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, Buster, Topper, Lion, Beezer and the rest were delivered every Wednesday, along with Kath and Billâ€™s broadsheet Daily Mail. My favourite humorous artist was the demented Ken Reid, whose major character Jonah sank a battleship every single week. The intensity of his drawing drove him to a nervous breakdown. It’s heartbreaking that there’s no collection of his best work in print.
The British comics were never about square-jawed superheroes – they were about destruction and anarchy. What the ‘Thunderbirds’ and ‘Commando’ artist Keith Page and I are planning to do with the Bryant & May comic (shall we call it comic or graphic novel? I rather like the former) is set it in the London that might and perhaps should have been. The style will be busy and packed with fun stuff to discover. You can see more about Keith’s work here at this excellent British comics blog.