B': Beezer, Beano, Bunty, Bimbo and Buzz. In fact it could be argued that his 'Twits of the Ritz' was the most important strip in early issues of the latter title where it took up the entire colour centrespread, and even when this was replaced he continued to be represented by the medieval misadventures of 'Good Knight':

Image

- Phil Rushton

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