Billy Whizz

Discuss or comment on anything relating to D.C.Thomson's second longest running comic. The home of Dennis the Menace. Has been running since 1938.

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Jonny Whizz
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Billy Whizz

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Hi! New member here wanting to know a bit more about his favourite comic character.

I would be very interested to know when Billy Whizz first started wearing his red and black tracksuit (with zigzag down the front). The exact issue number would be great. Also, when did Vic Neill change his hairstyle? I would also like to know if there was any reasons for the changes - although Billy Whizz strips are shown in The History of The Beano book, there is no kind of explanation given. I would really like to find out, as it seems to be a bit of a mystery to me. Any information will be much appreciated!
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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Digifiend
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Digifiend »

I think the tracksuit was added in around 1992. The hair didn't change at the same time, but maybe a year or two later. When the current run of reprints started, they were using some where he still had his old plain red t-shirt, but now he always has the tracksuit and thunderbolt hair. I believe the current strips therefore are from about 1994-95, but aren't being used in order.

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Thanks digifiend!

It is funny though the way that they have chosen some of the Billy Whizz reprints - when they first started using them a couple of years ago, they mainly showed the red T-shirt David Parkins strips, then after several months there seemed to be no real pattern - strips from David Parkins and Vic Neill (occasionally Trevor Metcalfe) were shown. As you said, now they are using Neill stories with the thunderbolt hair and tracksuit, and these ones have been used almost exclusively since around the 70th birthday issue, when we were treated to a brand new strip by Barrie Appleby.

The Wikipedia article is wrong - it still says they are using David Parkins reprints.
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

AndyB
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by AndyB »

When Wayne Thomson took over the story, it reverted to the two long hairs style to match the rest of the family. There was backstory for this in an old Beano Book - every time Dad took the boys to the barber, Billy couldn't sit still, and they all got thrown out as soon as all but the two infamous hairs were cut.

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Which year was that Andy?
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

AndyB
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by AndyB »

1976, I think, but it could be 74 or 75.

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Digifiend
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Digifiend »

Well it isn't 1974 or 1975, I know as I have those annual. I don't have 1976, so I assume that's the right one.

By the way, the 70th birthday strip was by Lew Stringer, not Barrie Appleby - I know because it was signed. The story was something of a homage to Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers. The strip was presumably also how DCT tested Lew before giving him the Super School strip. I'm sure he can confirm that himself.

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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Lew Stringer »

Digifiend wrote:Well it isn't 1974 or 1975, I know as I have those annual. I don't have 1976, so I assume that's the right one.

By the way, the 70th birthday strip was by Lew Stringer, not Barrie Appleby - I know because it was signed. The story was something of a homage to Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers. The strip was presumably also how DCT tested Lew before giving him the Super School strip. I'm sure he can confirm that himself.
Sorry, but I've never drawn a Billy Whizz strip!

I did a Fred's Bed strip and an Ivy the Terrible strip (just one of each) before Super School, but never a Billy Whizz.

Lew
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Classic Comics
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Classic Comics »

Lew Stringer wrote:
Digifiend wrote:Well it isn't 1974 or 1975, I know as I have those annual. I don't have 1976, so I assume that's the right one.

By the way, the 70th birthday strip was by Lew Stringer, not Barrie Appleby - I know because it was signed. The story was something of a homage to Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers. The strip was presumably also how DCT tested Lew before giving him the Super School strip. I'm sure he can confirm that himself.
Sorry, but I've never drawn a Billy Whizz strip!

I did a Fred's Bed strip and an Ivy the Terrible strip (just one of each) before Super School, but never a Billy Whizz.

Lew
Barrie Appleby drew the Billy Whizz in the 70th birthday issue.

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Regarding the 70th birthday strip, I'm a big Wallace and Gromit fan, but I hadn't thought of the Wrong Trousers link to that strip. I noticed the homages in the other stories though - especially Biffo and The Bash Street Kids.

I can't believe Lew Stringer posted in my first topic! (You're doing a very good job at the moment with Super School, so keep it up)
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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Digifiend
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Digifiend »

Could anyone check that 1976 annual that AndyB mentioned?

I must've got the strips in that issue confused, I didn't have it in front of me when I posted that - sorry Lew. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. :oops:

You realise Jonny, that if you hadn't posted here, nobody at all would have posted in the Beano sub-forum all week! Good time for newbies I suppose. 8)

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Jonny Whizz »

You're right there digifiend. Actually, I've been reading this forum for a few years, but I've only joined very recently.
Mind you, so far every post I've made has been about Billy Whizz or The Bash Street Kids!
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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Steve Henderson
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Steve Henderson »

The haircut story was in the 1970 Beano annual, the one with Biffo with the giant ice lolly on the cover.

I always used to think he was some kind of alien or he had a drinking straw coming out of his head when I was a kid, thankfully the 1970 annual cleared it up for me recently! Ha ha ha

Kashgar
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Kashgar »

Jonny Whizz wrote:Hi! New member here wanting to know a bit more about his favourite comic character.

I would be very interested to know when Billy Whizz first started wearing his red and black tracksuit (with zigzag down the front). The exact issue number would be great. Also, when did Vic Neill change his hairstyle? I would also like to know if there was any reasons for the changes - although Billy Whizz strips are shown in The History of The Beano book, there is no kind of explanation given. I would really like to find out, as it seems to be a bit of a mystery to me. Any information will be much appreciated!
Hi JW, Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to this. The fusing of Billy Whizz's antenna-like hair into the blonde lightning flash occured in Beano No 2712 dated 9th July 1994 without any mention of the fact within the story itself unlike the first appearance of Billy in his tracksuit which is the focus of a full story ( Billy runs around in his new tracksuit at such a speed that for much of the story he is invisible and mistaken for a lightning storm) which appeared in Beano No 2599 dated 9th Sept 1992.

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Billy Whizz

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Thank you Kashgar. It's really cleared it up for me now. I assume it was David Parkins who drew the first strip with the tracksuit? It isn't unusual for changes to be made for an established comic character, but what did make it odd was the fact that the changes were generally accepted, perhaps because Billy's original outfit wasn't considered distinctive enough compared to characters in other long running stories.

Actually, today is the 45th anniversary of the issue date of Billy's first appearance in the comic. Just thought I'd mention it - because, as far as I know, the Beano never has! Happy birthday anyway Billy, and keep on whizzing!
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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