Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bovril Brigade (Frank Hampson)

(* I'm reposting this because of an interesting response I got from Richard Sheaf which pointed me to another Hampson-drawn advert (which I'm including a scan of below). First, the original post, then onto Richard's comments...)

The fact that Frank Hampson drew two episodes of 'The Adventures of the Bovril Brigade' is widely known amongst Hampson fans. The two strips are covered (amongst others) at The Lost Characters of Frank Hampson website which says that the Bovril half-pages ran in 1963-64. Well, I can pre-date them to 1962 when the ads appeared in Children's Newspaper.

The first ad. I've located (above) appeared 29 September 1962 (repeated 20 October 1962, 26 January 1963, 9 March 1963). The second ad. (below) first appeared 10 November 1962 (repeated 16 February 1963).

These adverts were repeated in various comics and were still appearing at least as late as December 1964 (in TV Comic).


Richard Sheaf comments: "I thought I'd drop you a line to say that the 'rain' strip first appeared in Eagle 17/11/62. It was then repeated in Eagle on 23/03/63.

"The 'horses' strip appeared just once (to my knowledge) on 12/01/63.

"The TV Comic 14/12/64 that the LC of FH refers to is, I believe, a different ad entirely, in that instance for Lego. Have you seen that ad? Have a look in Look and Learn 19/12/64."

So I did, and Richard is quite correct. The 1964 advert (which also appeared in Eagle, I believe) was 'Come to Legoland'.

Looking through my little list of Hampson's work, I see I have a note that he drew 25 episodes of a series featuring the Chalmers family for the National Coal Board which appeared in 1963-64. You can see some excellent examples at the Lost Characters of Frank Hampson website.


  1. Steve,
    The origin of the National Coal Boad's advertizing strip, The Chalmers, is quite different to that stated on 'The Lost Characters...'. The strip was devised for the mass-circulation newspaper Daily Mirror (and its Scotish counterpart involving a clever format change).Besides the published colour advert mentioned by Richard, there was a much earlier BEA advert.

  2. Hi Barnaby,

    Interesting... I have the Daily Mirror down for The Chalmers, too. 25 episodes, 1963-64, but no specific dates.

    All this talk of adverts reminds me of my favourite: Clarke's Commandos, drawn by Tom Kerr. I'll have to dig out some examples. I do know they persuaded me to pester my Mum to buy a pair which had a tiny compass inside them, which was very exciting... for a couple of hours until my burning desire to know which way north was faded.

  3. Steve,
    Joan Porter told me that Frank delivered the first strip on 10th March 1963 and the first series of 13 began Mirror publication on 6th June 1963. Each week saw a new strip. It was designed for multiple publication - the three Scottish newspapers versions: one having an insert between the four frames. Lucky blighters, more FH!
    As far as I am aware the second series followed the first without a break. Publication was completed by early-1964.

  4. Eagle Times volume 9, issue 1 [Spring '96] featured an article on 'The Chalmers' and 8 of the strips.
    Eagle Times 9/4 [Winter '96] featured one more strip.

  5. Steve, you're right about the Legoland strip appearing in Eagle. It ran in black and white in Eagle volume 15 number 50, 12th December 1964.
    I've just read it, went looking for information about it, and found this post, which is why I'm commenting eleven years on.

  6. Good to know these old posts are still being looked at!



Click on the above pic to visit our sister site Bear Alley Books