Sunday, October 12, 2008

M. Feldwick

(See update below stripography.)

One of the more interesting bylines that we've stumbled across while researching the war libraries. Miss M. Feldwick (whose Christian name remains stubbornly unknown) was a regular contributor to Fleetway, D. C. Thomson and even the Micron war libraries. I've not come across her name in relation to any other titles. Bear Alley pal Keith Chapman, who worked for Fleetway and Micron back in the 1960s, recalls that she lived in Eastbourne and used to send her manuscripts into the office in pastel-coloured folders. Interestingly, Ted Bensberg, the late editor of War and Battle picture libraries had an address for her c/o a Miss S. Feldwick in Witham, Essex. A sister perhaps?

The little stripography below (which I'm sure is hugely incomplete) paints an interesting picture. Miss Feldwick switches from IPC to DCT in 1968 and her work is then almost exclusively for Commando. And there's an almost decade-long gap in the 1970s where, no doubt, her writing talents were employed elsewhere. (Usually I'd say that a gap implies two authors of the same surname but, in this instance, I'm reasonably sure it's the same writer, although that's based solely on Feldwick being a reasonably uncommon surname.)

Miss Feldwick was one of only a handful of known female contributors—Diana M. Garbutt and, tangentially, Eileen Redknapp—to war pocket libraries. (Joan Whitford, although a regular on Thriller Picture Library and Cowboy Picture Library, never wrote for the war libraries as far as I'm aware.)

Note: Although Miss Feldwick contributed to Micron's Combat Picture Library, her contributions are unknown.

Shadow of the Eagle, illus. Martin Salvador (War Picture Library 250, Jul 1964)
The Price of Treachery, illus. Renzo Calegari (Battle Picture Library 200, Apr 1965)
Hour of Danger, illus. Vittorio Cossio (Battle Picture Library 205, Jun 1965)
Undercover Army, illus. Jorge Moliterni (Battle Picture Library 212, Jul 1965)
Men Without Mercy, illus. Jose Bielsa (Battle Picture Library 223, Oct 1965)
The Shadows Are Hostile, illus. Eduardo Feito (Battle Picture Library 283, Jan 1967)
Quicksands of Destiny, illus. Escandel (Battle Picture Library 319, Oct 1967)
The Final Solution, illus. Escandel (Battle Picture Library 345, May 1968)
The Loner, illus. Ferran Sostres (Commando 336, Jun 1968)
Hoodoo Mission, illus. Bielsa (Commando 350, Aug 1968)
Warrior Breed, illus, Sanchez Cortes (Commando 364, Oct 1968)
Come Out Fighting, illus. Cam Kennedy (Commando 448, Dec 1969)
Sword of Freedom, illus. P. Martinez Henares (Battle Picture Library 463, May 1970)
Aces Wild, illus. Jose Maria Jorge (Commando 489, Jul 1970)
Legend of the Longbow, illus. Ibanez (Commando 1354, Sep 1979)
Act of the Devil, illus. Ibanez (Commando 1374, Dec 1979)
A Soldier's Honour, illus. Enriquez (Commando 1383, Jan 1980)
A Time for Justice, illus. Enriquez (Commando 1407, Apr 1980)
Sands of Death, illus. C. T. Rigby (Commando 1426, Jun 1980)
Man of Honour, illus. C. T. Rigby (Commando 1453, Oct 1980)
The Ghost of Sergeant Smith, illus. Carrion (Commando 1455, Oct 1980)
Boy's War, illus. Ruiz (Commando 1472, Dec 1980)
A Race Against Time, illus. Jose Maria Jorge (Commando 1487, Feb 1981)
Way of Honour, illus. Enriquez (Commando 1498, Mar 1981)
Time Up for Traitors, illus. Carmona (Commando 1543, Sep 1981)
The Secret of the Desert, illus. Peter Fleming (Commando 1584, Feb 1982)
The Two Deserters, illus. Blasco (Commando 1607, May 1982)
Castle of Darkness, illus. Peter Fleming (Commando 1642, Sep 1982)
The Monster, illus. Franch (Commando 1711, Jun 1983)
For Freedom!, illus. Denis McLoughlin (Commando 1766, Jan 1984)
The Good Soldier, illus. Denis McLoughlin (Commando 1818, Jul 1984)

Update (4 November 2008)
Bear Alley's regular correspondent Keith Chapman, who published some of Miss Feldwick's war comics when he was working at Micron, has dug out some of the folders that Miss Feldwick used when submitting her scripts and we can now add the following:

folder 1: yellow. Address: 27 Vale Road, Seaford, Sussex. Title: Moment of Fear.
folder 2: orange. Address: 13 Pevensey Road, Eastbourne, Sussex. Title: The Ghost Squadron.

Now, there was certainly a Combat Library called "The Ghost Squadron", published in 1963, so that looks like a strong suspect for being one of Miss Feldwick's titles.

And, thanks to Calum Laird of Commando, I can now reveal that Miss Feldwick's Christian name was Mary. Calum confirms that she was the writer on those later Commando stories and tells me "Mary Feldwick wrote no. 1584, which was one of the first books I worked on".

(* Original artwork for War Picture Library 250 by Allesandro Biffignandi © IPC Media)


  1. Interesting post Steve - I've just revieved one of your earlier collections on my blog. Check it out and it would be nice if you could comment. Am still trying to get High Noon in my local Borders - they have the space detective one. Have you any plans for a more conventional detective strip collection?

  2. Archavist,

    I'd love to do some crime strip collections. There's lots of great stuff to choose from: Sexton Blake, Zip Nolan (wouldn't that be fun!), Spy 13... there has to be something for everyone's tastes tucked away in all those old comics.


    Oops. Wouldn't be so bad but I pass through Witham every time I take a train up to London. Blame the lack of sleep...

  3. Aces Wild?? that's got to be one of my favourite Commando (in fact, favourite anything) stories of all time! Apart from the over-arching plot involving friendly fire and distrust, the story also follows the progress of a large part of the war (starting with tough missions against a triumphant German army over Dunkirk to bored Wehrmacht "firing some token shots and then running for cover" by the end), and every individual mission which the story covers is a mini-story in itself too. Genius writing... and the beautiful artwork of JM Jorge only makes it even better.



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