diamond geezer

 Friday, August 26, 2005

Reviewing the Fleet
Fleetway comics

The best comics in the world came out of Fleetway House on Farringdon Street, or so I thought back in the 1970s. The Amalgamated Press building has now been replaced by yet another very ordinary office block, but this was once somewhere quite extraordinary. My brother and I were avid consumers of Fleetway's finest, and one of my biggest regrets is not keeping a few more back issues to nostalge over in my second childhood. Here are five favourites, followed by a few other comic gems from the period.
(Warning to comic connoisseurs: every blue link is worth a click, especially the first four above)

1) Krazy (1976-78): Quite the best comic ever, whatever you lot might think. Witty, clever, offbeat, and renowned for its cunning 'back cover disguises'. The most inventive material was to be found inbetween the comic strips, and I found Krazy's quirky humour to be wild, wacky and inspirational. Characters included: The Krazy Gang, The Buytonic Boy, Handy Andy, Paws, Ray Presto, Scaredy Cat, Birdman And Chicken
2) Monster Fun (1975-76): Few things appeal to pre-teenage boys as much as monsters, and this short-lived comic had monster appeal. The very best feature was the pull-out Badtime Bedtime Storybook in every issue, often illustrated by comic god Leo Baxendale (most of which I have been sensible enough to hoard keep). Characters included: Art's Gallery, Cinders, Creature Teacher, Draculass, Kid Kong, Tom Thumbscrew
3) Whizzer and Chips (1969-90): Were you a Whizz-Kid (led by Sid and his big snake, Slippy) or a Chip-ite (led by black-eyed Shiner)? Probably, secretly, both. Characters included: Fuss Pot, Odd Ball, Sweeney Toddler
See also: Whoopee! (long stayer, lasting from 74 to 85), 2000AD (might still be your favourite), Oink (a junior Viz), Shiver and Shake (precursor to Monster Fun), Buster (great granddaddy to all the Fleetway comics, into which all the others were eventually consumed, and which survived from 1960 to 2000)

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