Thursday, October 30, 2008

Comic Cuts

Not much to report on the work front. I've spent all week putting together a dummy for a possible book. After a couple of false starts it has now just about come together and I should have it wrapped up tomorrow (Friday). Good news, 'cos that's the deadline for it!

Next week I'm planning to finish off recording the last dregs of my LP collection and catch up with some other odds and ends that I've had hanging around forever. Might even get around to scanning some book covers for the galleries I've promised in the past.

I've a couple of updates for items published recently: remember Patti? She was the replacement for Jane in the Daily Mirror back in 1959. Well, Franco Giacomini kindly sent me another panel from the strip (see above) which mystery artist Bob Hamilton signed and guess what—his name's not Bob Hamilton. The error seems to date back to Denis Gifford's book on British newspaper strips, Stap Me!, published back in 1971. That's where the panel I previously published came from.

The artist was Rab Hamilton, not Bob. Rab was a nickname... his real name was Alex Hamilton and he appears to have started in the 1950s drawing for Fleetway's romance comic Valentine, although as he started in the very first issue (with a story entitled 'Whatever Will Be Will Be') I suspect he may have appeared even earlier elsewhere. Post-Patti, he drew various strips for Marilyn, Roxy and Serenade, including the long-running tales 'My Sister's Impossible Husband' (Marilyn, 1961-64) and fashion strip 'Ann and Pam' (Roxy, 1962-63).

Most people will know his work from TV Century 21, where he drew 'Secret Agent 21' (later retitled 'Mr. Magnet') in 1965-69. At the same time, for TV21's companion, Lady Penelope, he drew 'Marina, Girl of the Sea' (1966-67), 'The Girl from UNCLE' (1967) and 'Class Six Sterndorf' (1968). He then seems to have drawn mostly one-off stories and short-run strips for a variety of papers, including Sally, Joe 90, June, Countdown, Sandie and TV Action where his last known work appeared in 1973.

Beyond that, nothing seems to be known about him. I'm guessing from the nickname he was a Scot.

Another update: Jane, Daughter of Jane. Thanks to Rich Thomassen, I can now offer you a checklist of stories, although they add almost nothing to our knowledge of what the strips were about because none of the stories had a title.

1. (untitled) (U204-U270) 28-08-61—13-11-61
2. (untitled) (U271-U294) 14-11-61—11-12-61
3. (untitled) (U295-V20) 12-12-61—23-01-62
4. (untitled) (V21-V81) 23-01-62—04-04-62
5. (untitled) (V82-V124) 05-04-62—25-05-62
6. (untitled) (V125-V183) 26-05-62—02-08-62
7. (untitled) (V184-V237) 03-08-62—04-10-62
8. (untitled) (V238-W178) 05-10-62—27-07-63
9. (untitled) (W179-W207) 29-07-63—30-08-63

The artist for the run of the strip was Alfred Mazure, about whom Rich is something of an expert having written two books about him: Van Alfred Mazure tot Maz (Rotterdam, Comicshop Dick Bos, 2001) and De Wereld van Dick Bos (Rijswijk, Elmar, 2003). Both are in Dutch and can be ordered via Rich. If anyone is interested, drop me a line and I'll pass it on. The books cost 10 Eur. and 12,50 Eur. respectively, plus postage which will depend on where you are in the world.

While we're on the subject of Europe (oh yes we were), the latest issue of Hop! has just landed on my doorstep. It's a French comics' fanzine, much admired. The latest issue is #119 which contains an interview with Pierre Le Guen, plus an extensive bibliography, and features on Gaston Niezab and Claude Henri, also with extensive bibliographies, a dossier on 'The Phantom', a look at some strips that appeared in Coq Hardi and a strip called 'Le Fantome Vert' by Fergal, who was featured in an earlier issue.

OK, I'm missing out hugely because my knowledge of French runs to the fact that BD is comics and that's about it. But I can look at the pretty pictures and marvel at the lists. I like lists. You wouldn't have guessed, would you?

(* Our column header is an episode of 'Maxwell Hawke' from Buster, 29 September 1962 because by the time most of you read this it will be Hallowe'en. Maxwell is © IPC Media; Patti © Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd.)

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