Boys' World: Ticket To Adventure — the history of one of the finest and most collectable of British comics. Intended as an Eagle for the Sixties, the paper almost didn't make it to the shelves. According to Bob Bartholomew, who sadly died in October last year, he was ordered to take over the title ahead of publication because it was already considerably off schedule. The reason, said Bob, was that its editor, although he had some superb ideas for the comic, was inexperienced in British publishing.
There was also a certain amount of resistance from the in-house staff to help out on a paper that they believed the management intended to rival the paper they had, in some cases, worked on for years.
The editor tasked with putting the new comic together was Jim Kenner, an American or a Canadian, depending on who was telling the story. When I was researching the history of Boys' World I tried every trick in the book to contact Kenner's family, who lived in Denmark, including trudging around town trying to buy Euros as the Royal Mail, as of 31 December 2011, no longer sells international reply coupons.
€5. So that's what I bought. I was using the Danish telephone directory for addresses, sent off my letters and . . . well, presumably the people they were intended for had moved and the new owners maybe thought Santa had picked up a summer job sending out fivers.
Anyway, I tried attacking the problem from another direction and managed to track down some background. Kenner was indeed American, but with Canadian roots, and he had a brother. So I set out to track down the brother, who was still living in America . . . or had been, until his death six weeks earlier.
Death Dive was Kenner's third Commando story but probably the first he sold after his days on Boys' World. He went on to write six more stories published between 1964-66.