On this day, 15 September 1979: Whoopee!
On this day, 15 September 1979 … I only got to read Whoopee! occasionally as a kid, on the rare occasions that I had a bit of extra pocket money, or there was some cross-title promotion that was reason enough for me to badger my mum to buy the full range of humour comics for one week only. Whizzer and Chips was my main comic, then Cheeky for a while, then Jackpot. But I look back on Whoopee! now and feel slightly regretful that I didn’t get it on a regular basis at the time. There’s an anarchic silliness to it which I find delightful, and which seems more dangerous than Whizzer and Chips’ fare – maybe that was what suited me at the time, as a fairly conservative-minded child.
My favourites are: Sweeny Toddler – the romper-suited scourge of the neighbourhood, here seen on a high street rampage, The Bumpkin Billionaires – darkly torturing us with their weekly attempts to rid themselves of truckfuls of cash, Scared-stiff Sam – extreme anxiety in a Hulk-sized frame, Frankie Stein– the world’s most naïve and innocent monster, every seven days the unwitting target of his father’s murderous intent, and Evil Eye – the terrifying, hovering manifestation of our own darkest shadows.
In Monday’s post about Buster, I listed some of the cream of the humour artists working for IPC around the turn of the decade (Reg Parlett, Mike Lacey, Martin Baxendale, Jack Edward Oliver, John Geering, Ian Knox, Ken Reid, Trevor Metcalfe, Rob Lee, Jim Crocker, Brian Walker, Norman Mansbridge, Dick Millington), but a few prolific names were missing so I’m pleased to be able to include below scans of the masterful artwork of Tom Paterson, Dicky Howett, Terry Bave, Robert Nixon, Nick Baker, Leslie Harding, Sid Burgon and Tom Williams. What a line-up!