Terry Bave

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philcom55
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Terry Bave

Post by philcom55 »

To be honest Terry Bave was rather 'after my time' as a comic reader. However, while looking through his autobiography 'A Line in Chuckles' in Golden Fun for any mention of Whacko it occurred to me that some people here might like to see the illustration he drew to introduce it:

Image

...I wonder if anyone can name all the characters shown and say where they appeared? :)

- Phil Rushton

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Peter Gray
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Peter Gray »

What a great piece.it made me smile... :)

Webster
Willy Worry
Bertie Bumpkin
Me and my shadow
Aqua lad
Eager Beaver
Hetty's Horoscope
The Scaries of st Mary's
Andy's Ants
Police Dog and Cat burglar
The Slimms
Donvan Dad
Nipper
Ginger cat
Scaredy cat
Good Guy
Odd Ball
Sammy Shrink
Barney's Badges
Pete's pop-up book
Desert fox
Jeckle and Hyde
Sammy Scribbler
Toy Boy
Ringer Dinger
Trevor's Treasure hunt

and I didn't look any up..

doh! now what was the lady Vampire called again..also its not mighty mouth its...

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

WOW-----you are the IPC hotshot, Peter.

Terry Bave first got my attention with Sammy Shrink ]late 60s]; I felt real sympathy for that minute character.

Raven
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Raven »

Peter Gray wrote:
doh! now what was the lady Vampire called again..also its not mighty mouth its...
Draculass, from Monster Fun.
Peter Gray wrote:
Ginger cat

Jeckle and Hyde

Trevor's Treasure hunt
And they should be Ginger's Tum, Jimmy Jeckle and Master Hide, and Trevor's Treasure Tracker.

There's also Calculator Kid from Whoopee, and Little Saver and Karate Kid from Whizzer and Chips.

Kashgar
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Kashgar »

philcom55 wrote:To be honest Terry Bave was rather 'after my time' as a comic reader.

- Phil Rushton
He was on the cusp for me but I've always thought that he was overused by IPC (which I think this illustration proves) After all a little 'not too bad' can go an awful long way. Maybe I'm just a little too old to have appreciated his work but I've always found it pretty ordinary and workmanlike.

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philcom55
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by philcom55 »

That mirrors my own feelings pretty closely Kashgar - but then people have been saying that things were better in their day since at least the time of the Ancient Greeks!

On a more objective note though I do think that something rather odd happened to British comics during the 1970s. Before that point it seems to me that most humour strips had an overwhelmingly anarchic quality, with heroes who were driven by an almost psychotic egotism (with the possible exception of Baby Crockett). During the Fifties and Sixies I never had much doubt that if the balance of power between Dennis and his dad or the Bash Street Kids and their teachers had been significantly altered by the discovery of a stash of WW2 machine guns adults would have rapidly become an endangered species in Beanotown! In the case of the serious adventure strips, however, the heroes were almost always shown as being highly moral and straight-laced (except for those series based around a villain like the Black Sapper of course - and even then there was inevitably a heroic nemesis to even the scales).

Then for some reason everything changed overnight. With the introduction of titles like Whizzer & Chips the humorous strip underwent a subtle change so that childhood suddenly became a much nicer and more innocent place. Whereas David Law's Dennis the Menace really had been a junior psycopath this new breed of underage hero was merely naughty. Yet at the same time a new breed of adventure comics for slightly older readers began to appear in which the old upright protagonists were swept aside in favour of morally ambiguous anti-heroes such as Dredger, Rat Pack and Judge Dredd. It was almost as though the adventure comics and the humorous ones had changed places!

Bearing this in mind I think it could be argued that Terry Bave's slightly bland style was perfectly suited to the new climate (whereas the more versatile Reg Parlett simply adjusted his art accordingly, as he had already done a number of times before).

- Phil Rushton

Lew Stringer
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Lew Stringer »

philcom55 wrote: Then for some reason everything changed overnight. With the introduction of titles like Whizzer & Chips the humorous strip underwent a subtle change so that childhood suddenly became a much nicer and more innocent place.

- Phil Rushton

All good observations Phil. That's pretty much what happened. I think it comes down to editorial personalities and management, amongst other factors.

I've noted before how IPC changed the tone of UK humour comics when they took control of the Fleetway and Odhams titles. As I understand it, from people who were working there back then, IPC management really didn't care for the wilder aspects of Odhams' humour and made a deliberate attempt to tone comics down. (The Nervs was even considered too objectionable to ever be reprinted!)

Bob Paynter, who became Group Editor of the new humour division was a very good editor but always veered on the side of caution. This was probably sensible to avoid any backlash from outraged parents, but it did make the humour of the comics much tamer than they had been under previous administrations.

Pat Mills and John Wagner, who came in to edit the new adventure titles Battle, Action, and 2000AD were quite the opposite of Bob in their approach, so pushed the envelope. I think that without Pat and John we'd have still been getting unsuccessful clones of Lion such as Thunder, Jet,etc. throughout the 1970s.

The other reason for the change may have been due to IPC creating separate departments for humour and adventure comics. Subsequently the humour comics became pitched towards a younger readership, whilst the adventure comics became tougher. (For a while anyway, until the Action backlash led to "safer" comics like Speed, whilst Tiger continued to be as toothless as it had been for years.)

Presumably IPC's "younger" (and quite successful) approach to their humour comics influenced D.C. Thomson to an extent.

Regarding Terry Bave, his style was quite simplistic but his strips were always very easy to follow (essential for children's comics) and very popular.
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Digifiend
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Digifiend »

To the point that he eventually took over the already popular Winker Watson in The Dandy. Of course by that point (early 90s) the Fleetway work had just about dried up, as all their comics except Buster had ended.

Raven
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Raven »

philcom55 wrote: On a more objective note though I do think that something rather odd happened to British comics during the 1970s. Before that point it seems to me that most humour strips had an overwhelmingly anarchic quality, with heroes who were driven by an almost psychotic egotism (with the possible exception of Baby Crockett). During the Fifties and Sixies I never had much doubt that if the balance of power between Dennis and his dad or the Bash Street Kids and their teachers had been significantly altered by the discovery of a stash of WW2 machine guns adults would have rapidly become an endangered species in Beanotown! In the case of the serious adventure strips, however, the heroes were almost always shown as being highly moral and straight-laced (except for those series based around a villain like the Black Sapper of course - and even then there was inevitably a heroic nemesis to even the scales).

Then for some reason everything changed overnight. With the introduction of titles like Whizzer & Chips the humorous strip underwent a subtle change so that childhood suddenly became a much nicer and more innocent place. Whereas David Law's Dennis the Menace really had been a junior psycopath this new breed of underage hero was merely naughty. Yet at the same time a new breed of adventure comics for slightly older readers began to appear in which the old upright protagonists were swept aside in favour of morally ambiguous anti-heroes such as Dredger, Rat Pack and Judge Dredd. It was almost as though the adventure comics and the humorous ones had changed places!

Bearing this in mind I think it could be argued that Terry Bave's slightly bland style was perfectly suited to the new climate (whereas the more versatile Reg Parlett simply adjusted his art accordingly, as he had already done a number of times before).

- Phil Rushton

I don't recognise the world of Evil Eye, Sweeney Toddler, The Gasworks Gang, World Wide Weirdies, Kids' Court, Scream Inn, the Bed Time Bed Time Books, Faceache, Draculass, Terror TV, Freaky Farm, Hire a Horror, et al. as tame, or a 'highly moral/strait laced' world at all, or really any less "anarchic."

But is it possible that as the 70s arrived, IPC's creators had a more modern, less paranoid view of *children* and, by extension, child characters? As you say, the old D. C. Thomson world often seemed to view children as 'psychotically egotistical' creatures; ones that would run rampant left to their own instinctive drives - and which often had to be physically beaten into submission at the end of each story; not just Dennis - even Roger the Dodger, for the most minor of wangles, would be beaten so hard he'd need a pile of cushions to be able to sit down. Perhaps the view of the child had changed, and become less paranoid ("potential psychopaths" indeed) and more benevolent; more child friendly (as in having a less negative view of children)?

A lot of IPC's kid characters were likeable - but then most kids are - though rarely less than mischievous. But the psychotic child on the loose idea is quite one note. Were strips like Clever Dick, Lolly Pop or Spy School worse for broadening the template - or were they actually more imaginative, taking comics to new places?

I've never really understood the idea of Terry Bave's work being workmanlike, either. Yes, he was prolific, but so was Dudley Watkins, who doesn't tend to be criticised for it. I remember his pages as one of the artists you always turned to first. He could bring anything to life and fill it with personality like Reg Parlett: just as Parlett could give a bedsheet personality (Harry's Haunted House), Bave could do the same with a tiny black spider or a shadow; that's some skill. But though his style was essentially easy going and jolly, he could do scary just as well. His darker characters like Draculass or Master Hide could look genuinely fierce. He was also the artist who - when ghosting other artists' work in annuals - would produce something just as appealing.

I had a strong liking for Bave's work from an early age, because his strips, like Me and My Shadow and Jimmy Jeckle and Master Hyde - each featuring forces of anarchy unleashed -tended to be the best in my weekly Whizzer and Chips.



PS: baby-wise, compare Terry Bave's Nipper (from Whizzer and Chips) with Baby Crockett and see which was the most anarchic nappy-clad character! (Though obviously IPC's Sweeney Toddler beats them both.)

PPS: Oh, and to identify yet another strip in the big picture above, I think I've also spied The Puddin' Tops from early Whizzer and Chips.
Last edited by Raven on 01 Aug 2010, 20:44, edited 2 times in total.

Lew Stringer
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote: I don't recognise the world of Evil Eye, Sweeney Toddler, 'Orrible Hole, The Gasworks Gang, World Wide Weirdies, Kids' Court, Scream Inn, the Bed Time Bed Time Books, Faceache, Draculass, Terror TV, Freaky Farm, Hire a Horror, et al. as tame, or a 'highly moral/strait laced' world at all, or really any less "anarchic."
)

Even compared to the output of Odhams in the Sixties? Growing up I noticed a definite shift in tone, some subtle, some blatant when IPC took control. My feelings about this were confirmed years later when myself and others did work for IPC and were told to "be careful" in what we portrayed.

We could get away with more on Oink! and I tried to bring the same tone to my strips on that as I'd seen in Smash! and Wham! when I was a kid. However, when my strips moved over to Buster I was asked to tone things down. A definite example of the traditional humour comics at IPC being "more careful" in their approach.

I should add that I didn't really mind, as different comics have different approaches so one adapts to suit, and working for Buster was great.
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: Even compared to the output of Odhams in the Sixties?
Not compared to Ken Reid's work, but he was a one-off. Compared to the other fairly pedestrian Odhams stuff: Footsie the Clown, Wiz War, Danny Dare, The Wacks, etc, yes. I think it was overall much more imaginative and outre, and better rendered. I don't think it's accurate to present Ken Reid's work as being *typical* of Odhams's output overall, which was mostly filled with American reprints, anyway. (I think Ken Reid's Odhams sensibility did live on to some degree in Faceache through the 70s.)

Lew Stringer wrote: Growing up I noticed a definite shift in tone, some subtle, some blatant when IPC took control. My feelings about this were confirmed years later when myself and others did work for IPC and were told to "be careful" in what we portrayed ... We could get away with more on Oink! and I tried to bring the same tone to my strips on that as I'd seen in Smash! and Wham! when I was a kid. However, when my strips moved over to Buster I was asked to tone things down. A definite example of the traditional humour comics at IPC being "more careful" in their approach.

Yes, but that was late 80s, wasn't it, a completely different cultural landscape to the early to mid-Seventies, especially regarding children's entertainment. It was the 80s when comics truly became tamer and there was a huge cultural shift in what was deemed appropriate for children. I think the 70s were still pretty wild.

In what sense, for example, was, say, Terror TV "careful" in what it presented?

I know Bob Paynter didn't 'get' Oink, but he was seventeen years older by then. It's still surprising, if he'd loved Leo Baxendale's Badtime Bedtime Books so much.

The people on the IPC adventure titles (Action, 2000 AD, etc.) also seem to complain about what they weren't allowed to get away with ... yet what they did get away with was extraordinary, and it's hard to imagine any other company letting them do it, even for a short amount of time - especially not DC Thomson, whose adventure titles still seemed to be stuck in the Fifties.

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Re: Terry Bave

Post by NP »

Bob Paynter is a great guy and gave me a job when no-one else would.
However...
He was fond of saying "I think we should be careful here..." I got the feeling in the 1970s that he was under instructions from the publisher to create a bland, inoffensive humour product and, give him his due, he was very successful.
As an editor he took more risks than might be apparent looking at Whizzer and Chips, Whoopee, etc. He even took a chance with a bunch of ne'er do wells from the North with a comic in 1989 where we really did push the boundaries a little.

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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Raven »

NP wrote: I got the feeling in the 1970s that he was under instructions from the publisher to create a bland, inoffensive humour product ...
Why would a publisher instruct somebody to create bland publications, though? What would be the point? I can't see this conversation ever happening: "Don't forget, Bob, we want them to be really unstimulating. If these comics aren't completely dull we'll be getting back to you, because our research shows that kids want dull, unexciting stuff to read."

Surely all they'd really care about would be sales figures?

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Re: Terry Bave

Post by AndyB »

Peter - it was Blabbermouth, rather appropriately!

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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote: Even compared to the output of Odhams in the Sixties?
Not compared to Ken Reid's work, but he was a one-off. Compared to the other fairly pedestrian Odhams stuff: Footsie the Clown, Wiz War, Danny Dare, The Wacks, etc, yes. I think it was overall much more imaginative and outre, and better rendered. I don't think it's accurate to present Ken Reid's work as being *typical* of Odhams's output overall, which was mostly filled with American reprints, anyway. (I think Ken Reid's Odhams sensibility did live on to some degree in Faceache through the 70s.)
I don't think I did present Ken's work as being typical of Odhams' output. Leo Baxendale, Graham Allen, Gordon Hogg, Mike Higgs, and Brian Lewis were all doing good robust humour material. However I agree that there were some artists called in to ghost Baxendale who were not as strong, and I agree that IPC had top quality creators.

Odhams' three newsprint comics were not mostly American reprint. The Marvel material didn't even appear in their comics until 1966, two years after Wham! had been running. Pow! had more pages of Marvel material than Smash or Wham, but even then it didn't fill most of the comic.
Raven wrote:In what sense, for example, was, say, Terror TV "careful" in what it presented?
I'm not really familiar with that strip I must admit. In what way wasn't it careful?
Raven wrote:I know Bob Paynter didn't 'get' Oink, but he was seventeen years older by then. It's still surprising, if he'd loved Leo Baxendale's Badtime Bedtime Books so much.
Bob understood what Oink was about. He had the final say on what went into it, but he also understood that Oink's humour wouldn't be suitable for the rest of the comics on his watch because they had a distinctly "safer" tone. In the same way that 2000AD had more freedom than Tiger for example, even though both comics were under the same group editor.
Raven wrote: Why would a publisher instruct somebody to create bland publications, though? What would be the point? I can't see this conversation ever happening: "Don't forget, Bob, we want them to be really unstimulating. If these comics aren't completely dull we'll be getting back to you, because our research shows that kids want dull, unexciting stuff to read."
That's not really what Nigel meant, or how it went down. IPC wanted "safe" comics, not "unexciting" comics. Any dullness was an unfortunate byproduct of being too careful. However, being told to "be careful" doesn't mean the creators will deliberately hack out uninspired material. Good writers and artists work within the limitations to produce the best work they can, and they did, as the high quality of IPC's output demonstrated.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not slagging off IPC's humour comics. I was buying everything they put out in the early to mid 1970s. I was just agreeing with Phil that the tone of UK humour comics definitely shifted at the end of the Sixties/beginning of the Seventies. I was offering reasons as to why, based on the experiences of people who were there and my own experiences later.

Over the decades UK comics have been aimed at an increasingly younger readership because each generation seems to grow up quicker. Naturally publishers feel they should be more responsible about what goes into the pages. It was IPC who began pitching their humour comics younger. Thomsons did a similar thing, as is evident if one compares, for example, a 1974 Beano to one from 1958. But things have to change because what worked for readers in 1958 isn't necessarily going to work for people in 1974, 1996, or 2010.

One can argue, as some of us do, that this is self-defeating because if you pitch comics younger you'll naturally limit your readership, but one assumes that sales and marketing have done enough research into this to know what they're doing. (That's not intended as sarcasm by the way.) :cheers:
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