Ken Reid

The Books That Don’t Exist

These are the books which are hard to find in bookshops, being independently published or self-published. In a way, Amazon has levelled the playing field for us seekers of rarities, as it is now possible to find all manner of strange and highly specific books dedicated to unlikely subjects. Bookshops can’t stock print-on-demand volumes and […]

Bonkers New Books For Autumn

October, the time when all the weird books come out (including mine – more on that tomorrow). Last night the legendary Scala Cinema in King’s Cross rolled back the decades for the launch of my pal Jane Giles’s awesome Scala book, the definitive volume on this epoch-defining club/cinema/crazy space, covering everything from its punk years […]

Goodbye, Desperate Dan

No more cow pies, no more bending a lamp-post to light a pipe… Well, that’s not strictly true, but Desperate Dan will never be quite the same again. After 75 years serving as Britain’s longest-running children’s comic, The Dandy has faced a harsh economic truth and realised that its sales will never reach the heady […]

Poetry By The Panel

Thinking further about British comics, I remember taking the Dandy, Buster, Topper, Lion, Beezer and the rest, delivered every Wednesday, along with my parents’ then-broadsheet Daily Mail. My favourite stories concerned The Steel Claw, a man with a metal hand who turned invisible (except for the hand) whenever he was electrocuted. The strip required its […]

You’ll Hurt Your Eyes!

The photo is from the lovely ‘London Street Photography’ at the Museum of London. Mothers always said you’d hurt your eyes reading comics. Now I’m starting to think they were right – the captions seem so small to ageing eyes. As a kid I took all the British comics because everyone else did. Beano, Dandy, […]