Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

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Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by alanultron5 on Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:04 pm

Maybe i'm the only die hard afficianado of `Sparky` comic here-but I would like to tell all here how much it became my favourite `fun` comic of the 1960s.

Though always deemed the `runt` of the DC Thomson `fun` brigade, it had more appeal for me as it presented young readers with a greater level of Surrealism than Dandy or Beano! (though I concede that `Topper` might be a close rival in this area)

"Dreamy Dave and Dozy Dora" produced some wonderfully bizarre adventures in 1966 and 1967. In late 1966 the wonderfully drawn "Willy the Woeful Wizard" strip soared to heights of fantasy! Sadly it ended April 1967.

Sparky comic did have its faults (in my view) far too many animal based `fun` stories 1965 to Sept 1967 (A Staggering Fourteen!!) and the abomination that was the updated "Invisible Dick" strip. That should have been subtitled- "How to Make one Storyline Last for EIGHT Years!!"

Sparky to its merit also produced the wonderful "I. Spy" strip in 1969, and for that I will be eternally grateful!

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:12 pm

You're certainly not the only Sparky fan here, and I'd also cite I-Spy as a favourite. My period of Sparky was really the mid seventies, though I've since built up a respectable collection of the earlier ones. Funnily enough, I never minded Invisible Dick. The one strip I found relentlessly unfunny was Barney! But then, I was never fond of Korky the Cat or Mickey the Monkey, either...

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by felneymike on Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:10 pm

I arrived far too late to get Sparky, but in Classics i always liked the "Sparky People" strips.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by Spiff_B on Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:12 pm

I'm not as big a fan as Alan, but as mentioned in the 'introductions' thread, I loved the Sparky annuals of the mid to late 1970s.

Don't recall seeing Sparky comics in the shops of Birmingham, so last year was the first time I had any -- got a complete run of 1975 via eBay.

I've several Sparky favourites: Puss 'n' Boots, L Cars, Spoofer McGraw, I-Spy (again), Sparky People, Dreamy Daniel, Thingummy Blob and Ali's Baba. So yeah, most of the strips of the late 70s era!

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by alanultron5 on Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:26 pm

Thingummyblob was possibly the last really funny Sparky strip!! It is a real beauty!! The comic actually ran a `Horror strip` titled "North Sea Oyl" in 1976! It is pretty strong for a `fun` comic and very much based on a 1975 `Pan Book of Horror` effort which I have-so I know they copied it!

Over it's life (1965-77) Sparky seemed to run more `Oddball` stories than Dandy or Beano. Topper may have equalled it though!

I have found the years 1966 and 1967 very difficult to find! It must have come very close to folding then as sales were obviously very low!

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:29 pm

alanultron5 wrote:Thingummyblob was possibly the last really funny Sparky strip!! It is a real beauty!! The comic actually ran a `Horror strip` titled "North Sea Oyl" in 1976! It is pretty strong for a `fun` comic and very much based on a 1975 `Pan Book of Horror` effort which I have-so I know they copied it!

Over it's life (1965-77) Sparky seemed to run more `Oddball` stories than Dandy or Beano. Topper may have equalled it though!

I have found the years 1966 and 1967 very difficult to find! It must have come very close to folding then as sales were obviously very low!
Either that, or people really don't want o part with those issues...

Thingummyblob was a terrific strip-though very similar in concept and execution to Ken Reid's classic Frankie Stein, if I recall correctly?

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by MR X on Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:34 pm

It was a bit, Tony: there was a demented professor with the same motives as PROF. CUBE out of 'FRANKIE' whose sole aim was to obliterate the jelloid-like Thingummyblob, who was actually quite a sympathetic and appealling character. Artwork of course by Albert Holroyd, who turned out the long run of later Hungry Horace strip artwork.


SPARKY was great at it's peak [1969-72 in my view, with excellent surrealism during the first four years, as indicated by Alan]. The comic appeared to run out of steam around mid-'75, or perhaps I was just too over-familiar with the humour in it's pages by this stage, at the time I actually changed allegience to 'MONSTER FUN' over at IPC!

A rare case of 'gimmickery' winning over traditional formulae, in my case.......

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:43 pm

MR X wrote:It was a bit, Tony: there was a demented professor with the same motives as PROF. CUBE out of 'FRANKIE' whose sole aim was to obliterate the jelloid-like Thingummyblob, who was actually quite a sympathetic and appealling character. Artwork of course by Albert Holroyd, who turned out the long run of later Hungry Horace strip artwork.


SPARKY was great at it's peak [1969-72 in my view, with excellent surrealism during the first four years, as indicated by Alan]. The comic appeared to run out of steam around mid-'75, or perhaps I was just too over-familiar with the humour in it's pages by this stage, at the time I actually changed allegience to 'MONSTER FUN' over at IPC!

A rare case of 'gimmickery' winning over traditional formulae, in my case.......
In this case, I think that's forgivable. Monster Fun was a terrific title, in my opinion. A shame it was so short lived.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by alanultron5 on Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:28 pm

It was obvious things were bad in Sparky when it ran "The Circus of P.T Bimbo" In all honesty-what the heck was that rubbish doing in a UK comic?

Oh! I have just updated and ironed out many silly errors in my 100 page plus "Sparky-File" `word` article! The Crikey web-site is running the earlier version just now! If anyone would like a copy of the `upgraded` one I can send as attatchment to E.mail. Alan.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by GBF on Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:48 pm

send it to me and I'll put it on the website...

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by Captain Storm on Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:00 pm

Thingummyblob was fantastic but for me Some Mummies Do 'Ave 'Em was a classic.

The Cap.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:39 pm

Captain Storm wrote:Thingummyblob was fantastic but for me Some Mummies Do 'Ave 'Em was a classic.

The Cap.
Oh, I liked those Mummies! Barking mad but very imaginative. They ran on the back page, didn't they?

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by Captain Storm on Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:38 am

I believe from the few Issues I have,that they ran on the front and back covers in colour.

regards,

The Cap.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:48 am

A quick check reveals you're right. A very definite improvement on Barney Bulldog, I think (I never could warm to Barney).

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:20 pm

My Partner (Charlotte) bought a good few 1966 issues for me on E.Bay when I was ill, the comic was certainly striving for a identity that period!

I hope to update my `Sparky File` on my Memory stick once I have a bit more energy-and under Charlotte's watchful eye that I don't push myself too hard! been great reading them while recuperating-very uplifting!! Smile

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:30 pm

alanultron5 wrote:My Partner (Charlotte) bought a good few 1966 issues for me on E.Bay when I was ill, the comic was certainly striving for a identity that period!

I hope to update my `Sparky File` on my Memory stick once I have a bit more energy-and under Charlotte's watchful eye that I don't push myself too hard! been great reading them while recuperating-very uplifting!! Smile
Enjoy ebay while you can: they're just starting their latest scheme to eliminate the smaller sellers who list for free, so I think the days of British comic bargains are soon to end as sellers who can't afford to uprgrade to business seller status stop listing...

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by alanultron5 on Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:01 pm

I am about 20 short so it won't hurt me too much-but its bad news though. Some nice items came from `smaller` sellers!

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:07 pm

alanultron5 wrote:I am about 20 short so it won't hurt me too much-but its bad news though. Some nice items came from `smaller` sellers!
I used to use it to offload my low end items. Oh, well...

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by alanultron5 on Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:11 am

I found that by and large; `smaller` sellers were more caring about treating buyers well. Large companies can be rather uncaring in my experience! This is my experience in the Music category though! Vinyl Tap Records I find are often not very honest about condition of their stock!

With comics, I have been most fortunate with sellers! A pity if some will be put off by new E. Bay rules.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:45 pm

alanultron5 wrote:I found that by and large; `smaller` sellers were more caring about treating buyers well. Large companies can be rather uncaring in my experience! This is my experience in the Music category though! Vinyl Tap Records I find are often not very honest about condition of their stock!

With comics, I have been most fortunate with sellers! A pity if some will be put off by new E. Bay rules.
I don't think it's a question of being put off so much as by it becoming financially not viable for small sellers to trade there anymore.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by MajorHoy on Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:58 am

Was this character "Sparky"?



If so, he doesn't seem like he would be very PC in this day and age.


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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:01 am

Sadly, yes, that was Sparky. He didn't last until the end of the comics run, though. He wasn't very PC even by 1970s standards.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by Lucy McGough on Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:50 am

Ye gods!  Shocked So all the white characters are drawn like realistic human beings, and the black character is drawn like a cartoon?

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:02 am

It was a different time...

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

Post by Lucy McGough on Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:26 am

Thank goodness.

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Re: Flying the "Sparky" Flag!

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