SPARKY "Writers"

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alanultron5
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SPARKY "Writers"

Post by alanultron5 »

This could well be a very short thread as this data is `Very` scarce indeed!

In the first couple-or so- of the Sparky comics life, many old storylines were re-cycled from the 1930's 40's Dandy/Beano etc. Because Sparky re-used such old characters as `Keyhole Kate` `Hungry Horace` `Freddy the Fearless Fly` and so on this was clearly a cost saving device. I do wonder though on strips such as "The Moonsters" "Dave & Dora" if new writers had to be employed- who might they be?

By 1967 three writers joined the comic; Gordon Cook, Mike Baird and Peter Clark. Mike Baird I know scripted "L.Cars" and Peter Clark was the Genius behind the finest "I.Spy" strips 1969-72. Later George Unwin Gllencairn wrote the 1974-76 "I.Spy" scripts and its believed that Les Barton wrote the first eight episodes (1969) of the strip.

Rab Smith once informed me that artist on "Puss and Boots" John Geering scripted most of those!

If anyone can add any more to this short list- please do-! :) :)
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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

John Geering wrote some of the later Puss n Boots strips, Alan, according to what a DCT Editor told me.

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Digifiend
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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by Digifiend »

Doesn't surprise me that some of the old characters Sparky resurrected also used old scripts. Would the editor or his subs have done any writing themselves?

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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by philcom55 »

I wonder if Ian Chisolm did any writing himself? (or did DC Thomson frown on their editors buying scripts from themselves?).

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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

From what I gather, Phil---at D C Thomson at least----all the Editors were capable---and indeed expected---to come up with at least some scripts and stories---or at the very least, to come up with suggestions that could kick-start an idea for a writer to build upon----it was part of the actual job of editing.

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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by philcom55 »

I know there was a period when Fleetway's editors were officially barred from moonlighting as scripters - though most of them got round this rule in one way or another as writing provided a major part of their income. 'Chiz' seems to have been a particularly creative individual, to the extent that he is said to have been instrumental in the creation of Dennis the Menace.

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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by Lew Stringer »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:From what I gather, Phil---at D C Thomson at least----all the Editors were capable---and indeed expected---to come up with at least some scripts and stories---or at the very least, to come up with suggestions that could kick-start an idea for a writer to build upon----it was part of the actual job of editing.
Strips are still written by the staff to this day, although the artists are often asked to write their own strips now too, if we're so inclined. Freelance writers are also used.
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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by Lew Stringer »

philcom55 wrote:I know there was a period when Fleetway's editors were officially barred from moonlighting as scripters - though most of them got round this rule in one way or another as writing provided a major part of their income. 'Chiz' seems to have been a particularly creative individual, to the extent that he is said to have been instrumental in the creation of Dennis the Menace.
As I understand it, at Thomsons scriptwriting is part of the job for editorial staff. It's not an extra income like it was at some publishers.
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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by Raven »

alanultron5 wrote: Rab Smith once informed me that artist on "Puss and Boots" John Geering scripted most of those!
The classic period Puss and Boots weren't written by John Geering, but by a writer who eventually went on to be a journalist, as I recall, but I can't remember his name!

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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by alanultron5 »

Writers were not at a premium in the comics early years as so many old stories from other DCT titles were used! Even other titles 1960s storylines were re-cycled in Sparky then! Thank you for input folks!
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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

Raven: I once had an Editor three feet away from me, with a pile of John Geering's original Puss n Boots artwork [just freshly brought in by John himself] inkings right slap in between the middle of the desk in front of us, and I was given time to look through these cartoons: JG definitely wrote this one and a few others, and these were for the Dandy comic library in the mid-80s, probably after the weekly Puss n Boots outings, and although these were past the 'classic' era of the strip, some of even these later frames were striking and unforgettable, especially when seen at 'first generation'.

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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by philcom55 »

I always wondered if the 'Big Chiz' was writing Sparky People himself.

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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by alanultron5 »

It would be nice to know how many wrote for the comic- and not just the fun strips! I would dearly love to know who wrote the superb "Willy the Woeful Wizard" strip (1966-67). Certainly by mid 1967 the `powers that be` at Sparky must have decided that recycling old scripts had to be cut down on and I think that Messrs "Cook, Baird & Clark" were brought in as writers for the big re-vamp and change of direction in September 1967.

It would be great if we could winkle out any more writers- maybe one day?

On a slightly different tack- Leo Baxendale in his book did mention a few writers at DCT 1950s to 1964 (When Leo left to join Odhams) One name stands out- Walter Thorburn! He (When at DCT) wrote the "Banana Bunch" scripts for Leo to draw when the "Beezer" started. Walter; along with Leo and Ken Reid, joined up with Odhams in 1964 and one strip I know that Walter wrote scripts for was the magnificent "Dare A Day Davy" in `Pow` 1967-68.

Sadly, back long ago, Writers like artists were rather an unsung bunch at DCT! I for one cannot praise Peter Clark's writing on "I.Spy" in Sparky 1969-72 highly enough!
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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by Raven »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:Raven: I once had an Editor three feet away from me, with a pile of John Geering's original Puss n Boots artwork [just freshly brought in by John himself] inkings right slap in between the middle of the desk in front of us, and I was given time to look through these cartoons: JG definitely wrote this one and a few others, and these were for the Dandy comic library in the mid-80s, probably after the weekly Puss n Boots outings, and although these were past the 'classic' era of the strip, some of even these later frames were striking and unforgettable, especially when seen at 'first generation'.
Must have been a treat to see those.
alanultron5 wrote:It would be nice to know how many wrote for the comic- and not just the fun strips!
Remember that most of the comics were open to freelance contributions, so some strips could have been written by different freelancers, submitted by post, from week to week.

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Re: SPARKY "Writers"

Post by alanultron5 »

I hadn't though of that Raven! Nice to know that Rab fought in `Sparky's` corner when visiting DCT! The staff there might not have rated Sparky that highly- but they wern't the one's shelling out their 5d pocket-money each Friday for the comic! The customer counts!

Just a few years ago neither Rab or I knew who wrote the `I.Spy` strip! Thanks to the 26 Pigs site and Ray (Kashgar) we know that Peter Clark wrote it in its hey-day 1969-71 and George Unwin Glencairn wrote it 1974-76 (Rab tracked that info down) It's not absoloutly certain- but likely that Les Barton May well have wrote the initial eight "I.Spy" episodes himself- plus the three `extra` early episodes run over Xmas/New Year 1973-74 in the comic!
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