Terry Bave

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Digifiend
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Digifiend »

Raven wrote:(sounds like you were on the cusp of growing out of the fun comics as W + C started)
Kids tended to read comics to an older age in the 60s and 70s compared to nowadays. 10 wasn't too old for comics back then, but nowadays it seems when you move into high school (age 11), comics (at least Beano and similar) are seen as uncool. :(

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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: I think your opinion is down to taste, but I'm talking about the facts. As Nigel and I explained, IPC editors had a remit to deliberately tone the humour down and make it "safe". Some changes were blatant, (reigning in Ken Reid), others were more subtle (dropping Mike Higgs' pop-culture inspired The Cloak and giving him the tepid Space School for example).

Though I don't think the Space School artwork necessarily sat that comfortably in Whizzer and Chips, it seemed quite an imaginative concept to me.

Lew Stringer wrote: Yes, IPC still produced good quality material but artists and writers were now being told to be "careful".

It was a deliberate shift in tone and policy. Fact, not opinion. Or do you simply not believe that happened?

Words may indeed have been said, but I think you have to judge by the broad output of the period and whether it reveals a flourishing or restraint of the imagination, and I don't think Monster Fun, Shiver and Shake, et al were mostly timid and bland as Nigel does. Bosses rarely understand what's going on or what things are about, creative people often ignore their instructions anyway whenever they can, and you have to bear in mind that a comics empire apparently ruled by a rod of caution eventually produced the likes of Action (which John Sanders strongly defended - so was it okay to court controversy in the slightly older - but still juvenile - titles?) and 2000AD, anyway.

I just don't think it's all as strictly black and white as has been suggested, Lew.
Last edited by Raven on 03 Aug 2010, 10:49, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Raven »

Digifiend wrote:
Raven wrote: Kids tended to read comics to an older age in the 60s and 70s compared to nowadays. 10 wasn't too old for comics back then, but nowadays it seems when you move into high school (age 11), comics (at least Beano and similar) are seen as uncool. :(

I know; I think I was still reading some of the fun comics when I was about 14/15, though you probably tended to veer towards the less juvenile titles after a certain age (around late junior school) - like 2000AD, Starlord and Marvel UK at the time.

But I feel it might be the comics that initially fire your imagination when you're about 5-8 that remain the template of ideal comics for you.
Last edited by Raven on 03 Aug 2010, 11:04, edited 1 time in total.

Lew Stringer
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote: Words may indeed have been said, but I think you have to judge by the broad output of the period and whether it reveals a flourishing or restraint of the imagination, and I don't think Monster Fun, Shiver and Shake, et al were mostly timid and bland as Nigel does. Bosses rarely understand what's going on or what things are about, creative people often ignore their instructions anyway whenever they can, and you have to bear in mind that a comics empire apparently ruled by a rod of caution eventually produced the likes of Action (which John Sanders strongly defended - so was it okay to court controversy in the slightly older - but still juvenile - titles?) and 2000AD, anyway.
Adventure titles are irrelevant to a discussion about the tone of humour comics.
Raven wrote:I just don't think it's all as strictly black and white as has been suggested, Lew.
That's the problem with internet forums. People are so used to reading and posting opinions that whenever solid historical facts are ventured they're also treated as opinions.
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: Adventure titles are irrelevant to a discussion about the tone of humour comics.
It's interesting, though, isn't it, that the same comic publisher would be so keen to be safe from parental/retailer complaints in one area, but seemingly less so in another.

Lew Stringer wrote:That's the problem with internet forums. People are so used to reading and posting opinions that whenever solid historical facts are ventured they're also treated as opinions.
As above, I've not disputed that words were said and instructions given about the humour titles, Lew, but I think that whether the results were bland and timid is a matter of opinion. And we do hear conflicting stories from insiders: for example, we'll hear that Sanders and co. were delighted by the immense profitability and success of Action from one source, whereas Nigel says that they only published comics as a tax loss and were alarmed by any that were hits. We do ultimately have to work out our own interpretations of what are presented as solid historical facts, and the results of the same.

I think it's quite funny how often the Odhams vs. IPC wars can break out here. Nowhere else would such trivia be debated so fiercely!

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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote: Adventure titles are irrelevant to a discussion about the tone of humour comics.
It's interesting, though, isn't it, that the same comic publisher would be so keen to be safe from parental/retailer complaints in one area, but seemingly not in another.
Action was an exception that set out to push the envelope (as did Oink! for the humour line). We all know what happened though unfortunately. The rest of IPC's adventure line (Tiger, Lion, Jet, Scorcher, Score n Roar, Thunder, Speed,etc) were nowhere near as radical. John Wagner came in to toughen up Valiant but by then it was too late; readers had deserted it.
Raven wrote:I think it's quite funny how often the Odhams vs. IPC wars can break out here. Nowhere else would such trivia be debated so fiercely!
It may be a trivial joke for collectors but for some of the creators involved it was very frustrating. Some artists either lost work due to the regime change or found the restraints a blow to job satisfaction. Terry Bave may have thrived on comics that catered to his more conservative tastes but other artists were not so happy.

At the end of the day Raven one can only go by the experiences of people who were there back then, and those of us who worked for IPC over the years. Anything else is just opinion.
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: John Wagner came in to toughen up Valiant but by then it was too late; readers had deserted it.
Well, apparently over 189,000 of them hadn't. It wasn't entirely desperate and friendless!

I wrote:I think it's quite funny how often the Odhams vs. IPC wars can break out here. Nowhere else would such trivia be debated so fiercely!
Lew Stringer wrote:It may be a trivial joke for collectors but for some of the creators involved it was very frustrating. Some artists either lost work due to the regime change or found the restraints a blow to job satisfaction.
Forty years have passed, Lew, and to the great majority of people in 2010, the difference in approach between Odhams and IPC comics is an obscure and inessential matter, to put it cosmically mildly. That's the sense that I mean it is trivia; not to take away from people's feelings at the time. What's "funny" - in a cheering, not mocking, way - is that some of us are still passionate enough about these creations to care about it all.

Lew Stringer wrote:Terry Bave may have thrived on comics that catered to his more conservative tastes but other artists were not so happy.
And Leo Baxendale with his less than conservative tastes seemed to thrive equally, writing his own scripts and producing some of his wildest, weirdest and most experimental work for IPC, including the Bad Time Bed Time Books, which Bob Paynter applauded. All part of the great variety of the comics.

Again, not to take away from any genuine frustrations, but situations where creative people find themselves dissatisfied are not exactly rare, nor is the continual battle between management and creative people in venues of artistic expression.

Lew Stringer wrote:At the end of the day Raven one can only go by the experiences of people who were there back then, and those of us who worked for IPC over the years. Anything else is just opinion.
Ultimately, historical fact is down to whichever person is writing the history books. You must take most seriously the opinions of anyone on the inside, but these opinions conflict so much - the Round Table type interviews in Back Issue are often a good example of this in the comics world - that don't you feel people on the inside can sometimes be so close to things as to not necessarily have a fully objective view of the whole? In my opinion, the thing to do is look at the work in question, listen to the - often conflicting - opinions and anecdotes of insiders, bear in mind people's temperaments and personalities, add a healthy dollop of historical perspective, and go from there.

Though I've no problem at all with contrary opinions - I like having my own potential predjudices challenged, and appreciated people's comments - this is the last contribution I'll make to this particular thread as I don't think there's anything more I can add, and feel there's already a tone of annoyance creeping into the exchange.

My final words in this one are simply: Terry's work worked for me!

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chrissmillie
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by chrissmillie »

Lew Stringer wrote: That's the problem with internet forums. People are so used to reading and posting opinions that whenever solid historical facts are ventured they're also treated as opinions.
:notworthy: This is about the wisest thing ever said.

I don't necessarily mean in relation to this - I don't know the facts - but :offtopic2: how many have 'an opinion' on climate change without ever having read a single peer-reviewed scientific journal? Expertise and scientific rigour is now trusted less than feelings based on something Clarkson said. Pick any subject that requires a bit of depth and it's the same. My opinion is that the Beano was inspired by Whoopee! and started in 1975. It's not based on any research but it's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

Ahem.

Carry on...
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote: John Wagner came in to toughen up Valiant but by then it was too late; readers had deserted it.
Well, apparently over 189,000 of them hadn't. It wasn't entirely desperate and friendless!
Nevertheless, it was canceled at that point.

Raven wrote: Forty years have passed, Lew, and to the great majority of people in 2010, the difference in approach between Odhams and IPC comics is an obscure and inessential matter, to put it cosmically mildly. That's the sense that I mean it is trivia; not to take away from people's feelings at the time. What's "funny" - in a cheering, not mocking, way - is that some of us are still passionate enough about these creations to care about it all.
For me, it's about the bigger picture, not just a few months in 1969. Now this is just opinion I admit but imagine what potential comics could have had without IPC's "sausage factory" (as management called it) churning out comics with the same safe format for years. We'll never know, but what we do know is that British comics had been steadily evolving to cater for the tastes of each generation but once IPC took charge the tone and format of comics pretty much stayed the same for 30 years, losing touch with its readers. ( A notable exception being 2000AD which did offer a different format - longer stories - and different approach, and is still around today.)

Going back to Philcom's original point, which started this debate, I think the deaths of the greats such as Dudley Watkins and Davy Law had quite an effect on the look and tone of DCT humour comics (and Baxendale and Reid's departure to Odhams several years earlier). however with a few exceptions DCT's comics still seemed to have the edge over IPC's from my p.o.v.

Flash forward to the present and I think we're having a humour renaissance from the likes of Jamie Smart, Nigel Parkinson, Laura Howell etc. And who would ever have thought we'd see Hunt Emerson in The Beano? Good times.
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Re: Terry Bave

Post by patpending »

can I just say:

Bertie Bumpkin???

Makes "Cowpat County" look like a comic strip... :D

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